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Everything You Need To Know To Accomplish Proper Deadlifts

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 20, 2022

Deadlifts are considered an essential exercise when it comes to any strength training program and is a key component of powerlifting. While there are multiple pieces of equipment you can use to complete a set of deadlifts, the most common is your standard barbell.

For anyone wishing to strengthen their lower and upper back muscles, prevent osteoporosis later in life, and increase bone density, deadlifts are a recommended exercise.

In this guide, we’re going to walk through everything you need to know in order to accomplish a proper deadlift. We’re going to walk through the benefits of deadlift exercises, hex bar deadlifts compared to squat deadlifts, look at the best deadlift straps, how to use those straps, and explore deadlift assistance exercises. Let’s get going!

Benefits of Deadlifts Exercises

Deadlifts have a wide range of health benefits and are beneficial for both athletes and non-athletes alike.

One excellent benefit of this exercise is that it activates your hip extensors, including your hamstring complex and gluteus maximus. Compared to squats, deadlifts are superior when it comes to training your hip extensors, and are a key part of a well-rounded fitness routine.

Deadlifts can also improve your bone mineral density, improve jump performance, and reduce lower back pain. One of the most common complaints in the general population is lower back pain, which is an ailment that deadlifts can potentially help solve.

Additionally, deadlifts are very simple exercises to perform and don’t require you to have any special equipment. If you have a barbell and some plates or any object that has weight and a handle, you’ll be able to complete a set of deadlift exercises.

Hex Bar Deadlifts vs Squat

Depending on your exercise goals, you may enjoy doing deadlifts or squats more often. For building up your core, back muscles, glutes, and legs, deadlifts are the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you’re interested in a beginner-friendly exercise that can build up your hip strength and leg muscles, then squats are preferred.

Instead of doing a deadlift with a barbell, perhaps you’ve seen a hex bar or “trap bar” being used. Invented in the 1980s by Al Gerard, a competitive powerlifter, the hex bar is a hexagonal-shaped metal bar used for deadlifting.

There are typically two handles on each side to hold on to the bar, as well as stub bars on each side of the hex bar to hold your plates. In order to do a hex bar deadlift, stand at the center of the hexagon, grab the handles, and then stand up while lifting the bar and keeping your back straight.

While the hex bar deadlift requires you to have a trap bar on hand, squats can be performed without any weight or by holding a free weight such as a kettlebell.

Both the hex bar deadlift and squat are excellent exercises, and the one you choose will depend on your workout goals.

Deadlifts are considered an essential exercise when it comes to any strength training program and is a key component of powerlifting. While there are multiple pieces of equipment you can use to complete a set of deadlifts, the most common is your standard barbell.

Best Deadlifts Straps

Lifting straps are used to boost your grip and increase your ability to perform pulling movements, such as those done during a deadlift. We’re going to walk through some of the best deadlift straps on the market and help you choose the ideal lifting strap for your strength training.

Rip Toned Lifting Wrist Straps

The Rip Toned Lifting Wrist Straps have everything you need in order to lift heavy weights with comfort. These straps have a long cotton strap that’ll easily wrap around your bar multiple times, giving you a superior grip. With this strap’s neoprene wrist support, it’ll be much more comfortable for longer-duration lifts.

Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps

The Gymreapers Lifting Wrist Straps are ideal for affordability, support, and comfort. They have a neoprene pad around the wrist that makes them extra comfortable to wear and contain 18 inches of cotton blend fabric in order to ensure a secure fit around your lifting bar. They come in multiple colors including green, pink, and black, and also have a lifetime guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product.

How to Use Deadlifts Straps

If you’ve never used lifting straps before, getting them secured for the first time can be rather confusing. In this section, we’re going to walk you through how to use deadlift straps from start to finish.

  1. To begin, slide the long strap’s end through the opening loop as if you were trying to make a circle
  2. Hold your palms up and open your hands, sliding the loop over and onto your wrists
  3. Make sure that the end of your lifting straps is properly aligned with the direction of your thumbs
  4. Begin your lifting exercises

Properly using deadlift straps will allow you to get more leverage with heavyweight, and improve the efficiency of your deadlifts.

Deadlifts Assistance Exercises

deadlift assistanceDeadlifts are a great exercise to do on their own, but with some additional assistance exercises, you can make your deadlift session even more productive.

Pairing your deadlifts with barbell bent-over rows or machine rows is a great way to strengthen your Latissimus Dorsi, Deltoids, and Trapezius muscles. If you want to maintain proper deadlift posture, these are the primary muscles you’ll use.

For assisting your legs, do single-leg leg presses to strengthen your glutes and quadriceps, which are the primary muscles used during a deadlift. Doing so will allow you to more efficiently perform your deadlifts as your core leg muscles will be much stronger after multiple repetitions and sets of leg presses.


When you do deadlifts, how many reps should you do?

If you’re relatively new to doing deadlifts, 4 sets of 6 repetitions are typically recommended. In order to ensure consistency, use the same amount of weight during each session, and if you feel that the weight is too little, you can add more the next time you exercise.

Are deadlifts worth it?

Yes, deadlifts are worth doing if you want to build upper and lower back strength. Strengthening your back muscles can reduce potential back injuries later in life by building up your bone density and working to prevent osteoporosis.

Do deadlifts compress your spine?

While conventional deadlifts do strain your lower back the most, they do not directly harm your spinal cord or the disks within your spine. Keeping proper form is one of the most important aspects of safety when performing deadlifts, so take extra care to ensure that your form isn’t skewed in order to avoid any possible injuries.


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