Beginner's Guide to Deadlifts | Cassie Smith & Rachel Pyron


There are many DL variations, today we’ll focus on the conventional, sumo, and hex bar.
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Before you begin:
• Goal
o Why am I deadlifting?
o What is my purpose?
o Am I programming this lift to hit a specific goal?
o If the answer is “I don’t know,” then maybe you shouldn’t
deadlift

• General advice
o If you don’t know what you’re doing, stop adding weight
o If you learn good technique, more weight will follow
o Bad technique, low ceiling

Conventional Deadlift
Set up:
• Laces, shins, hands
o Hand placement + grip

• Knees, hips, butt, back, chest
o The deadlift is not a squat

• A good pull
o Tight, braced core—don’t pull without this
o Hips lower than shoulders
o Head/neck neutral
o No kitty-cat back (unless you’re a legit PL and you’re
trying to PR)
o No stripper pull
o PUSH down
o Keep bar close, mobility issues
o Hamstring and lat activation
o Pull up on the bar before you pull
o Don’t get too far over the bar

Sumo Deadlift: purpose is to shorten the ROM, shorter time

Set up:
• Feet, knees, hips
o Feet width will depend on the person
o Relax your hips, get your knees out
o Chin and chest up fast, get your hips through (Ed Cohen)
o Don’t get too far over the bar
o Adductors, sucka
o Chin up
o Don’t just pull

Hex/trap bar Bar
• Less steep learning curve, easier to get into a good position, if you’re a raw beginner, do these. Bar allows the weight to be aligned with your center of mass
Set up:

• Feet, hips, shoulders
o Narrower than you may feel is normal
o Arms at your ides makes tracking out difficult
o Pay attention to your hands

• Tight lats, tight core
o Butt back, neutral head. Look ahead
o Push into the floor
o Watch your feet
o Center of gravity

• Hips and shoulders come up together
o Don’t shrug, don’t push hips forward at the top
o Neutral head, but don’t lean forward

Programming the deadlift
• Back or leg day?
o Whatever day you don’t do squats

• If you want to increase your performance
o Test your 1rm
o Program them into your workouts at least 1xweek. Work
out at 70-80%

• If you want to build your back
o DL may not be the best option

• Accessory work
o RDL
o Bent-over row
o GHD
o Good morning

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