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Deadlift Setup

Hey, it’s Jennifer. Today I want to talk about deadlifts and how to set up in the right position.

So this is for just your standard deadlift with a barbell. I like to be picky about the starting position or the setup, because if you start in the right place, things after that usually go a lot better.

I want to talk about some common faults that I see. A lot of people do a really “squatty” deadlift. So they start with their butt super low, and you can see their knees peeking out the front of their arms. That is going to be basically a squat. So we’re not loading and strengthening the low back and the backside as much as we could.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is having your hips too high, being almost straight legged when you start. So now the knees are behind the arms, and the hips are almost level with the shoulders. That is actually its own, different, kind of deadlift. You’re not going to be able to maximize how much you can lift in this position.

A good rule of thumb for most bodies is to line your knees up with your elbows or your forearms. So if someone looking at you from the side can’t see your knees either in front or behind your arms, you’re probably in a pretty good spot. What we’re looking for is shoulders above the hips, and the hips are above the knees.

So if you start too low and that squatty deadlift, the hips are pretty close to the knee level, and if you come up too high, your hips are pretty much level with your shoulders. We want kind of that V position. And then you just stand up from there.

So give it a try! It’s helpful to have a mirror so you can see if the knees-in-line-with-your-elbows cue works for your body. But in general shoulders, above the hips, above the knees. So try the knees in line with your forearms trick and let us know how it goes. Thanks!

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