Do You Even Deadlift?

Do You Even Deadlift?

Do You Even Deadlift?

Do you even DEADLIFT?

If you do or say any of the following, you’re most likely causing yourself more harm than good on your deadlifts.

“My back hurts.“
“My back rounds excessively.”
“The bar travels forward on my eccentric.”
“I can’t control the movement.”
“I can’t feel my hamstrings or glutes.”
“I can’t move the next day!”

Well, maybe you do… but are you doing it right?

Are you feeling it where you should ideally feel it?

do you even deadlift


DEADLIFTS are an amazing movement for engagement compound muscle groups. Not only do they target your glutes and hamstrings, but also utilise your upper back, mid back, core and even quads to an extent as stabilisers.

SO what deadlift is right for you?


How do you do them correctly???

I have noticed a few of you doing these wrong in sessions so I’m guessing online may be similar or a few of you saying your lower backs hurt. They shouldn’t.

The Difference Between Common Deadlifts:

Deadlift or Conventional Deadlift

Execution: From the floor, barbell to ground, hands outside your feet, feet straight, lots of knee bends

Targeted Muscle Groups: Glutes, hamstrings, core, upper back

Common Problems

Rack pull – This is almost an elevated deadlift from height, ideally just below your knees. Aids in range of motion for the hips, less load on the lumbar. Good if you have poor glute engagement to begin and a more upper back heavy exercise/strengthening. Same grip and stance as the above. A little less knee bend as you’re not getting as low.

Sumo deadlift – Same as a conventional as it’s from the floor. It’s simply opposite feet and hands. Hands on the bar, feet out and about a 45-degree angle at the ankle. This allows, again, larger ROM for your hips and back. Less load on the back and a more glute med focused exercise. Slightly less knee bend and back torque than a conventional, again, from a ROM point of view.

Romanian Deadlift – The ONLY deadlift that doesn’t touch the floor. The Romanian begins at the top of the movement rather than from the floor.  Same stance as a conventional deadlift unless written on your program differently. The key here is to create STRETCH and lengthening in the muscle. It’s not about shortening the range of motion or eccentric like a deadlift above is. The goal is to create as much stretch as possible in the hamstrings without towing the lower back and allowing the hips to tuck under. FEEL a stretch. If you don’t on the eccentric, you’re doing it wrong. The bar should stay close, your chest forward over the bar (biggest common mistake) and your hips back and tilted up slightly to keep your spine neutral.

Normal deadlifts (from the floor) are a PUSH-PULL movement.

A Romanian or RDL is a pull only on the concentric with a slow controlled eccentric stretch phase. These are two very different movements and should be performed so. An RDL is not as explosive, yes the pull phase can be slightly explosive but there is no push and force generated. You’re simply loading muscles and pulling back on them, NOT off them. So treat it this way. Focus on explosive force downwards on a deadlift and on controlled eccentrics and pull force on an RDL.




Your head coach,

Alice Round

November 30th, 2015