Want to improve your deadlift? Read this!

I’ve had lots of messages asking for my best advice when it comes to deadlifting technique, so I thought I would put together some of my favourite coaching cues to help you improve in your deadlift!

  1. STEPPING UP TO THE BAR. Bar path in a deadlift is important. I always describe you pulling the bar up as close to your legs as possible whilst maintaining a neutral spine, so begin your deadlift nice and close, with shins almost touching the bar.
  2. SPINAL POSITION. Ideally you want to aim for a long neutral spine, with pelvis and rib cage stacked on top of each other and no excessive arch in the back.
  3. CHEST UP. I love Tony Gentilcore’s cue of ‘show me your logo on your shirt’. As you drop your hips, your chest should remain tall with shoulders above chest, chest above hips and hips above knees.
  4. LAT TENSION. The lats play a big role in the deadlift and need to be set down to help with upper back stiffness and tension during the lift. The best cue here is to imagine you’re squeezing two oranges under your arm pits when you set up at the bar, and imagine you’re tucking your shoulder blades down in to your back pockets.
  5. SHOES OFF. I always coach deadlifts with shoes off. This will help with glute and hamstring activation but also better stability and grounding through the floor.
  6. BREATH. Breath is key to creating pillar stability and strength in a deadlift, and therefore protecting your back. As you step up to the bar, take a big breath in ensuring you fill the entire rib cage, and then exhale through the mouth as you pull the weight up off the ground.
  7. PUSH THE FLOOR AWAY. Without shoes on, you’re really able to feel the floor and this gives better meaning to cueing push the floor away. As you pull up off the floor, imagine simultaneously driving your feet down in to the floor.
  8. AT THE TOP. Once you’ve lifted the weight off the floor, drive the hips through so you stand tall at the top of the deadlift and aim for a big glute squeeze.
  9. DON’T RELAX ON THE WAY DOWN. You may have lifted the weight, but you still need to lower it with control. Stay engaged and keep your abs tight even on the way down to continue to protect your spine.
  10. Breathe and reset everything, and off you go again!