How To Deadlift: Layne Norton's Complete Guide – Bodybuilding.com



research is my passion muscle and strength are my pursuits I'm the power lifter bodybuilder scientist and coach I'm Layne Norton I am a physique architect just like with squats for the first half of my lifting career I avoided deadlifts they were hard and I just didn't really want to do them but once I finally decided that I needed to catch my back up to the rest of my body I consistently started incorporating deadlifts and it made all the difference when I did my first series of natural Pro shows in 2010 the judges couldn't believe the difference I'd made in back size and density now five years later my back's got even bigger and my dad looks cotton even better when I decided to consistently start deadlifting I did a ton of research on proper form and how to execute the lifts but I also learned from some of the best people I know including in escrow dr. Mike Soros and Matt Geary compiling all that information has led me to where I am today and I'm going to use it to teach you how to deadlift more safely and efficiently there are essentially two ways to deadlift either conventional or sumo in this video I'm gonna break down both before we get into breaking down the deadlift I want to talk about useful pieces of equipment I recommend for deadlift Footwear is very important for deadlifts you're looking for three things one you want something with a lot of grip to you want something with a flat sole and three you want something that flow to the ground lower to the ground you are the less distance you have to pull the bar if you're using something with a raised heel you have to pull the bar further thus I don't recommend squat shoes for dead lifting also I don't recommend sneakers they're probably the worst things you can wear you want something with a hard sole sneaker sole is very soft and you'll be losing energy transfer when you deadlift I recommend things like deadlift slippers wrestling shoes or even Chuck Taylors as with squat a belt can be very helpful on deadlift a belt gives you something to brace your abdominal wall against and keep you more upright as you complete the movement I recommend a good ten to thirteen millimeter powerlifting belt most people wear their belt too low I recommend wearing your belt just under your ribs right where your abdominal wall pushes out when you brace during a lift belt tightness is a little bit up to the individual but I don't prefer something so tight that you can't brace effectively but you also don't want it so loose that it doesn't provide support I recommend keeping it one notch off the absolute tightest setting that you can possibly go as we'll discuss later a straight bar path is very important during deadlifts it is also important to keep the bar as close as possible to your body this means that if you're not wearing long socks or tights you're going to scrape your shins in fact it may leave you bruised and bloodied thus I recommend wearing either knee-high socks tights or long pants during your deadlifts another piece of equipment that can be useful is straps now–if grip is a problem for you on deadlift and you're a competitive power lifter I recommend training without straps but if grip isn't a problem or you're just a bodybuilder who's looking to maximize muscle mass and doesn't want to worry about your grip then straps can be very helpful if you're not going to use straps on a deadlift I recommend using chalk it will enable you to get a better grip on the bar making it easier to complete the lift so now that we've discussed equipment let's talk about the components that make up a good deadlift first I'm going to teach you how to set up for a conventional deadlift foot position is a little bit up to the individual but in general I would stand in the position where you can generate the most power and that is typically where you'd be able to jump the highest in a standing vertical leap your hand position should be just outside of your shins if you grip too wide you're actually gonna have to pull the bar a further distance so you want it as close to your shins as you can optimal starting position will be with your shins at 90 degrees to the ground and your scapula over the bar this ensures that you pull the bar in a straight line and generate maximum force just like on squat before you begin the movement you want to take in a deep breath and brace your abdominal wall this is gonna protect your spine and enable you to generate more force before you start the movement you also want to pull the slack out of the bar by engaging your lats many people just jerk the bar off the ground but this is incorrect jerking the bar off the ground is more likely to put whip into the bar and cause your lower back to round and prevent you from keeping a straight bar path now I'm going to show you how to set up for a sumo deadlift foot positioning on sumo deadlift is going to be more variable than unconventional but you want to set up so that your shins end up at 90 degrees when you begin to pull an easy way to find out where your foot position should be on sumo is to look into a mirror get into your starting position and then play around with different foot widths find the one where your shin is at 90 degrees to start the movement on a sumo deadlift if you're also going to need to point your toes out if you point your toes forward your knees are going to be in the way and it's going to be much harder to complete the movement your hand position should be a straight line down to the bar the rest of the setup points for sumo are very similar to conventional you want your shins at 90 degrees to the ground you want your scapula over the bar you want to breathe and brace you want to engage your lats and pull slack out of the bar now that we've talked about deadlift setup let's get into the execution about the conventional and sumo deadlift many of the cues for the execution of the sumo and conventional deadlift are very similar but we're gonna start with conventional as we discussed and set up you want to breathe in deep brace your abdominal wall and pull the slack out of the bar by engaging your lats initiate the movement by thinking about trying to bend the bar that will engage your lats automatically and then pushing the floor away from you think about a leg press it's similar to your setup on a conventional deadlift you've got your thighs close to your abdominal wall and you're pressing the leg press away from you so instead of the leg press think about that being the ground you're pressing the ground away from you as soon as the bar leaves the floor you want to think about squeezing your glutes and driving your hips forward this is gonna enable you to keep a straight bar path and lock out more effectively unlike in conventional where you want to initiate the movement by pushing the floor away from you and a sumo deadlift you want to initiate the movement by thinking about spreading the floor apart once the bar has left the ground you want to think about squeezing your glutes and driving your hips forward just like you would unconventional as you lockout stand erect but do not hyper extend your lower back just stand straight up and lock out your lower back once you're locked out you don't want to just drop the weight but you don't want to lower it to slowly item many people have seen injure their lower backs have done so trying to lower the bar too slowly this creates a lot of torque on your lower back the easiest way to initiate lowering the bar is to unlock your glutes and let your hips drive back and the bar should be lowered in a straight bar path almost identical to the one that came up in one major point to note is that conventional and sumo deadlifts are not going to feel the same in terms of speed a conventional deadlift is typically going to be very fast off the floor and slower to lock out whereas a proper sumo deadlift is going to be slow off the floor and fast to lock out now that we've talked about how to properly execute conventional and sumo deadlifts let's talk about some of the most common mistakes we see in the gym the biggest and most dangerous mistake I see on deadlifts is rounding of the lower back spinal flexion this creates uneven pressure on the discs and is more likely to lead to a back injury another big mistake I see is the bar separating from the shin the further away from your body that bar gets the longer the moment arm and the greater the torque on your lower back keeping the bar as close to your shin as possible ensures that you can apply the maximum amount of force and move the bar more effectively and safely another mistake I see people making is not engaging their lats and pulling the slack out of the bar this increases the whip that goes into the bar the likelihood that the bar will separate from your shin and increases the difficulty to lock out another mistake I see is people who lock their knees too early while locking your knees earlier will help you get the bar off the ground faster it will make it much more difficult to lock out because the bar will have separated from your shin increasing the torque another really critical mistake I see people make is people who over dip their hips trying to squat the right off the ground the deadlift is not a squat people who have long legs are not going to be able to get a lot of quadriceps into the movement especially on a conventional deadlift remember that in order to exert the maximum amount of force the shins have to be perpendicular and the shoulder blades have to be over the bar if you over dip your hips and lean too far back your shoulder blades will be behind the bar to initiate the movement and for the bar to come off the ground the shoulder blades will now have to get back over the bar this means you will have to come forward as you're starting the movement coming forward as you're starting the movement is one of the worst things that can happen if you're coming forward as you start the movement you are much more likely to have the bar separate from your shin lock your knees too early and round your lower back while many people like to touch and go deadlifts I do not I see many people bouncing the bar off the floor and with each rep they get less and less tight and getting a worse and worse position I recommend taking a split second to let the bar settle make sure in a good position and restart the movement as with any movement the more you do it the better you're going to get at it I recommend starting light focusing on bar path and the cues we discussed and getting comfortable with the movement before you really start getting heavy remember deadlift is a high reward movement but is also high risk if not done properly now I realize that's a lot of information to process at one time that's why I recommend watching this video several times to pick up more and more tips along with this video I recommend reading the detailed article here on bodybuilding.com for more great articles and videos from me and other great contributors keep coming back to bodybuilding.com

20 Comments

  1. He sumo deadlift!

  2. i lift barefoot . . . . .

  3. letting your lower back to arch when lifting is part of the right technique, "Mr. body architect" …???!!!!

  4. Mega extraction processes

  5. I mean .., just lift the damn thing

  6. unlock your glutes :DDD

  7. can u send a link to the blue shirt you are wearing i want to buy one!

  8. 0:10 Who is Layne Norton
    0:34 Backstory on the importance of deadlifts
    01:14 Sources of technique & methods taught.
    01:29 The Two Types of Deadlifts
    01:46 Equipment Needed
    04:26 Setup to the Conventional Deadlift
    05:38 Setup to the Sumo Deadlift
    06:54 Execution of the Conventional Deadlift
    07:47 Execution of the Sumo Deadlift
    08:38 Main Differences of the two styles
    09:03 Common Mistakes
    11:30 Suggest beginner tips

  9. If I could go back 30 years ago when I first started lifting weights, I would smack myself in the face yelling at me!!!! “do lifts DO DEAD LIFTS DO!!!!!! DEADLIFTS !!!!! “I would look much better.
    Lesson to you newbs to lifting. Do these !!!!

  10. This idiot nearly lost his toes when dropping the weights

  11. 1:32 that ain't conventional, that's the snap city way, my dude

  12. This guys a power lifter right? So for the first half of his career was he only doing bench press?
    Also very impressive that he can squat so heavy with such skinny legs

  13. These are so annoying

  14. complete guide, no mention on hand grip positions and head/neck positions.

  15. Layme Norton

  16. Is this derren brown twin ? He sounds and looks just like him 🤣

  17. I wear 6ft hill when deadlifts

  18. Very nice and obvious illustration , Thanks

  19. Scientist?? Wow

  20. horrible form

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