Deadlift; What? Why? How?

Updated: Feb 18


The Deadlift: one of my favourite compound movements that hits the whole body. I am going to share with you 3 variations that each target something different in the body but overall it is great for everything. It is a must have for every training plan (injury dependent) as it helps with total body strength and athleticism. However it is also an exercise that peoples form falters on and this is something that needs to be on point for the injury risk to be minimal. So before you put any weight on the bar please make sure you practice the form before hand and nail that. And remember it is a hip hinge movement so think of it as forward and back rather than up and down.

Conventional Deadlift

(Posterior chain)


Start with your feet hip width under the bar - line it up where the laces end on your trainers. Grip just outside the legs using an over or half and half grip.

You want to keep the back straight and think about it as a pull from the legs not a lift from the upper back. Therefore don't let the shoulders round. If you are struggling to maintain the start position with the bar low place it on the low rack or boxes to begin.

Drive the force into your heels, engage your lats, glutes and hamstrings as you begin to stand moving the hips forward. Throughout this keep the bar close to the body, core tight and arms straight.


At the top of the motion slightly tuck the pelvis under and squeeze the glutes. Then start the motion back by driving your bum back, follow the same path of the body as you lower the bar.

Once it hits the ground, have a slight pause to reset and begin again.


Romanian Deadlift

(More Hamstring focused)


This one is all about those Hamstrings. For this the start position is from standing, knees slightly bent, feet hip width apart and bar close to the body. (To get to this position please safely use the above Deadlift technique.)

To start the movement you want your bum back and hinge from the hips. Keep the bar close to your thighs and you take it just below your knees or to the shins depending on your flexibility.


Making sure that back is straight as with the conventional one so the shoulders aren't rounded, you want to feel a slight pull on the hamstrings.

Squeeze the glutes, drive through the heels and begin the pathway back to standing taking the hinge back to a neutral pelvis before beginning again.

Ladies ... think Bend and Snap ;) but with a little more control and a barbell.


Sumo Deadlift

(Works the hips, glutes and lessens the strain on the Back)


Some people find these alot easier than the Conventional ones as the range of motion for the pull is shorter and the positioning is more comfortable for their body shape.

Just like the conventional the starting position is from the floor. The stance is alot wider and you are turned out from the hips, it is vital that you have your hips, knees, ankles and toes in alignment to avoid injury risk. Don't go too wide. The grip is narrower than your other 2 bringing it in between your legs.

Back straight and tension in the hamstrings and keep your body weight behind the bar so you have power to drive with.


Drive the weight through your heels as you engage your glutes and hamstrings to pull the bar up keeping arms straight. As you reach the top tuck the pelvis squeeze your glutes then begin the journey back.

Hinge from the hips push the bum back and follow the same movement path. Tap the floor and repeat for the allotted amount of reps.


PSA: You probably will get a fair few brusies on your legs from doing these but that comes with the territory :)

I hope this was useful and you can use it to help your own training, if you need any help please ask a PT in your gym or myself if you are at my gym to help you nail that form !

Love Vicki xxx

#girlgains #vickimpt #fitness #weighttraining #training #gym #getstrong

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