Psyching Yourself Up For A Deadlift Workout

Psyching Yourself Up For A Deadlift Workout

We’re deadlifting this month, and I’d love to hear how it’s going for everyone so far. (I did one workout already, and will try to get in two next week.) But if you’re new to this, or if you find the move intimidating, we have some suggestions for how to prepare.

First, plan your workout: when and where will you do it? What equipment will you use? Will you do deadlifts first thing and then move on to something totally different, or do you have a whole leg day routine that this works into?

Second, stake out your space. In some gyms, deadlift bars are hard to find, not to mention space to use them. Look for extra bars hanging off the back of a squat rack, leaning against a wall in the corner, or tucked under a machine by the wall. When in doubt, ask.

If you can’t find a good space to set up, consider coming to the gym during a less busy time and making your own space: move a weight bench aside, or do your deadlifts in a power cage.

Finally, warm up. Technically, you don’t have to, as long as you do several warm-up sets of light, easy lifts before you start your work sets. But if you’d like to do a dynamic warmup, this one is perfect:

In the video, you can see five exercises that work and lightly stretch the hamstrings and glutes: downward dog, upward dog, inchworms (tiptoeing your feet forward while your hands are on the ground), side lunges, an “over the fence” lunge stretch, and a one-leg floor touch.

Dynamic stretches like this are better than static stretching right before a lift, because holding a stretch can temporarily decrease your strength. Static stretches are fine if you like how they feel or if you’re working on flexibility, but do them after you’ve finished your big lifts for the day.

So, how have the deadlifts been going? Did you try your first deadlift in a while, or your first ever? Are you using barbells and plates in a gym, or finding alternatives at home? I did some medium-weight deadlifts this week during an early morning gym session, when I didn’t have to fight anyone for bars or for floor space. Good luck out there.

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