How To Warm Up for Deadlifts

Are you looking to improve your exercise routine? Think you could benefit from the addition of a few deadlifts?

As with any workout, the right warm-up is crucial. Deadlifts can improve posture, core strength, and core stability. They also work your hamstrings, hips, back, core, glutes, and trapezius. They’re an intense exercise that can reap some profound benefits – IF they’re done correctly.

Do you want to learn how to deadlift and warm up the right way? Read on to find out more.

What Is A Deadlift?

A deadlift is a weight-lifting exercise that works many of your primary muscle groups. Deadlifts are recognized as one of the workout world’s ‘core’ lifts. The deadlift movement is characterized by a movement that hinges your hips backward so you can bend down, and pick up a weighted kettle or barbell from the floor.

How To Warm Up for Deadlifts

Deadlifting: The Benefits

The deadlift may look intimidating, but this exercise has some proven full-body benefits that can help you achieve your goal of total body strength. Whether you’re looking to improve hip function, core strength, or spine stabilization, the deadlift can tackle it all. 

Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look at some of the proven benefits of deadlifting. 

Increased Muscle Growth 

When you deadlift, you put hundreds of muscles, bones, and tendons to the test. Weight lifts such as the deadlift have been proven to grow your muscles and improve your physical appearance. 

Each muscle is put through a challenging set of motion ranges and stretches, stimulating muscle growth. 

Deadlifts are also a form of compound movement exercise. Compound movement exercises release testosterone and the Human Growth Hormone (HGT), which encourages muscle growth and can give you that lean, toned physique you’ve always dreamed of. 

Burn More Body Fat

Are you looking to burn more body fat? The deadlift may become your new best friend.

Deadlifts trigger fat loss by burning through plenty of calories each workout. In fact, deadlifting can burn up to 500 calories an hour – that’s huge!

The reason the deadlift burns so many calories is that it works SO many of your muscle groups (yes, even more than the squat).

So you’ll be strengthening your lower and upper body in just one workout. This makes the deadlift far more effective at burning calories than just focusing on one exercise, such as bicep curls, which only work one muscle group at a time. 

Improved Posture

What’s more, deadlifting can also improve your posture. If you’re fed up with looking like a hunchback, or you’re suffering from pain in your upper and lower back that’s keeping you bent over all day, the deadlift can help you fix it. 

Deadlifting can reduce any curvatures in the spine and support improved posture by strengthening your posterior chain. This is because you lift with your hamstrings and glutes while keeping your spine in a neutral position. 

Decreased Risk of Injury

Yes, really. 

We know deadlifts can be dangerous, but they can reduce your risk of injury when done correctly. If you deadlift regularly, you’ll build up strength in your upper and lower back. This can reduce the risk of injuries in later life. 

The Best Warm-Ups for Deadlifts

Deadlifting correctly can reap some profound physical health benefits. However, anything that involves lifting heavy weights is inherently dangerous. To reduce your risk of injury, you must warm up correctly. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best warm-ups you can do before a deadlift. 

Conventional Deadlift Warmup

This warm-up will take you 6-12 minutes, and it’s designed for beginners and advanced trainees. It involves several different exercises, so let’s take a closer look below:

Hip and Ankle Stretch

Top gently prime your hips and ankles for lifting, squeeze in your glutes, grip the floor with your foot and rotate your hips and ankles in external and internal rotation. This will help you to open up your hips gently. Do these stretches for 20-30 seconds on each leg for the best results. 

Goblet Squat

Although it seems like an easy exercise to do, it is important to know what a goblet squat is and how to maintain the proper form to avoid injuries. To perform this exercise, get a hold of a lightweight, hold it with both hands in front of your chest, and squat.

These squats will help build your lower body strength and improve your torso positioning. Ideally, you should aim to do between 5-8 reps of the goblet squat before you do a deadlift. 

Dumbbell RDL to Row

Grab one or two dumbbells and hold them about a shoulder-width apart with your hands. Now, stand up straight with your feet a shoulder-width apart, too. 

Now, let your arms hang with the weight and bend yourself over to your waist. Your dumbbells should reach your knees. 

Once you’re in position, pull the dumbbells up to your stomach, then lower your arms back down and stand up. 

Supine Leg Extension

To do the supine leg extension, you’ll need to lie on your back, extend one leg outwards, and bring the other leg up to a 90-degree angle. Now, lightly hold that leg with your hands.

When you’re in position, extend your leg fully outwards and then return it to the starting position. The supine leg extension is excellent for elongating the hamstrings and activating the quads. You should aim to do between 10-15 reps each leg. 

Dead Bug

Now, let’s do the dead bug. Lie flat on your back with your arms towards the ceiling. Now, begin to lift your legs and slowly bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Your legs should now be parallel with the floor. 

When you’re in this position, you should engage your core by pulling your belly button inwards and getting it as far back to the floor as possible. 

Now, start to lower your right arm down behind your head and move your left leg forwards simultaneously. Exhale as you do this. Keep doing this until your arm and leg are slightly above the floor. Now, exhale and return yourself to your starting position. 

The dead bug is a great exercise for activating your core and working on your coordination. You should aim to do between 10-15 reps on each side. 

Glute Bridge

Another great warm-up for the deadlift is the glute bridge. To do the glute bridge, lie yourself down flat on the floor. Now, ground your feet and push yourself up to transition into a glute bridge.

Your body should look like an arch, with your back flat against the floor, your arms stretched out to either side, and your buttocks and legs are forming the shape of an arch. 

The glute bridge exercise can improve the positioning of your rib cage and activate your glutes. Ideally, you should perform two sets of 15 to 20 reps per side. 

Hip Airplane

Finally, let’s take a look at the hip airplane. 

The hip airplane is excellent for improving your balance, coordination, strength, joint mobility, and glute activation. 

To do the hip airplane, get yourself into a single-leg stance position. Now, lock your ribcage down by bracing your core. 

Now, begin to rotate your body forwards so you can hold yourself comfortably without losing balance. Once you’re here, hold the position for 10 seconds, and rotate your torso to face your single stance leg. Now, turn it away with external hip rotation. 

The hip airplane can activate your glutes, improve your coordination, and work on your hip mobility and stability. For this warm-up, you should perform 5-6 reps per side. 

Final Thoughts

Yes, the deadlift may look intimidating, but it’s one of the most beneficial exercises you can do. An extensive, full-body warm-up should be your top priority to minimize your risk of injury during a deadlift. 

Before you grab the weights and launch into a deadlift, take the time to use a combination of the exercises above to get each muscle group warmed up, primed, and ready for action. 

Remember: the deadlift works out HUNDREDS of muscles. Don’t limit your workouts to just focusing on one muscle group. Instead, gently focus on the key muscles worked during the deadlift so that you can face your workout with confidence and stamina. 

Kevin Harris