Deadlift Tips to Help You Lift a Mack Truck

I need this shirt..

I need this shirt..

Hokay so, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but if there's one thing I could talk about all day, it's the deadlift.

I know, you're surprised.  But seriously, the deadlift is unparalleled in creating strength, preparing you for life, and making people like you (it's true).

In fact, I'm a firm believer that everyone needs to do some form of deadlifting regularly.  Does this mean conventional deadlifts for Grandma?  Well, not exactly.

Whenever I head out of my bubble and into an everyday gym, I always see some pretty terrible technique which tends to give the lift a bad rap.  Furthermore, many people perform deadlift variations that simply aren't the best choice for them.  There's always a way to pull heavy, as long as you're not in pain.

That said, I decided to put together two main tips that really helped to transform my own deadlift, and has done the same for many of my clients.  Enjoy! 

Of course, it can be tough for people to understand these two points as it goes against much of what they normally (and incorrectly) do in a deadlift.  

Packing the neck  - terrible for selfies, great for deadlifts.

Packing the neck  - terrible for selfies, great for deadlifts.

First, people can be uncomfortable with the thought of sitting back and pulling the bar back, as they're afraid of falling over. Again, we're not talking about trying to back it up and twerk like Miley Cyrus while your hands are on a barbell (which is actually pretty tough....I've tried).  But a subtle shift that brings your shoulders from in front of the bar to directly over the bar, and keeping that alignment as you begin your lift, can really make an enormous difference. 

The second point is also tough to convey because packing your neck really isn't all that comfortable.  All day, every day, we are in cervical extension/forward head posture.  By forcing yourself to make a double chin - or, as I call it, acting like a high school wrester with no neck - it allows a few parts to fall into place.  First, it allows our spine to return to its normal curves, so that we're no longer fighting ourselves when we're picking up heavy weight.  Second, I believe it helps our deep neck stabilizers do their actual job of stabilizing, instead of being responsible for keeping our head on a swivel.  That cascade of events lets you lift more weight and, most importantly, be more of a bad ass.

There you have it, my two main tips.  Now go forth, lift heavy weights, and come up with your own personal record dance.  I've posted mine below....