Without a doubt, the deadlift is one of the top three movements a bodybuilder can use to add mass to his physique. Not only does it train the back, but it adds overall mass to the entire frame. Proper deadlifting technique can lead to new gains in muscle and strength. Improper lifting, however, can lead to serious injury which can keep you out of the gym for months, or suffering form back pain for the rest of your life. It just takes one bad rep to change your days – forever. This is why deadlifting should be taken very seriously. Here are some tips you can follow to help make your deadlifting workouts safer and more productive.
You need to create a vertical line from the ground, starting with your shoulders and leading to your ankles. The bar should be in the middle. Your feet should be just a bit wider than your shoulders’ width apart, and the deadlift bar should be pressed up against your shins. You may want to be wearing sweat pants, or have your shins chalked up well. Proper deadlifting leaves your shins quite nicked up. If you’re allowing a gap there, you are leaving yourself open to injury and lifting less weight than you are capable of moving. Don’t sell yourself short – keep the bar pinned to your shins.
Initiating the lift
The legs, and not the back, are the muscle group which begins the deadlifting motion. Make your lift a graceful tug from the starting position. The only “jerk” involved here will be the guy doing the deadlifts, as you’ll be in your own lifting zone, oblivious to those around you. There is no need to yank the bar, as we see in some powerlifting meets or even Olympia competition. Most injuries that take place to the back during the deadlift occur during this initial jerking phase. Move the weight slowly and deliberately. If you have to pull violently, you are using too much weight. Remember, your goal as a bodybuilder isn’t to move 1000 pounds no the deadlift. Rather, it is to build the most impressive back. You cannot do that if you are injured.
Never, ever allow your back to become rounded during the deadlift. This may allow you to use more weight, but it also exposes the ligament sin your back to risk of injury. This also includes the neck, which should remain in perfect alignment with your torso throughout the lift. Rounding the back and turning the head have cost many a good deadlifter the best years of his lifting career!
Leave the biceps at home
Well, don’t take this instruction literally. Rather, make a conscious effort to use the arms and hands as hooks. Your biceps and forearms shouldn’t be working hard to hold the weight. Rather, they should be innocent bystanders, minor tools for holding the barbell while your back does the vast majority of the work. If you want an arm workout, go find the dumbbells. If you want a complete back workout, stick with the barbells and letting your back do the work.