An effective deadlift setup turns your body into a crane. Your entire upper body is rigid. Your arms are taut meat hooks. Your lower body is so compressed with potential energy that the bar is the only thing keeping the HINGE at your waist from exploding open.


Hide your knots.

Stand an inch or two behind the bar, so that it crosses your mid-foot over the knot in your shoelaces. Set your feet around hip width, with toes slightly out, as if you're about to do a vertical jump. Now, focus pressure through your heels, big toes and pinky toes to drive your kneecaps outward and engage your glutes.

Inhale with your lats.

Raise your hands above your head as high as you can, then pull your shoulder blades down sharply and lock them in place. Breathe in through your nose until your belly is full. With your arms still straight, use the muscles in your back to pull them down in front of you, taking a forceful mouth breath down into your sides and back as you do. Flex your abs, obliques and lower back to force this air down and out - making your core rigid all around.

Nees to your shoulders.

Hinge at the waist by pushing your hips back while ‘lifting’ your knees to your shoulders. This should load your hamstrings while keeping your shins behind the bar.

Grip and dip.

Grab the bar about shoulder width, with your forearms just outside your knees. Pull up on the bar as you sit your hips back and down so far you’d fall backward if you were to let go of the bar. Continue until your shins and arms are nearly vertical, with the bar under your arm pits.

Elbows locked and loaded.

Squeeze the bar as hard as you can. Lock your elbows at full extension. Rotate your elbows behind you, as if squeezing an orange in your arm pit.


Don’t try to lift the bar from the floor. Instead, WEDGE your body between the bar and the floor.


Wait for the click.

Do not rush the start of your deadlift just to escape the discomfort of a proper setup. Keep pulling tension through the bar until the top of its sleeves ‘click’ into contact with the top of the openings in the plates.

Explode through the ground.

Imagine the bar is an immoveable anchor to grip while you push your feet through the floor. Extend your hips and knees in one explosive movement, dragging the barbell up your body.

Drive your hips through.

Once the bar reaches your knees, drive your hips forward aggressively to meet it.


As your drive your hips through, squeeze your ass cheeks HARD.

Ease the bar down.

Reverse the bar back down under control.

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