25 Tips For a Bigger Deadlift

If there’s one question I get asked the most, it’s how can I increase my deadlift. Well it’s Christmas in June because here are 25 quick tips to get your deadlift higher:

  1. Visualize yourself completing the lift ahead of time. Go through every single second of the pull, from pulling the slack out of the bar and the fight to get it moving to the final lockout. This is an underrated but super effective technique. Trust!
  2. Organize your spine and upper body before reaching for the bar. Use a top-down setup, locking down your torso before reaching for the bar.
  3. Flex your lats hard to pull your shoulders down; not back, not forward, down!
  4. Take a big breath and flex your abs (push them out). If you don’t know how to do the valsalva, learn!
  5. Get all your weight on your heels.
  6. Grip the bar with your hands directly under your shoulders to get the maximum length from your arms and to decrease the distance you have to pull the bar. Not too wide, not too narrow …. just right
  7. Keep your lower back tight, but your upper back (thoracic spine) relaxed
  8. Keep your head in the neutral position at the start. Neither up nor down, but straight ahead.

    Yours truly pulling over triple bodyweight

    Yours truly pulling over triple bodyweight

  9. Lean back to the point that you would fall if the weight was not there to counter balance you, trying to get as much tension as you can on your glutes and hamstrings. That happens with close to vertical shins and the right hip height. Find that tension!
  10. Flex your triceps while pulling. This prevent bicep tears.
  11. Commit to the pull! Start pulling right after you grab the bar. The deadlift is a mental war!
  12. Take the slack out of the bar and get your whole body tight.
  13. Ease the weight off the floor. Once it leaves the floor, about two to three inches, then apply as much speed as possible. Don’t jerk the bar off the floor.
  14. Drive your heels into the ground as if you’re pulling yourself into the ground.
  15. The bar should ride up your legs, keeping the weight as close to your body as possible,
  16. As the bar passes your knees, drive your hips forward as hard and fast as you can while squeezing your glutes
  17. Drive your head back as you pull
  18. Overextend at the top by trying to get the shoulders behind your waist as fast as you can (That doesn’t mean to hyper-extend your lower back).
  19. Squeeze the UPPER glutes at the top to lock the quads in and limit bent-knee lockouts.
  20. DO NOT STOP PULLING! See #12. This is WAR! The only way you stop is if it falls out of your hands or your lower back collapses and loses its arch.
  21. Keep your hips flexible to be able to pull from the best leveraged positions
  22. Use heavy kettlebell swings to build explosiveness and speed
  23. Sumo Deadlift: Spread your knees out to get your crotch close to bar. Spread the floor as you pull
  24. Conventional Deadlift: For more power off the ground, try turning your feet slightly out and slightly pushing your knees out at the bottom
  25. Conventional Deadlift: Try dropping your hips lower than you want them to be right before pulling. Let your hips rise as you take the slack out of the bar until you hit the perfect leverage point, then start pulling.

Happy Pulling!


Jonathan Mielec is the Owner of Form From Function LLC, and the author of the blog at formfromfunction.com, as well as an ISSA Certified Master Trainer, NPC Physique Competitor, and Powerlifter.