adidas / October 2022

How To Deadlift 101

Proper deadlift technique is what separates a good workout from a great one. Learn how to do a deadlift and three additional deadlift variations with adidas!

Deadlifts are to strength training what running is to cardio. The benefits of weightlifting are infinite, and deadlifts are an excellent strength training exercise to add into your weight lifting roster. Deadlifts are one of the best full body exercises you can perform to build muscle and burn fat. Understanding how to deadlift properly will make a massive difference between a fantastic strength training session and one where you end up with a sore back. We teamed up with collegiate athlete Erin Moss to teach us how to do a deadlift the right way. Let’s get to work! 

Three Key Fundamentals to Proper Deadlift Technique

Proper technique is vital when doing a deadlift. You need to remember three essential deadlift techniques when performing a deadlift.  
  1. Always keep your weight close to your body, this will make your lift more efficient and improve your strength.  
  2. Remember to always hinge at your hip. When you hinge at the hip, you allow your spine and torso to stay neutral and, in turn, prevent injury and improve your strength training performance.   
  3. Lastly, never squat when doing a deadlift. Squatting while deadlifting puts unnecessary stress on your lower back. 

How To Deadlift Step by Step


Standard Deadlift Form

Reps: 3 to 5 set of 2-5 reps 
Weight: Barbell  
  1. Start standing shoulder-width apart with your hands at your sides and your barbell on the ground. 
  2. Step up to the bar. Your shins should be close to the barbell. 
  3. Push your glutes back, hinge at your waist, and bend down to grab the bar. 
  4. Use an overhand grip to grab the bar. 
  5. Keep your neck neutral and your core engaged. 
  6. Take a deep breath, drive your feet through the floor and pull the bar up. 
  7. Stand straight up, squeeze your glutes and exhale.  
  8. Hold this stance for a beat, then exhale and hinge your torso to lower the barbell back on the ground. 
  9. Rest and reset.

Romanian Deadlift Form

Reps: 3 to 5 sets of 3-8 reps 
Weight: Dumbbells 
  1. Start standing hip-width apart with your knees slightly bent. 
  2. Holding your weights at your thighs, hinge your hips, and bend slightly at your knees. 
  3. Push your glutes back and keep your back flat.  
  4. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor, and your weight should reach your shins. 
  5. In one motion, tighten your core and push through your heels to push your hips forward and stand up straight. 
  6. Keep the weights close to your shins as you stand up. 
  7. Pause at the stop and squeeze your glutes. 
  8. Rest and reset. 

Single-Leg Deadlift Form

Reps: 3 to 4 sets of 5-15 reps 
Weight: Kettlebell 
  1. Stand with your feet together, holding your kettlebell in your right hand and in front of your legs. 
  2. Shift your weight to your left leg, keeping a slight bend in your standing knee. 
  3. Push through the floor with all four corners of your foot. 
  4. Raise your right leg straight behind your body, hinging at your hips to bring your torso parallel to the floor. 
  5. Lower your weight toward the floor, keeping it a few inches off the ground. 
  6. Push through your standing heel and begin to stand up straight. 
  7. Pull your weight with a straight arm back up to the starting position. 
  8. Bring your right leg back down to meet your left, keeping most of your weight on the standing knee. 
  9. Rest and reset. 

Sumo Deadlift Form

Reps: 3-5 sets of 2-5 reps 
Weight: Barbell 
  1. With the barbell on the ground, start in a wide stance. 
  2. Make sure your toes are pointed outward and in line with your knees, and your shins are grazing the bar. 
  3. Hinge at your hips to lower your torso to grab the bar. 
  4. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart inside your leg. 
  5. Keep your chest up and your back straight. 
  6. As you lift, push your feet down and out as if you’re spreading the ground apart. 
  7. Keep your core tight and the bar close to your body as you stand up. 
  8. Pause at the top and squeeze your glutes without arching backward. 
  9. Hinge at your torso, send your glutes back, and bend your knees to bring the weight to the ground. 
  10. Rest and reset. 

Benefits of Deadlifting

Deadlifts are known in fitness as a great way to build strength. However, there are a wide variety of ways this exercise can upgrade your body and overall health. When you learn how to deadlift properly, the benefits you’ll get from this move are endless. Below are a few benefits of the deadlift. 
  1. Deadlifts increase and activate your core strength. You depend on your core’s stability to lift the weight off the ground and help keep your balance when doing a deadlift.  
  2. Your body will gain more mobility from deadlifting because your joints are being moved and pushed through a full range of motion during this exercise. 
  3. You can enhance your cardiovascular endurance when deadlifting by increasing the number of reps you do.  
  4. Deadlifts are a fantastic way to increase your glute gains and strengthen your hamstrings. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning states that when compared to back squats the deadlift is a more effective exercise for targeting the hip extensor muscles. 

Why Proper Deadlifting Form is Key

Remember, proper deadlift technique is crucial to avoid injury, discomfort, and to see results. Deadlifting is a great strength training exercise to build strength, elevate your athletic performance, and work out your entire body. Whether you deadlift with dumbbells, a barbell, or a kettlebell, make sure you are deadlifting with a weight that suits you and enhances the burn.
"Deadlifting makes you feel powerful," said Moss. "It's one of the few lifts that you can go heavy on. Feeling that accomplishment is amazing.” So, get ready, get serious and lift! Stay focused and consistent as you increase how much you deadlift. Each week, up your weight amount, and eventually you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.
adidas / October 2022