in: Featured, Fitness, Health & Fitness, Visual Guides

• Last updated: June 1, 2021

Know Your Lifts: Deadlift

Vintage illustration of how to do a deadlift.

“Know Your Lifts” is an illustrated guide series where we’ll show how to perform basic weight lifting exercises. Last time we covered the High-Bar Squat. On the docket today is another essential and beastly exercise: the deadlift.

Thanks to Barry Schroeder and Jim Schoenberg of CrossFit Sandstorm for consulting on this post.


– Stand with bar above the center of your feet.

– Shoulders in front of bar.

– Arms vertical to floor outside of knees.

– Bend knees until shins hit bar.

– Hands about shoulder-width apart with overhand grip. OR: Optional overhand/underhand grip.

– Raise hips until you feel hamstring tension.

– Feel slightly more than hip-width apart, pointed straight ahead or slightly outward.


– Drive heels into floor and push up with legs.

– Head inline with spine, chin up, looking straight ahead.

– Lift your chest but don’t squeeze your shoulder-blades.

– Back erect with slight arch. Do not round or flatten back.

– Keep bar close to body — roll it over your knees and thighs until hips and knees are locked.

– Do not lean backward or bend forward.


– Push hips back first, and then bend your knees once bar reaches knee level, keeping bar close to body. OR: Drop.

Know Your Lifts Series: 
High-Bar Back Squat
Overhead Press

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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