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How to Improve Your Deadlift

Deadlifts are a very common and important strengthening movement, as well as, a very practical movement for everyday life. We all need to be able to pick things up from the floor and set them back down. However, deadlifts get a very bad rap for being unsafe and causing injury. Sure, deadlifts have the potential to cause an injury, but so does every other movement/activity we do in life. When performed properly, deadlifts are a very key movement to help us become both stronger and more resilient in the gym and in life.

Whether you are looking to improve your deadlift so you can lift more weight and hit a new PR or you are training for a powerlifting meet or you just want to move better and decrease your risk for injury, this blog is going lay out the exact steps needed to do just that! We will look at the proper set-up for both Conventional and Sumo Deadlifts, common deadlift faults, proper deadlift execution (both conventional and sumo), and some accessory exercises that can help strengthen your deadlift.

Proper Deadlift Set-up

In the following 2 videos, we will look at 4 key components to properly setting up for a deadlift, both conventional and sumo. Setting up properly can eliminate most of the common faults that are seen with deadlifting and ensure proper performance and safety with the lift. The first video will cover proper foot and hip placement in the deadlift setup and the second video covers proper lat engagement and bracing.

Common Deadlift Faults and Proper Deadlift Execution

There are a few common faults that we see frequently when people are performing a deadlift:

  • Back Rounding/Cat Backing

  • Extending the knees before the hips

  • Overextending at the top of the deadlift

The next video will demonstrate what each one of these faults look like and the most common reasons they happen. This video will also show the proper set up and execution for both conventional and sumo deadlifts.

Accessory Exercises to Help Strengthening Your Deadlift

Finally, we will look at 4 accessory exercises that can help you improve your deadlift. 2 key components of proper deadlift setup and execution include lat and core engagement/strength. These 4 exercises address both of those components. You can incorporate these 4 exercises into part of your warm-up routine or as accessory exercises at the end of a workout.

  1. Band Dead Bug: 10-12 reps (both legs = 1 rep)

  2. Side Plank + Row: 10-15/side (2-3 sets)

  3. Eccentric Lat Pull Down: 5-8 reps (2-3 sets)

  4. Straight Arm Band Lat Pull Down: 10-12 reps (1-2 sets)


We hope these videos can serve as a guide to help you improve your deadlift and hit a new PR or just have more confidence in your abilities at the gym or with picking up heavy things around the house. If you are currently dealing with pain or an injury that is limiting your ability to deadlift or workout, we would love to help you get back to lifting heavy weights and doing the things you love. You can reach out to use today at 515-985-9038 or to schedule a Free Discovery Call to see how we can help you.

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