The Deadlift

The deadlift is a movement we use a lot here in French Vanoli, in our CrossFit and Strength and Core programmes, as well as with PT clients.

There are different variations of this movement that we use in our programmes.

–          Conventional Deadlift

–          Sumo Deadlift

–          Romanian (straight leg) Deadlift

–          Kettlebell Deadlift (sumo stance can be used also using one Kettlebell between the feet)

The reason why we love and use this movement so much is because quite simply, it works more muscles than any other exercise! It engages all of the major muscle groups, so although you are mainly targeting your posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, back muscles), you are also using your core muscles, as you will need to brace through your abdomen, to keep a tight, safe position. During the movement we need to keep a tight grip on the bar, so our forearms, arms and shoulders are getting a workout too.

Here are some of the main benefits you will get from the Deadlift:

–          Increased Strength

–          Better posture

–          Reduce the risk of injury in real life!

You now know how to lift correctly, so whether it’s picking up your child, lifting a box, or moving furniture, you will have a better understanding of how to do this safely and correctly.

–          Better Core Strength (one of the best abdominal exercises you can do – it’s not always about sit-ups!)

–          Cardiovascular workout (when done with sufficient intensity)

–          Requires minimal equipment so can be done anywhere! If you don’t have any equipment, use kettlebell variation and replace kettlebell with heavy object

Some tips when performing a deadlift:

–          Pinch shoulder blades back and down. They should stay in this position through the entire movement

–          Brace tightly through core before moving the bar. In other words take a big breath in, filling your belly with air, and hold. Only breath out when the bar is not moving, so either at the top or the bottom of the lift

–          Weight should be distributed towards the middle and heel of your foot, rather than the balls of your feet.

–          Think of pushing through your heels to move the bar off the floor, as apposed to yanking it up with your arms.

–          As you are getting towards the top of the movement squeeze your glutes to come to a tall position. There should be no backward lean at the top.

–          Keep eyes looking down or slightly forward, and avoid craning your neck.


Check out the video on how to perform the different variations of the Deadlift correctly