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5 Simple and Effective Gym Exercises for the Modern Professional: The Deadlift

Deadlift, efficient, exercises, Grip strength, Gym, Health

Things have been getting real the past few weeks. We’ve gone over some serious lifts that help make sure that you:

  • Spend less time in the Gym
  • Look Sexy as Hell
  • Get you Functionally Fit

The squat, the kettlebell swing, and the pull-up are all great exercises that will help you, the modern professional, get the sexy ass body that you want.

Today, we’re going over another exercise that will help you get there. It’s one of the toughest exercises there is. The Deadlift.

The Deadlift, efficient, exercises, Grip strength, Gym, Health

The reason it’s a hard exercise is because it’s typically done with A LOT of weight which is physically challenging. But, picking up anything from the ground is kind of intimidating. It’s you vs. the bar. This aspect makes the deadlift mentally challenging too.

But hey, once you can deadlift, you can pretty much do anything.

Mind over matter.

So here we go, let’s check out what we’re going to learn today:

  • The Benefits of the Deadlift
  • How to Do a Deadlift
  • The Deadlift Workout Challenge

Benefits of the Deadlift

The deadlift is the most useful exercise in building a strong back and overall strength. It’s hard work to pick up heavy weight from the ground, despite it being so simple, and there is no easy way around it. This is probably one of the reasons that you don’t see it being done often in commercial gyms.

I’ve seen it before but did a quick prayer for them, cause their form was awful. It’s important to note that it can be dangerous when done improperly. It’s also easily overtrained. The deadlift puts a lot of stress on your body. It’s a good thing though. As long as it’s done correctly it packs on lean, sexy muscle.

Here are some of the muscles that the deadlift works out:

  • Lats
  • Lower back
  • Hips
  • Core
  • Posterior Chain
  • Fore Arms

Some more benefits  . . .

  • Improves Posture
  • Builds incredible grip strength

That’s what’s up.

So without further a due, let’s get into how to pick up heavy shit off the ground.

How to Do a Deadlift

When you’re at the gym, just grab a barbell off the rack, bench, or where ever you can find one really. Warm up with an empty bar by going through the motion of the actual exercise.

For beginners, use light weight. Ensure the you have proper form before you go off and try lifting weight like you’ve been in consecutive strongman competitions. This goes for ladies too. But definitely more for guys, check your egos at the door.

For the actual lift, the plates you’re going to be using are 45 lb. plates that can be found at any gym. This will be the proper height at which you’ll be performing the lift. If the 45 lb. plates are too heavy for you – no big deal, just see if you can find plates with lighter weight that have the same diameter as the 45 lb. plates. Or, you can simply put the weight up on an elevated plane to match the height of the bar as if there were 45 lb. plates were on each side.

When you get to the bar, make sure that the bar is dissecting your feet at the mid point.

And just to make sure that we’re on the same page, I put a picture of what the “midpoint” of your foot is. The bar should literally be up against your shins. If you’re uncomfortable with this, get shin guards, wear pants, or tights – kind of like I do. I’m a big fan of 2XU tights (no affiliate link).

Deadlift, efficient, exercises, Grip strength, Gym, Health

Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, if not a little closer. Your hand grip should be a little wider than hip width. You’ll see in the photo below my butt is back, eyes straight ahead, big chest, and straight back.

Deadlift, efficient, exercises, Grip strength, Gym, Health

Then, simply pull the bar up.

Deadlift, efficient, exercises, Grip strength, Gym, Health

You should be positioned as if your hip is going to act like a door hinge, just like the photo above. Since this is a hip dominant exercise you want to see the hips follow through to bring the bar up after initially pulling the bar off the ground.

The bar should be as close to your body as possible, along with your back, chest, shoulders, all being in a tight locked position. In other words, no rounded back.

Deadlift, efficient, exercises, Grip strength, Gym, Health

Once you reach the top position, just lock our your knees and then return the same way that you came back up.

No need to lean back, in fact, I strongly advise you don’t. It’s something that I see a lot of people do at the gym and there’s no point. The primary function of the exercise has been completed once you get to the top, leaning back just puts unnecessary pressure on your spine. Lock the knees out and start bringing the bar back down.

You don’t need to come down slowly – especially if you’re lifting heavy weight. If you’re going for a 1 rep max – just drop the bar.

Once you’ve finished, you might feel light headed. All depends on how much weight you’ve lifted. It’s cool, that’s how you’re supposed to feel. Just know that it’s helping you body get in incredible shape.

Here are some errors I see when people are doing the deadlift which you should not be doing.

Getting in the squat position to pick up the bar.

No, just . . . no.

This isn’t a squat. The power you’re generating to pick up the bar is coming from your back (the initial pull) and then your hips (the follow through to get the bar all the way up).

If you’re in that position just raise your butt up and make sure to think of your hips as a door hinge. Again, refer to starting position above.

Bouncing the weight off the floor

Look, it’s called a “dead” “lift” for a reason. You’re lifting the weight from a still position, every time. I’ve totally been guilty of bouncing the weight off the ground when I’m doing my 2nd or 3rd rep. But it doesn’t do me or you any good. It doesn’t work out the targeted muscles the way it should, so if you’re bouncing off the floor – don’t do it. It’s a waste of your time.

Rounding Your Back

This is okay in certain situations. And by certain situations, I mean you’re an elite level athlete. If you’re not, and we’re not . . . cause we’re modern professionals, don’t do it.

In other words,

Your Back should NOT be rounding.

If it is . . . weight is too heavy, lower it. Concentrate on form.


So one more time just in case you missed it . . . don’t fucking round your back 

Now, on to the Deadlift workout challenge . . . .

Deadlift Workout Challenge

Franco Columbu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week, if you’ve never done a deadlift before . . .

Learn it. With proper form.

If you’re advanced, get stronger . . .

Do 1 set of 5 reps once or twice a week, spread apart by 5 days. Once you can complete 5 reps consecutively, add 5 more lbs to the total weight. Don’t bounce, don’t round your back, and make sure that you have a good starting position.

So get strong and lift some weight off the ground. You’ll have that sexy ass body in no time.

See you later this week and thanks for reading!

Also, read 5 Simple and Effective Gym Exercises for the Modern Professional:

What do you think?

Barbara Keller

Written by Barbara Keller

Barbara Keller is a freelance writer. She writes on topics like health and wellness, sports, environment, sustainability, and business leadership. To see more of her work, visit

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