For those of us who have practiced using the dead weights, free weights, lifting approach, there are many reasons to like them.

As opposed to electric powered workout machines, they never break down, they are easy to understand and work with.

In terms of storage, they are very unobtrusive and can be hidden away in the closet of your home or apartment.

So many of us still use free weights and the dead lift format in our exercise regime.

The Dead Lift is a lift made from a standing position, without the use of a bench or other equipment.

Dead lifts can be performed using dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells with one hand or two hands & with one leg or two legs.

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Because of the advances in technology, sometimes it might be easy to feel that dead lifts and free weights are a thing of the past. Fortunately not all agree.

At the informative and healthful site we frequently visit,, they encourage, “If the major goal of your weightlifting program is to gain overall strength, you should add deadlifts to your routine. Deadlifts are compound exercises that require the use of all your major muscle groups. The strength that you achieve from performing deadlifts is also practical and can help you in your everyday life. To maximize the benefits you receive, and to ensure your safety, it is important that you perform deadlifts with proper form. Consult with your health care provider before beginning an exercise program.”

By all means please consult your doctor, physical therapist or health care provider before altering your workout program but if you are open to it, using the dead lift format can be very beneficial to you.

We invite you to listen to a guest speaker to see why.

7 Tips For Mastering the Dead Lift – Possibly the Best Muscle Building Exercise Ever Invented

By Ged Mccabe 

The squat is the only exercise that even gets near to the dead lift as a mass builder. Done correctly, the dead lift is super productive, but it’s important that it is done correctly. You can build up to using a lot of weight in this movement, which means that there is potential for permanent injury if your technique is off.

Here are 7 top tips for mastering the dead lift.

  1. Set your back before each rep that you do

Most injuries in the dead lift are lower back related. Your lower back gets a terrific workout when you dead lift, simply by having to keep it straight during each lift. You can even have a slight arch in your back (a concave arch, not a convex one) to hold the rigid position.

  1. Lead with your head

By leading with your head, and looking straight ahead or even a little bit up, you can achieve two things;

First, it helps you to keep your back straight.

Second, it helps to stop your knees from straightening too soon. This helps keep the stress of the weight on the thighs, glutes and hamstrings, which in turn takes stress off the lower back. To help you lead with your head, try and focus your eyes on a spot on the wall a little above head height.

  1. Never allow your back to round

This is vital, and probably how most back injuries happen. If your back is rounding then you are using too much weight. Build the weight up gradually. You could also strengthen your back by doing back extensions. If you even suspect your back is starting to round, dump the bar. (Under control if you can.)

  1. Never rush the reps

When you get into heavier weights there’s a tendency to rush the reps in order to finish the set. You must resist this temptation. As you start to rush, you won’t be getting down low enough at the beginning of the next rep, which means that you’re doing a dangerous form of stiff leg dead lift.

One way to avoid this is to dead lift in rest-pause style. You do one rep, and set the bar down, and stand up. Then get down and pull the next rep. Then set the bar down and stand up. Then pull the next rep, and so on. Your sets will take a bit longer to do this way, but at least you’re certain of doing them correctly, and the muscle building effect will be greater.

This also makes you mentally tougher for when the weights get really heavy. If you were doing say two sets of 10 reps, try thinking of each set as ten sets of one rep each.

  1. Push through your heels and squeeze the bar off the floor.

By pushing through the heels, you keep the stress of the weight off the knees. Try and imagine that you’re pushing your feet through the floor as you lift the bar up. Feed the power in through your heels and keep the movement as smooth as possible.

This is to help you to avoid jerking the bar up, which could lead to injury.

  1. Never Dead lift if you back is fatigued

You need your back to be absolutely fresh before you begin you session of dead lifts. It’s a very demanding exercise. Take an extra day off if you have to. If you’re dead lifting later in the day, try and avoid any exercise that may tire your back and detract from your workout later on.

For this reason, consider making the dead lift the first exercise in that day’s work out.

  1. Don’t do the “Do or Die” rep

You don’t need to train the dead lift to failure, in fact it can be dangerous to do so. If you feel that there’s a possibility that you can’t pull the next rep, don’t try – it’s an injury waiting to happen.

One way to make sure this never happens is to build the weight up gradually. Yes, the dead lift is mighty hard work, but the bar should never surprise you with how heavy it is. Make small increases in the weight, and don’t increase the weight unless you made the required number of reps in the workout previous.

Happy dead lifting!

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Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.