Few exercises are as effective as the deadlift for building strength. It's a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and core. However, as with any exercise, performing deadlifts correctly is important to avoid injury and maximise your workout. From improper use of deadlift jacks to excessive toe emphasis, here are some common deadlift mistakes and how to avoid them for better results.
Mistake #1: Rounding Your Back
The spine comprises a series of small bones called vertebrae connected by discs. When you curve your back during a deadlift, you put excessive pressure on these discs, which can cause them to bulge or rupture. This can bring pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and other body parts.
Maintaining a straight back during the lift is crucial to prevent this from happening. Additionally, engaging your core muscles can support your spine and ensure proper form.
Mistake #2: Starting with Your Hips Too Low
Starting with your hips too low while holding the deadlift jacks can make the lift more difficult and strain your lower back. Start with your hips at a comfortable height slightly higher than your knees to engage your glutes and hamstrings effectively and lift more weight with less strain on your back.
Mistake #3: Using Your Back Instead of Your Legs
Using your back muscles too much can put unnecessary strain on your spine and increase your risk of injury. Instead, focus on using your legs and glutes to initiate the lift. Keep your back straight and engage your core to maintain proper form throughout the lift.
Mistake #4: Failing to Warm Up Properly
Some people too busy for a proper warm-up may rush into their weightlifting routine, leading to injury or poor performance. To avoid this mistake, take the time to properly warm up your muscles with dynamic stretching and light cardio exercises. This will help prepare your body for the workout and improve your overall performance.
Mistake #5: Lifting Too Much Weight
Although increasing your weight over time is important, lifting too much weight too soon can be dangerous. It can cause injury to your back, knees, or other parts of your body. Start with a weight that you can lift comfortably and with proper form, and gradually increase the weight as your strength improves. Always listen to your body and never sacrifice form for weight.
Mistake #6: Neglecting Your Grip Strength
Deadlifts require a firm grip, but many people neglect their grip strength on the deadlift jack when training. This can limit the weight you can lift and increase your risk of injury. Hence, use grip trainers, such as hand grippers or fat grips, and incorporate grip exercises into your training routine.
Mistake #7: Not Using Proper Footwear
Footwear is crucial to perform a deadlift properly. Consider investing in lifting shoes or using flat-soled sneakers for your deadlift workouts to drive through your heels and maintain proper form. Wearing shoes with a cushioned sole or an elevated heel can reduce your balance and increase your risk of injury.
Deadlifts are great for building strength, but performing them correctly is important to avoid injury and maximise your workout. By avoiding these common deadlift mistakes, you can improve your form, increase your strength, and achieve better results.