Deadlift – with barbell and with hex bar – requires close attention to proper form

Hex bar. Jaan Pill photo

Hex bar. Jaan Pill photo

My big project these days is learning to do the deadlift, with proper form, both with a barbell and with a hex bar.

Some people can learn to do the deadlift, with proper form, at once. I am not in that category.

Using a barbell, I have learned to work with both the double overhand and the mixed grip.

I’ve learned to take a deep breath at the start of the lift, and to exhale once I have reached the point where I am standing straight, at the top of the lift. I’ve learned that I then take another deep breath and exhale once the bar is again on the floor.

It’s taken me some time, and focus of attention, to generate tension in my lats while keeping the chest up and back flat [or better yet, as I have learned from a Facebook comment: keeping the back neutral]. Good posture and proper breathing are key considerations.

Assisted Pull-Up machine. The Assisted Pull-Up is an exercise that I recently got around to learning, as it was included in one of the routines in Anita Bean's book that I've recently been following. Jaan Pill photo

Assisted Pull-Up/Chin-Up machine. In recent months, I’ve made a point of including the Assisted Pull-Up a regular part of my strength training routine. Jaan Pill photo

I have found The Complete Guide to Strength Training (2015) a first-rate resource, by way of organizing my strength training workouts, which I’ve been focusing upon (at times off and on) for close to forty years. I’m really pleased that, with experience, I’ve picked up extensive information about how to go about organizing a strength training program.

I spend a lot of time reading and writing, about a lot of topics. From such activities, I’ve learned many things, and have sharpened some of my skills. That said, strength training is a particular area, where the process of skills development has been even more readily evident.

In learning the deadlift, squat, and other compound exercises, two books that I’ve recently found especially useful are:

Eat. Lift. Thrive. (2017) and

Bigger, Faster, Stronger: The Proven System for Developing Athletes (2017)

I also find the occasional personal training sessions, that I sign up for from time to time, also of tremendous value, in ensuring that I learn to perform the key exercises with proper form, and with proper settings for any equipment that I may be using.


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