The Official Deadlift Checklist (AVOID MISTAKES!)

  • Published: 03 September 2017
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    The deadlift is one of the simplest exercises that is also one of the most often misperformed. In this video, I’m going to show you how to deadlift and make sure you get it right every rep by using a simple 7 step checklist. You’ll learn how and where to place your hands, feet and body in relation to the bar as well as how to lift the damn thing off the ground with the heaviest weights you can handle.

    Before ever deadlifting at all, it is a good idea to use a little bit of preparation. I show you a body prep and a movement prep to help grease the groove in both. The body prep is one that you can use quickly just to feel more loose prior to executing the deadlift. Place your feet wide against the inside of the plates and work to increase the mobility of your hips by addressing hamstring, pelvic and adductor tightnesses.

    The movement itself can be made much easier to visualize how to perform by going through a simple flow prior to lifting. Place your hands on your thighs and let them move down as you do nothing but hip hinge. Once the hands are at the level of the knees, stop hinging and simply let your knees bend to get your hands down to the bar. On the way up, you will be reversing the movement. Push only through your feet until your hands are at the level of your knees, at which point you will drive your hips forward to complete the lift.

    Once you feel loose and the movement is grooved, it is time to attack the deadlift with actual weight in your hands. Here you want to first be sure that your body is set up properly as it relates to the bar. Your feet should be hip width apart and the ties of your shoelaces should be visible beyond the bar when you look down at your feet.

    The hands should be just outside of your legs, with enough room to make sure that you aren’t scraping your arms against the outside of your legs on the way up and that you aren’t inadvertently bending your elbows when you press your knees outward on the ascent which can jeopardize the health of your biceps.

    Your grip can either be a double overhand, mixed grip or hook grip. The double overhand provides the least amount of stability but the most amount of muscle balance because of the uniformity of the hands and arms. The mixed grip can lead to imbalances between the muscles in the shoulder girdle if you don’t make sure to switch up between sets. The hook grip is definitely the most stabile but it is also the most uncomfortable and takes a lot of getting used to if you haven’t tried it before.

    The beginning of the lift must be thought of as a leg exercise to protect the integrity of your lower back. Push through your feet while keeping your hips down during the first part of the movement. Do this until the hands are at the level of the knee. At this point, the hips should fire forward as you drag the bar up your shins and now onto your thighs. Keep pulling your arms down to your sides which will help to keep the bar close and will engage the lats to ensure stability of the shoulder girdle throughout the lift.

    Reverse the movement back to the ground by first hinging at the hips until the bar is at the level of the knees and then simply bending the knees to get the bar back to the ground. When you want to learn how to do the deadlift it is important to have a few keys that you rely on and cue off of when performing it. I hope that these are very easy to both perform and visualize, making this the most helpful deadlifting tutorial that you have watched.

    For more coaching from me in a complete workout program, head to and pick the program best suited to your goals by using the program selector. Start training like an athlete and see incredible changes to your body by focusing not only on what exercises you are doing but how you are doing them.

    For more videos on how to deadlift and how to bench press, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 4 599

    ATHLEAN-X™   9 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Adarsh Kumar
      Adarsh Kumar  4 weeks back


    • junyevo18 allinoB
      junyevo18 allinoB  2 months back

      Us people who have back problems which position is the best to not feel back pain after lift?

    • David Nunez
      David Nunez  3 months back

      ATHLEAN-X™ Jeff somone told me that your ass is suppose to dip low to the floor?

    • Mr. Steve Barber
      Mr. Steve Barber  4 months back

      I tore my left labrum and use the mixed grip often cause letting my left arm hang straight down makes me too nervous. Any red flags 🚩? I’m not a professional athlete and don’t plan on doing any deadlift competitions. Will a mixed grip lead to issues? What issues? Thanks, Jeff!

    • asdfghjkl bcd
      asdfghjkl bcd  5 months back

      @Gaurav Kumar yeah obviously? how should i know obviously since you didn't state that you've used the belt before lol

  • MichiganMobster2
    MichiganMobster2  4 hours back

    Wish I would've watch this earlier today. I was trying to sumo deadlift with only 95lbs (warm up weight since I haven't dl in long time) on the way up I felt something shift and I saw stars followed by pain.. my first thoughts were, "shit I knew I should've watched Jeff's video on how to properly deadlift as a refresher". Oh well.

    • Kian Khodabandeh
      Kian Khodabandeh  9 hours back

      ❤️❤️❤️Jeff is only a Bodybuilder protect Angel

      • Ali Bhatti
        Ali Bhatti  2 days back

        He is a real gem 🥰

        • Ali Bhatti
          Ali Bhatti  2 days back

          Jeff's first day of school
          Teacher : what's you name kid ?
          Jeff : My name is Jeff Cavalier .

          • sujitm2008
            sujitm2008  2 days back

            This vid full of lecture...

            • prashant gusain
              prashant gusain  3 days back

              U r awesome

              • cuzz63
                cuzz63  3 days back

                Whats your thoughts on trap bar deadlifts?

                • Ali Floth
                  Ali Floth  3 days back

                  thank you

                  • Mick Roy
                    Mick Roy  5 days back

                    Wow love your teaching 👌thank you.🙏

                    • Macoladon C
                      Macoladon C  5 days back

                      I don’t know how you guys think that under hand over hand is helpful. It’s not right. Your hands need to be even to do it right.

                      • saraj00n
                        saraj00n  6 days back

                        Wow, Jeff really has short legs

                        • ChaunceyDos
                          ChaunceyDos  6 days back

                          Feel like I watch this one every 4 months for a reminder.

                          • Optimus Prime
                            Optimus Prime  6 days back

                            Jeff has a 10 incher🍆

                            • Impulse
                              Impulse  6 days back

                              12:03 (pause the video) when your form is not right

                              • Johnny Arc
                                Johnny Arc  7 days back

                                P E R F E C T!!! THANK YOU! YOU ARE THE BEST!

                                • mehmet metin
                                  mehmet metin  7 days back

                                  Who can dislike that video? Disliker please inform me why you have disliked.

                                  • rotartlifnI
                                    rotartlifnI  1 weeks back

                                    Jeff, when do you pull the slack out of the bar?

                                    • canyon moses
                                      canyon moses  1 weeks back

                                      Who even cares about the Library of Alexandria when we have Jeff

                                      • Rakesh Ramteke
                                        Rakesh Ramteke  1 weeks back

                                        Don't know how to thank you man? You are awesome!!!!🙏

                                        • Craig Reiling
                                          Craig Reiling  1 weeks back

                                          Awesome technique video. Where have you been all my life Jeff. I learned this the hard way by blowing my back out years ago.. Still paying for it today as have to be extra strict on my dead lifts and funny enough squats. You can't go wrong if you take all this on board guy's.. GG

                                          • TonyNeptune
                                            TonyNeptune  1 weeks back

                                            Jeff, thank you!!!! This is the best explanation of how to properly deadlift I have ever seen! I wished this step-by-step form had been explained to me 25 years ago as you have just explained. I used to be a powerlifter from my teens through my late 20's, but my deadlift form was awful and eventually lead to a lower back injury. My coach was also a physical therapist and tried his best to explain deadlift form to me but seeing the visual here was the exact detail that I needed to finally understand. I am getting back into training again and will definitely practice this form to prevent injury going forward. Thanks again for the video. This is a goldmine!!!!

                                            • Derrick Hewett
                                              Derrick Hewett  1 weeks back

                                              I have actually shied away from this exercise because of many people I know hurting themselves one way or another. Thank you Jeff. I feel very confident to implement this slowly and carefully ofcourse.

                                              • Mocha Cat
                                                Mocha Cat  1 weeks back

                                                Should deadlift push with heels when we are doing the initial leg press?

                                                • Carlos Gomez
                                                  Carlos Gomez  1 weeks back

                                                  Watched this video yesterday and deadlifted today; I felt really good about my form. Thanks!

                                                  • Clarence Garraway
                                                    Clarence Garraway  1 weeks back

                                                    Thank you very much for the info I have learnt soo much from them

                                                    • Just Gator
                                                      Just Gator  1 weeks back

                                                      4:17 Jesse in the background when he first started at AthleanX.

                                                      • Jackson Omushien
                                                        Jackson Omushien  1 weeks back

                                                        so why would someone dislike the video? are you mad??? Free professional advice!

                                                        • Dan Hurst
                                                          Dan Hurst  1 weeks back

                                                          The anticipation build up to the actual lift was killing me!!

                                                          • Ross Richardson
                                                            Ross Richardson  2 weeks back

                                                            100% recommend your videos because you explain the science and importance of every step. You never see athlean-x doing and exercise "just because you get gainz". Appreciate the knowledge please keep it up. Low key you should break down every single lift like you did this one and the views will follow.

                                                            • N J
                                                              N J  2 weeks back

                                                              Amazing video

                                                              • Trey Way
                                                                Trey Way  2 weeks back

                                                                I would now go deadlift our house

                                                                • Hazardous Raw
                                                                  Hazardous Raw  2 weeks back

                                                                  Thank you

                                                                  • Prasanth Annam
                                                                    Prasanth Annam  2 weeks back

                                                                    I can bet my ass that there is no better video on any media which explains deadlift as much as Jeff did in this video. Respect of highest order to you Jeff!

                                                                    • kosherpickle
                                                                      kosherpickle  2 weeks back

                                                                      Thanks Jeff!

                                                                      • MW
                                                                        MW  2 weeks back

                                                                        Honestly I’ve learned so much for free from Jeff it’s amazing. 18 months ago I thought I had all the answers, but the truth is you can never learn enough. Always learning is the key. I laugh at how inexperienced I was In the gym 12-18 months ago compared to these days, so thanks Jeff. Helped me out massively.

                                                                        • S L
                                                                          S L  2 weeks back

                                                                          Theres a reason why its called Deadlift. It kills all your muscles in a good way

                                                                          • Ajmobilemastertechnician Nunez

                                                                            Very good explanation 👍🏻

                                                                            • -NICK-FR- /SM/SR
                                                                              -NICK-FR- /SM/SR  2 weeks back

                                                                              Saitama could have ultra instinct if he do dead lift

                                                                              • Clinton King
                                                                                Clinton King  2 weeks back

                                                                                PICKS UP WATER TO DRINK

                                                                                JEFF : YOU DOING THAT WRONG

                                                                                • John wick
                                                                                  John wick  2 weeks back

                                                                                  When he say hip hinge ,hip hinge he reminds me of Ross from friends saying....dangeeeerrrrr🤗🤗😃

                                                                                  • Moe Younas
                                                                                    Moe Younas  2 weeks back

                                                                                    Just go lift, dude, just fucking lift the weight

                                                                                    • biohazard737
                                                                                      biohazard737  2 weeks back

                                                                                      god, so glad i watched this. i think my form has been messed up this whole time. love this guy

                                                                                      • Sultan Khan
                                                                                        Sultan Khan  2 weeks back

                                                                                        thank you

                                                                                        • bearshark p
                                                                                          bearshark p  2 weeks back

                                                                                          This should be required gospel for all us army soldiers now that the ACFT is one month away from going live

                                                                                          • Domz
                                                                                            Domz  2 weeks back

                                                                                            I honestly think of a mountain when i deadlift and the shape of it idk why i just do👌

                                                                                          • Suleman Jafrani
                                                                                            Suleman Jafrani  2 weeks back

                                                                                            Where should I put the deadlift in my split?

                                                                                            • Ryan Huestis
                                                                                              Ryan Huestis  2 weeks back

                                                                                              Pull day. But you can use different variations of deadlifts for legs

                                                                                          • KarimKiss
                                                                                            KarimKiss  2 weeks back

                                                                                            Brilliant tutorial! 👌