Injury Potential: The deadlift is an exercise where many major muscle groups must work in concert to properly lift the load. Done incorrectly, and without engaging the needed musculature, the potential for lower back injury is great. Additionally, because the smaller muscles of the arms, i.e. the biceps and forearms, must securely hold a very heavy barbell continuously throughout the set, they can easily succumb to pulls and tears. (Other issues include the neck and abdominals).
Form Points: Plant your feet firmly on the ground about shoulder-width apart, or slightly wider, depending on the “style” of deadlift you are performing. Grab the bar with either a double overhand grip, or a combination over/under grip. Note: If you prefer an under/over grip, it may be best to switch hands set-to-set or workout-to-workout to avoid over-pulling on just one bicep repeatedly. I also recommend the use of wrist wraps to take some of the strain off of the forearm extensors and flexors. Bend the knees to almost 90 degrees and bend at the hips so the chest is over the bar and the torso is parallel to the ground. Begin your pull by driving through the feet, then contract the quads, glutes, hips and lower back to smoothly, but forcefully, get the bar from the ground to near the top of the lift. To straighten the torso completely, you will thrust the hips forward, tighten the glutes, lift the traps and then retract the shoulder blades. From this tightly-locked standing position, carefully reverse the process as you lower the bar back to the floor. Begin the next rep from a complete stop and not by bouncing the bar off the ground!
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