Five Deadlift HACKS!

 Five Deadlifts Hacks

by Colin McGarty


Picking heavy things up and putting them down is AWESOME!  The deadlift is one of the single best full body movements you can perform.

Here’s five tips that you may not already know, to make you a deadlift MACHINE:

1.Narrow Your Stance

One of the biggest errors we see on the conventional barbell deadlift is too wide of a stance.

Place your feet under your hips. This is probably narrower than you think!

For a good reference pretend that you are jumping and place your feet in the position where you feel like you can jump the highest. This will be you most powerful stance.


2.  Make Your Arms Parallel

A lot of times people use too wide of a grip. If your grip is too wide, you will end up having to get lower to the bar to grab at. This is problematic for a lot of people. First, because you will have to pull the weight even farther to stand up—longer distance distance equals more work and less weight lifted. Second, many folks lack the flexibility to lock their spine into a neutral position when they have a wide grip

Make your arms parallel to the ground for optimal position.


3.  Use a Staggered Grip

Your grip is a weak point on the deadlift. Make it stronger by staggering your grip. Strong hand on top,  weak hand underneath. A good rule of thumb is to line up ring fingers on the gnurling. Often times when clients add a staggered grip their arms do not line up, so using the knurling to measure your hand placement will prevent this.

Finally, always keep your arms locked because bending them will increase the likelihood of a biceps tear.


4.  Take off Your Shoes and Get Comfortable

Dump the running shoes and anything with a large cushy heel on it.

You wouldn’t wear weightlifting shoes to run your next 10k, so don’t wear running shoes when setting a deadlift PR!

Go barefoot or use a minimalist shoe. The closer your foot is to the ground the better. It’s less distance to pull the bar  and lock out!

5.  Use Chalk

Chalk is here for a reason! It will increase your grip strength. Stronger grip = more weight lifted! Chalk fills in the cracks increasing the surface area of your hand. The larger surface area creates a KUNG-FU grip. So chalk it up!




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2 replies
  1. kla
    kla says:

    Hi there colin,
    not trying to get in your face with MATH… but, i don’t see how my arms are parallel to the ground. ..if they were, i would be in a flying position and NOT able to hold the barm
    perhaps the word we need is perpendicular. .. ,forming a right angle to the ground.
    OR, i am totally misunderstanding.


  2. Colin
    Colin says:

    Hi KLA,

    I work in a gym so math not my strong suite haha! BUT I meant ARMS PARALLEL TO EACH OTHER, and perpendicular to the ground. The wider they are the further you must pull the bar to lock out.



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