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  • Dr. Norbert Martin, DPT

Don’t Be Afraid of Deadlifts: How to Master Them and Reap the Rewards

By Dr. Norbert Martin, DPT



Are you ready to take your fitness game to the next level? Deadlifting is the exercise you need to incorporate into your routine! Don't let common fears and misconceptions hold you back from enjoying the many benefits that deadlifting has to offer.


Are you afraid that deadlifting will hurt your back or damage your joints? These fears are unfounded. When performed correctly, deadlifting can strengthen the muscles in your legs, hips, back, and core, as well as improve your posture and spinal stability. Deadlifting also increases bone density and joint health, allowing the body to move with ease.


Are you worried that deadlifting will make you look too bulky or muscular? Fear not! Deadlifting can be customized to suit your fitness goals. It is a versatile and effective exercise that can be tailored to meet the needs of people of all ages and fitness levels.


Are you under the impression that deadlifting is only for powerlifters or bodybuilders, and not for regular gym-goers? This is a myth. Deadlifting is an excellent exercise for anyone looking to get stronger, lose fat, stand taller, and perform better in sports.


Are you concerned that deadlifting is too difficult or dangerous to perform? It's understandable to be cautious when attempting a new exercise, but with proper technique and guidance, deadlifting is a safe and rewarding exercise. Create a safe and supportive environment for learning deadlifting by choosing a gym or facility with adequate space, equipment, and staff for deadlifting, and selecting a partner or coach who can help you learn and improve your deadlift technique.


Don't let fear hold you back from experiencing the many benefits of deadlifting. In addition to the physical benefits, deadlifting can also improve your mood, confidence, and self-esteem. It provides a sense of challenge, accomplishment, and community, making it an enjoyable and rewarding exercise.


Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform the deadlift exercise safely and effectively:

Step 1: Warm up.

Begin with a proper warm-up routine to prepare your muscles and joints for the exercise. This can include dynamic stretches, light cardio, or mobility work.



Step 2: Set up the barbell.

Load your desired weight on the barbell and place it on the floor. Stand in front of the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, and the bar over your mid-foot.



Step 3: Get into the starting position.

Bend down and grab the barbell with your preferred grip, either traditional, mixed, or hook grip. Keep your back straight, chest up, and shoulders back. Your shins should be touching the bar.



Step 4: Prepare to lift.

Take a deep breath, brace your core muscles, and engage your glutes. Keep your head in a neutral position, looking forward or slightly up.



Step 5: Lift the bar.

Drive through your heels and lift the barbell off the ground by standing up. Keep the bar close to your body and your arms straight. As you lift, squeeze your shoulder blades together and push your hips forward.


Step 6: Lower the bar.

Once you reach the top position, slowly lower the bar down to the floor by bending at your hips and knees. Keep your back straight and chest up.



Step 7: Repeat the movement.

Perform your desired number of reps, maintaining proper form and technique throughout.






Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Start with a light weight and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the exercise.

  • Engage your core muscles throughout the movement to help stabilize your spine and prevent lower back injuries.

  • Keep the bar close to your body throughout the lift to maintain proper form and balance.

  • Exhale forcefully as you lift the bar and inhale deeply as you lower it down.

  • Use progressions if necessary, such as using dumbbells or kettlebells instead of a barbell or performing partial deadlifts to build strength and technique.

  • Address common mistakes such as rounding the back, lifting with the arms, or leaning too far forward. Use cues to maintain proper form.

  • Finally, prioritize safety by using a lifting belt if necessary, avoiding heavy weights until you've built up sufficient strength, and seeking guidance from a qualified trainer or physical therapist if you're new to deadlifting or have a history of lower back problems.


Incorporating these tips into your deadlift routine will help you perform the exercise safely and effectively, while also maximizing its benefits.


So, what are you waiting for? Incorporate deadlifting into your routine and see just how much you can achieve and grow. It's time to grab a barbell and start deadlifting today. Remember, you are stronger than you think. Don't let your fears and beliefs hold you back from experiencing the incredible benefits of deadlifting. Start today and become the best version of yourself.



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