Tip: How to Set Up for the Deadlift

Here are three universal rules for the deadlift that work for just about every lifter.

There's no one right way to deadlift. And there's no one variation of the deadlift that everyone has to do. Leverages, ability level, injury history, and preference will determine what's best for you. But for the conventional deadlift, these "golden rules" work for most people:

  1. First, make sure your armpits are right above the bar. Many people set up with their armpits too far forward. This causes your body weight to tip forward into your toes which puts strain on the back. To get the weight back, make sure your armpits are above the bar.
  2. Next find the maximum tension in the hamstrings. Play around with your hip position. Make sure that they aren't too low or too far forward.
  3. To complete the rep, pull the bar into you like you're shaving your legs.