Leg Exercises

The Deadlift: Step-by-Step for Optimal Results

Learn the basics of this classic lift to maximize poundage and avoid injury.


10. On the way down

Lower the bar under control by bending your hips and knees. Push your hips back and, as you bend your knees and maintain normal spinal curvature, incline your torso forward about 45 degrees. The exact degree of forward inclination is determined by your ability to hold the natural arch in your lower back.

11. Feet flat on the floor

Keep your weight centered over your feet. If your head is down, it can pull your body forward and your heels will come off the floor, which disengages a lot of the working muscles, Johnnie says. Keep your bodyweight centered over your feet at all times.

12. At the bottom

Don't bounce the bar off the floor at the end of the lift. Stop at the bottom as the plates touch the floor, then go right into the next rep from a dead stop.