There’s a reason trainers consider the deadlift the king of all exercises: few other moves recruit more muscle. In addition to your glutes and hamstrings, it hits your quads, shoulders, core and back – if you do it right. “Most guys don’t,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Tony Gentilcore. Sure, you know the basics (keep the bar close, don’t round your back), but if you follow Gentilcore’s tips on this page, you can finally realise the move’s full potential.
Hump the bar
The deadlift is all in the hips. As you near the top of the movement, thrust your hips forward and squeeze your glutes so you end with your legs straight. That will maximise your muscle activation as well as the power of each rep.
Move Your Arse
Push your hips back as if you’re trying to close a door with your bum. Never let your hips fall below your knees.
Keep Your Back Flat
Overarching is just as bad as rounding. For a “neutral” position, pull your shoulders towards your back pockets.
Tuck Your Chin
In fact, make it a double. You’ll align your entire spine, reducing your risk of injury and increasing power and stability.
Don’t Jerk the Bar
Lock your elbows and keep tension on the bar. Use a mixed grip to strengthen your hold and boost stability.
Set Your Feet
Position them narrower than hip width to reduce the stress on your knees and to keep your form tight from start to finish.
Think about pushing the ground away instead of pulling the bar up. That will help keep your focus on your lower body.