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How To Deadlift



In the past few months I have been using SMOLOV training to increase my squat strength with my goal being to hit a 200 kg squat. I managed to join the 200 club and it got me thinking, maybe I should use SMOLOV with deadlifts and see if I can hit 250 kg.

Seeing as I have been squatting so much for the last few months it has been a while since I have gone heavy on deadlifts. Therefore I thought I would make sure and brush up on my form to make sure there are no cobwebs that may hold me back. So I thought I would write a small post on how I go about deadlifting and hopefully it may help you.


Firstly feet…

You should have your feet hip width apart with your toes turned out ever so slightly. When you are stood with your feet under the bar you should see the bar approximately over the middle of your feet. You don’t want the bar right up against your shins yet as this will happen when you lower your hips ready to lift.


Your grip should be about shoulder width. You will find your hips are slightly narrower than your shoulders so you shouldn’t have a problem with your legs being in the way. Your arms should never be bent during the lift with the elbows locked at all times.

Chest, Shoulders

Keep your chest up with your shoulders relaxed! I used to make the mistake of pulling my shoulder blades back and trying to engage my traps.


It is important to keep a neutral spine and maintain this position during the entire lift. I find the best way is to not actually look at anything this will help to keep your back in a neutral position with a slight natural arch. You don’t want to have a rounded back or an exaggerated arch in your back.


Before each rep take a deep breath and hold it during the lift and exhale when the bar reaches the floor again. You don’t want to exhale during the rep as you don’t want to lose pressure in you abdomen.

The pull

From the standing position with your feet under the bar bend your knees until your shins touch the bar with the bar still positioned over the middle of your feet. Chest up, straight back, take a deep breath and stand up! This should be a slow controlled motion dragging the bar over your legs. When you lockout at the top you want your knees and hips locked. A mistake I used to make was to lean back at the top, this puts pressure on your lower spine.


Hips back and only bend your legs once the bar isn’t in danger of hitting your knees.

It is called  DEADlift for a reason pause in between each rep so that it isn’t just bouncing off of the floor.


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