Deadlift stands as one of the most effective exercises for everyone. However, the idea of stepping up to the barbell can be daunting for many women. But don’t worry. I got you. This comprehensive guide to female deadlifts will help you unlock your full potential. So, let’s delve.

Female Deadlift Guide

This comprehensive guide will provide you with every tool you need to master female deadlift. From warm-up to grip variations, and proper lifting technique, I’ve got you covered. So, let’s lift ladies!

Warm-up

Prioritising warmup in female deadlift is crucial before engaging in any strenuous activity. It increases your blood flow to the muscles. Also, it improves joint mobility. Particularly for deadlifting, it prepares the body for the demands of exercise. Along with this, it reduces the risk of injury and optimises performance. Moreover, the use of wrist straps provides added support and stability.

Here are a few exercises to prepare the body.

1.      Leg swings

2.      Hip circles

3.      Arm circles

4.      Hip flexor stretches

5.      Hamstring stretches

6.      Thoracic spine rotations

The hip and hamstring need special attention in this. Hip mobility is crucial for maintaining proper form. Tight hip flexors might restrict motion range. This may lead to a high risk of injury. Incorporating leg swings and hip circles can help improve hip mobility. Thus, leading to an enhanced deadlift performance.

Hamstring flexibility is also essential for performing deadlifts. Tight hamstrings can cause the pelvis to tilt forward. Thus, leading to rounding of the lower back. This, in turn, increases stress on the spine. Including seated hamstring stretches and standing toe touches can help increase flexibility in the hamstrings. Thus, reducing the risk of injury during deadlifts.

Moreover, thoracic spine mobility is also important for maintaining a strong and stable upper back position during deadlifts. Limited mobility in the thoracic spine can result in excessive rounding of the upper back. Thus, compromising spinal alignment and increasing the risk of injury. Incorporating thoracic spine rotations and extensions in your exercise can help improve mobility in this area. Thus, ensuring proper alignment during deadlifts.

Variations in grips

Before performing the female deadlift, it’s important to grip correctly first. Let’s look at some variations in the grips.  

  1. Double Overhand Grip

In the double overhand grip, you grip the barbell with both hands, palms facing towards the body.  is suitable for beginners. Also, if you are focusing on developing symmetrical grip strength, you should use the double overhand grip. It is ideal for lighter loads and warm-up sets. both palms face the body.  

  1. Mixed Grip (Overhand/Underhand Grip)

In the mixed grip, one hand grips the barbell overhand. The other hand grips the barbell with the underhand grip. It is suitable for intermediate and advanced lifters. This type of grip is usually for heavier weights, providing a secure grip.

  1. Hook Grip

This grip variation is the most difficult, yet the most secure one. It is suitable for advanced lifters, seeking maximum efficiency. But it requires a lot of practice to perfect the grip. As the name indicates, you create a hook around the barbells. Face the palms towards the body. But position the thumbs underneath the fingers.

Remember! Thumbs may experience pressure from the barbells. So, this grip requires time and practice.

Choosing the grip

Choosing the grip depends upon various factors. It first depends upon the experience level. Beginners may start with the double-hand grip. Then progress gradually. Choose the grip that feels secure. Ensure minimum risk of injury.

Executing the Lift

Now let’s come to the main part i.e., lifting. Follow these instructions for optimal performance.

Instructions

1.      Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Toes pointed slightly outward.

2.      Position the barbell over the midfoot.

3.      Grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart.

4.      Engage your core muscles while maintaining a neutral spine position.

5.      Keep your arms straight and shoulders pulled back.

6.      Keep the barbell close to your body throughout the lift. Ensure maintaining a vertical bar path.

7.      Avoid allowing the barbell to drift away from your body. Drifting away may increase stress on your lower back. Thus, compromising your form.

8.      Continue until reaching full extension. Focus on bringing your hips forward throughout. Contract your glutes tightly at the peak of the lift. This is to fully engage your posterior chain. Maintain your posture.

9.      Briefly hold the peak position before descending. This is to ensure full extension and control. Avoid hyperextending your spine or leaning back excessively. Doing this may strain your lower back.

10. Now start the descent. Push your hips back and bend your knees. Gradually lower the barbell in a controlled manner. under control, maintaining tension in your muscles throughout the movement.

11. Reached the ground? Okay, pause! Reset your stance and grip for the next repetition. Ensure proper form and alignment before initiating the next lift. Aim for smooth, controlled repetitions.

12. Start with lighter weights. Gradually increase the load. 

Suggested Read: Progressive Overload Workout Plan

Sample Workout Plan

Now that you’ve got the instructions, let’s take a step forward. Here is a sample workout plan for female deadlift. This plan is a balanced mix of strength training, mobility work, technique practice and rest. Adjust weights and intensity based on your fitness level and goals.

Day 1: Deadlift Strength Training

  1. Warm-up:
    • 5 minutes of light cardio (brisk walking, cycling)
    • Dynamic stretches: Leg swings, hip circles, arm circles
    • Specific mobility exercises: Hip flexor stretches, hamstring stretches, thoracic spine rotations
  2. Deadlifts:
    • Warm-up sets:
      • Set 1: 8 reps with lightweight (50% of working weight)
      • Set 2: 6 reps with moderate weight (70% of working weight)
    • Working sets:
      • Set 3: 5 reps with challenging weight (75-80% of one-rep max)
      • Set 4: 5 reps with the same weight as Set 3
      • Set 5: 5 reps with the same weight as Set 3 or slightly heavier (if possible)
    • Rest 2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Assistance Exercises:
    • Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Bent Over Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Plank: 3 sets of 30-60 seconds
    • Reverse Lunges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps per leg
  4. Cool Down:
    • Static stretches: Hamstring stretch, quad stretch, calf stretch
    • Foam rolling or self-myofascial release: 5 minutes

Day 2: Upper Body Strength Training

  1. Warm-up:
    • Same as Day 1
  2. Bench Press:
    • Warm-up sets
    • Working sets: 3 sets of 5 reps
    • Rest 2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Pull-ups or Lat Pulldowns:
    • 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  4. Overhead Shoulder Press:
    • 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  5. Triceps Dips or Skull Crushers:
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Bicep Curls:
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 3: Lower Body Strength Training

  1. Warm-up:
    • Same as Day 1
  2. Squats:
    • Warm-up sets
    • Working sets: 3 sets of 5 reps
    • Rest 2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Deadlift Variations (Sumo, Deficit):
    • 3 sets of 5 reps each
  4. Bulgarian Split Squats:
    • 3 sets of 8-10 reps per leg
  5. Glute Bridges:
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Calf Raises:
    • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 4: Active Recovery and Mobility

  • Light cardio, mobility work, yoga, or Pilates

Day 5: Deadlift Technique and Skill Practice

  1. Deadlift Technique Drills:
    • Practice with lightweight or dowel rod
  2. Deadlift Variations:
    • Conventional Deadlifts: 3 sets of 5 reps
  3. Core Strengthening:
    • Plank variations, Russian Twists

Day 6: Cardio and Core

  • Cardiovascular exercise: 30-45 minutes
  • Core workout: Planks, leg raises, bicycle crunches

Day 7: Rest or Active Recovery

  • Rest day or engage in light activity for recovery

Bottomline

Female deadlift does not only sculpt your body and build resilience. But it also cultivates a mindset of determination and self-belief. So, step up to the barbell and challenge yourself.