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How to Warm Up Before Performing the Deadlift

How to Warm Up Before Performing the Deadlift


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The deadlift works your glutes, hamstrings, lower and upper back, forearms and core muscles. Doing your deadlifts correctly optimizes performance and prevents injury. One factor that you may overlook is warming up. Before you start loading any weight on to the bar, you need a deadlift-specific warm-up.

Step 1

Walk, jog or perform some light exercise on a cardiovascular machine. Every workout should begin with five to 10 minutes of aerobic activity to warm your joints and muscles. The goal is to break a sweat, says Towson University clinical professor Mary D. Nadelen. Visualize the workout ahead during this time, run through your deadlift technique and plan what you want to do.

Step 2

Stretch your hip flexors by adopting a half kneeling position, with your left knee on the floor and right foot out in front. Push your hips forward and lean your upper body back. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch sides. Stretch your chest by standing in a doorway and placing your forearms on either side. Lean forward until you get a stretch through your chest and shoulders. Powerlifter and trainer Eric Cressey writes in his book "Maximum Strength" that these two muscles need to be mobile before you deadlift, otherwise your form will suffer.

Step 3

Place a box at knee-height and jump onto it with as much power as you can generate. Perform five sets of three reps. Plyometric exercises such as box jumps activate your nervous system and prime your muscles, meaning you can lift more weight, notes Chad Smith, owner of Juggernaut Training Systems in Laguna Hills, California.

Step 4

Perform your first set of deadlifts with an empty barbell. Do 10 reps, then add a little weight. World-record powerlifter and strength coach Andy Bolton advises working up gradually to your top sets. Do at least five progressively heavier warm-up sets before you reach your heaviest weights for the workout. This lets your body get used to the movement and helps you refine your technique.



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