Doing barbell deadlifts can help you build muscle in your legs, shoulders and back. Start slowly if you have never performed deadlifts before, since the exercise requires you to use a lot of energy. Make sure you always wear a weight belt for lower back support, and weightlifting gloves to help you grip the barbell.
About Barbell Deadlifts
When you do barbell deadlifts, the amount of weight you use may be the most of any exercise you perform. This will help you to grow stronger overall, which will allow you to lift heavier weights during other exercises. A standard barbell deadlift requires you to bend your knees to pick up the bar. You will work your quadriceps, shoulders, trapezius and back muscles when you lift the bar off the floor. If you want to work on your hamstrings during barbell deadlifts, keep your legs straight when you lift the barbell up instead of bending your knees.
Performing Barbell Deadlifts
Before you attempt to do a barbell deadlift, loosen up by stretching your legs and back. When you are ready to begin the lift, make sure to strap on your weight belt to support your back, and tighten your weightlifting gloves. Bend your knees and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width on the barbell. Use an overhand grip with one hand and an underhand grip with the other to help you stabilize the bar during the lift.
To start the repetition, make sure you have a good grip then lift the barbell off of the floor by standing up straight. Stay in the upright position for a few seconds, then bend your knees and lower the barbell back toward the floor to finish the first repetition. Do not let the barbell touch the floor and stand back up to start the next repetition. Try to use a weight that you can handle for at least 10 repetitions. If you find that the amount of weight is too heavy, take some plates off until you are able to do 10 repetitions using the proper form.
Increasing the Intensity
Once you are comfortable performing barbell deadlifts, increase the intensity of the exercise. Try using heavier weights, if you are able. Make sure you still use the proper form when you increase the weight, or you may injure your back.
You can also add more repetitions to the deadlift exercises to challenge yourself. For example, if you normally perform 10 repetitions during each set, try increasing the number to 12. You may not want to go past 12 repetitions, but instead add more weight to increase the difficulty of the exercise.
Another way to add intensity to your deadlift workout is by reducing the amount of rest you take between sets. Try doing a set of deadlifts, then resting for only one minute. If you can still do the same number of repetitions during the set, add some more weight or increase the number of repetitions that you perform.