Deadlift Technique Checklist:
Ask the majority of athletes how they would categorize “deadlifts,” and more than likely they would classify that movement as a “pulling exercise” and/or “back work.”… Surprising to many, they are wrong. And that’s not the only commonly held misconception about the deadlift. Analyzing the movement and breaking it into its component parts can yield true understanding — and bigger lifts.
• With your feet in the power position (roughly shoulder width), step all the way up to the bar. The setup isn’t the same as in the clean or snatch, in which the bar stays over the toes. The bar in the deadlift should be right next to your shin in the start position.
• Sit back so your feet are flat on the floor and your hips are slightly above parallel. Your shoulders should not be in front of the bar like in the clean or snatch, but instead, over the bar.
• In your mind’s eye, think of your arms as steel rods, starting at your shoulders and ending in steel hooks at the bar. You cannot bend your elbows — all the force on the bar is coming from your shoulders through these attached steel rods.
• Then think of yourself in a leg-press machine in which your torso doesn’t move and your feet are on a platform. At this point, maintain tight levers and drive your feet through the floor. You’re not pulling anything; you are simply pushing down against the floor.
• As the bar breaks away from the floor, keep it in tight. It should essentially drag up your shin, knee and thigh.
• Just as the bar attains knee height, it’s time for you think about the fact that the “floor pushing” ends and the “hip pushing” begins. Think “hips forward.” If your hips move forward, you’ll have no choice but to extend at the knees and finish the movement.