Deadlift and Grow Strong!

Proper Deadlift Form
By Jenn Diamond, NASM-CPT
All-Star Sports Academy

Feet Position (Put the middle of your foot under the bar. Be sure to measure your whole foot and not just the part that you can see. Middle is somewhere above your shoelaces, where the bar stands approximately 2″ (5cm) away from your shins).

Stance Width (Position your feet slightly narrower that shoulder width. Feet can stand parallel to each other or with toes pointing slightly to the sides. This is something you should play around with and see what works the best for you. ADVICE: Try to jump vertically a couple of times. The landing position of the feet will be your deadlift stance).

Bar Grip Type (Usually, two grips can be used. First one is mixed grip, also called alternating or offset, where stronger hand uses overhand (pronated) and weaker underhand (supinated) grip. Important thing with this grip I want to stress out is that you ALWAYS use a fully wrapped grip.


Bar Grip Width (Arms must be completely straight and vertical (perpendicular to the floor). This is achieved by holding your arms shoulder with apart.

Shoulders Behind (Remember, you need to lift the bar up in a straight line as possible. To do so, the shoulders should be positioned slightly behind the bar. More accurate, the mid-line of the deltoid when watched from the side, not the front deltoid, should come slightly behind the bar. From this position you will be able to pull straight up and back).

Arched Back (Arching your back is the most important thing you can do. Push your chest up and forward to prevent rounding of the back. Maintain strong arch throughout the entire movement.

Hips High (Drive the hips/butt up as high as they can possibly go without sacrificing the arch in your back. Sinking the hips too low will turn deadlift into front squat or going too high will turn it into stiff-leg deadlift. You don’t want either of that).


Chin Neutral (This may seem as a detail of less importance, but it is way more important than you think. Look forward or slightly up to navigate the lift.

The Ascent or “Pull”

Inhale Deep (Take a deep breath, to take in a lot of oxygen supplies, because the next time you will breath in will be when you return the bar on the floor at the finishing point of the lift! NOTE: Don’t exaggerate by taking too much air. Take just enough to make your stomach hard and push it out on your belt).

Hips Forward (Explode to the top! Contract and drive your hips forward by pushing from the heels. Pull the weight up and back explosively and controlled in a completely straight line. Try not to pull from your lower back but instead bring your hips forward. Make sure not to bend the arms at any point. Keep the bar as close to you as possible to reduce the traveling path. NOTE: This may scrape your shins and knees, but in time you’ll get use to it. To prevent the scraping you can wear deadlift socks and light protective shin guards).

Extend Knees (Once the bar passes the knee level start straightening your knees. Assume an erect position by locking your knees and hips. There is no need to roll the shoulders too far back or hyper-extend the lower back).

The Descent Descent must be done in a very controlled and somewhat slow manner. Descending too rapidly can cause injury!

Hips Back (Bend your hips back and start lowering the luggage. Continue shifting your hips back until you pass the knee level).

Flex Knees (Once you’re below the knee level, start bending the knees. This will save your lower back from excessive pressure).