60 Second Deadlift Tip: Push, Not Pull

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We often think of the deadlift as a pulling exercise, and that’s true.

But it’s also very much a pushing exercise.

Push, Not Pull

In the most rudimentary sense the deadlift can best be described as an action where one bends over at the waist, wraps his or her’s hands around a barbell, and then “pulls” said barbell off the ground until they’re standing fully upright with their knees and hips locked.

Of course, there are a few important nuances with regards to back position to consider.

For brevity’s sake you can think of the setup as shoulders above the chest, and chest above the hips.


Not This

Ya Heard

Anyway, you want to think about putting force into ground and pushing away, rather than just pulling the bar off the floor.

In my experience whenever I see someone’s back rounding or I see their hips come up a bit too early I find they’re not placing any emphasis on the PUSH (and using their quads to help with leg drive).

Another option is to think about “pushing the ground away from you.” This subtle reframing has made a profound difference with many of the lifters I’ve worked with.

Give it a try.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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