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Defranco Fitness Tips: How to Practice Proper Deadlift Form

Defranco Fitness Tips: How to Practice Proper Deadlift Form

Written by
January 16, 2016
Updated April 11, 2018

Benefits of Deadlifts

The barbell deadlift is one of the greatest exercises of all time for developing full body strength. It really is the king of all lifts. Even so, most people do it wrong and they end up injuring their low back because of it. So, today I am going to go over proper deadlift form.

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Proper Deadlift Form Steps

Step 1: Always deadlift without your shoes. Most sneakers have a heel on them which pulls you forward, and pulls you out of position.

Step 2: Close your eyes and do a vertical jump. Wherever your feet our when you land is where you want to position your stance. This is usually about hip width.

Step 3: Place your shins close to the bar, but not right on the bar. Keep your shins around an inch from the bar and perform a hip hinge until your hands are around the barbell.

Step 4: Before you pull the barbell off the floor, you are going to pull the slack out of the bar. If their is 135 pounds on the bar, only pull with 134 pounds of force. Make sure your chin is tucked, this will ensure you maintain a neutral spine.

Step 5: Force your knees out against your arms, this will create torque at the hips.

Step 6: Make your pull and stand up straight, do not over arch and overextend your back.

Defranco Fitness Tips: How to Practice Proper Deadlift Form


Joe DeFranco is the founder and owner of the world-famous DeFranco’s Gym (now located at the Onnit Academy in Austin, TX). His gym has been named one of America’s 10 Best Gyms by Men’s Health magazine and one of the Top 5 Most Innovative Gyms in the USA by For the past 18 years, athletes from around the world have hired Joe because of his remarkable ability to improve strength, speed, flexibility and power. Joe’s training techniques have been featured on ESPN, Spike TV, NFL Network, WWE Network, Men’s Health Magazine, Men’s Fitness Magazine, and in the NY Times best-seller, "The 4-Hour Body". His resume includes NFL players from all 32 teams, MLB players, NHL Players, WWE superstars, UFC fighters, and Olympic athletes. You can learn more about Joe and his training techniques online at, as well as his membership site DeFranco’s caters to serious high school, college and professional athletes that are driven to reach their full athletic potential. Every square inch of the facility is dedicated to getting athletes brutally strong, lightning fast and mentally tough. What you will find with Defranco Training is an incredibly motivating, intense atmosphere; the best training equipment in the world; and some of the most educated coaches in the world!
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