In our opinion deadlifts are one of the most superior exercises that you should be including into your weekly exercise schedule. It is one of few exercises that causes you to train multiple muscle groups at one time, especially your posterior chain (the whole back of you). A typical conventional deadlift is a fairly straight forward set up, but at the same time can easily be performed wrong, this is how you should set up before you go to lift:

  • Foot positioning, before you even attempt to pick the bar up, you need to ensure your feet are positioned correctly. Shoulder width apart, your feet should sit under the bar so it is in line with the balls of your feet.
  • Start position, now that your feet are set up and ready to go you will have to lower yourself down to the starting position of the rep. Engage your core and keeping your chest high (focus your eyes on a point straight in front of you will help with keeping your chest up) lower your hips until you can reach the bar with your hands. (If you find this position uncomfortable then check my regression exercises to help you work up to this point)
  • Once you are in the starting position, keeping the upper arm relaxed and shoulders retracted, drive your feet into the ground forcing yourself to stand up. At the top of the movement your core should still be engaged, and your shoulder should be relaxed. (no shrugging at the top of the movement)
  • Performing the same ques as we mentioned, lower yourself back down to the ground into your starting point, ready for the next rep.


As mentioned, some of you may find the start position uncomfortable if you haven’t done it before, the easiest way to do this is to learn the movements from the very beginning.

  • Start with a body weight hip hinge and understand how to let your hips move back and forward while maintaining a neutral spine.
  • Kettlebell deadlift (KB). Once you can hip hinge, move onto a kettlebell deadlift which requires the same set up ques, but a slighter shorter range of motion as the hand positioning while be narrow rather than outside your body.
  • Once you feel comfortable using a KB, you can move onto block pulls. Using the same set up still but now the weights are set up higher using blocks underneath them, this shortens the range of motion making the exercise slightly easier and more comfortable than it is pulling from the floor.


Once you can perform a conventional deadlift with ease, you can manipulate the movement to make it harder and hit more of a certain muscle group.

  • Romanian deadlift, which places  a lot of emphasise on the hamstrings a glutes.
  • Sumo deadlifts which take your foot position wider, to emphasise the contraction on the glutes.

We will cover these two movements in the next few week

Reece Halsey

Impact Personal Trainer