Jeff Nippard is a professional powerlifter, a YouTube fitness sensation, and a guy with an impressive 518-pound deadlift to his name. So, if you want to deadlift right, then you have to deadlift like Jeff Nippard.
Keep reading to learn about what fitness guru Jeff Nippard has to say about deadlifting.
Table of Contents
A Quick Word on Grip
Your grip on the bar is the most important yet also the most highly disputed component of the deadlift. So, here’s what Jeff Nippard has to say about that.
He prefers the alternate grip (sometimes called over-under).
He goes on to explain that it’s because the alternate grip allows you to lift heavier and build pure strength with your deadlifts. Remember to switch your grip occasionally to prevent imbalance.
The double overhand grip is a safer alternative, though you won’t be able to lift as heavy. Straps can be used occasionally, but excess use may negatively impact grip improvement with time.
Note: These guidelines apply to all three deadlifts that we’re about to review.
The conventional or standard deadlift is a solid exercise for building strength and power in your lower back, specifically your erector spinae muscles.
First, the starting position….here’s what you need to know.
- Your shins should be about ½” from the bar.
- The center of your shoes should be directly beneath the bar.
- Your toes should be facing forward.
- Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
With that, here’s a step-by-step guide for performing the conventional deadlift like Jeff Nippard.
- With your hips back as far as possible and your arms hanging down straight over the barbell, grasp the bar with an alternate grip.
- Take a deep breath.
- Using an explosive motion, drive your hips forward, your chest up, and lift the bar from the ground (the bar should move up in a straight line).
- Reach lockout and straighten your entire body for a brief hold.
- Use your hands to gently guide the barbell back to the ground, bringing your hips backward first.
Nippard asserts that you should never drop the bar intentionally at the top and avoid using bouncing movements as a source of momentum. This can help with strength gains (and will keep you from getting dirty looks at the gym for obnoxiously dropping your weights).
Get the FREE Shredded Body Checklist!
The 4 Steps to Build Noticeable Muscle Definition (without Turning Your Life into a Dumpster Fire!)
By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Noob Gains. We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.
The sumo deadlift is very similar to the conventional deadlift, with the only difference being a wider stance. This exercise is meant to target the quadriceps more than the lower back.
This is what you need to know about the set-up for the sumo deadlift.
- Your shins should, once again, be about ½” from the bar.
- The bar should be over the tongue area of your shoes.
- Your feet should be spread as far as you can go while still being able to keep your knees straight over your heels.
- Your ties should be facing outward toward the front end of the weight plate.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how to sumo deadlift like Jeff Nippard.
- With your hips back as far as they can go and your arms hanging down over the barbell, latch onto the bar with an alternate grip.
- Lead with your chest and drive your hips forward with an explosive motion.
- Lock your hips, knees, and shoulders at the top (no further).
- Guide the bar back down to the floor by sitting your hips back first and bending your knees to avoid contacting the barbell.
The most important aspect of this exercise is a proper stance. It’s important to keep your knees directly over your heels, no further, to avoid excess strain on your lower body joints.
The Romanian deadlift, not to be confused with the stiff-legged deadlift, is designed to directly target the hamstring muscles. They’re a great way to strengthen a normally weak leg muscle.
First, we have to talk about the stance.
- Your feet will be about shoulder-width apart.
- Your toes should be pointing slightly outward.
- Your grip on the bar should have your legs between your hands.
Ready to learn how to do the Romanian deadlift like Jeff Nippard? Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough explaining how it’s done.
- Grab onto the barbell with a double overhand grip and take three steps out of the rack.
- Slowly lower the weight by slightly bending your knees, bringing your hips backward, and keeping your back straight.
- Slow down as the bar reaches about halfway down your shins.
- Lift with your chest and bring your hips forward on the return up.
Nippard acknowledges that this is an exercise that a lot of guys mess up at the gym. He makes a point of mentioning that you should not overextend when it comes to the range of motion and to not bend your knees forward.
Also, you can place a 5-pound weight below your toes for a bit more of a hamstring stretch.
Common Form Errors
Nippard has gone pretty in-depth on his YouTube channel explaining where athletes tend to go wrong when it comes to the deadlift.
He’s broken it down into four common errors.
Let’s review those really quickly.
Rounding the Lower Back
The deadlift can be a solid exercise for building up your lower back muscles (erector spinae). But, those benefits go right out the window when you’re over-arching your lower back.
To fix this error, here’s what you can do:
- Use a lighter weight until you improve the strength in your lower back.
- Stretch tight hamstrings to help push your butt out further during your deadlift.
- Build your glute muscles through hip thrusts and cable pull-throughs.
- Practice paused deadlifts at 50% of your 1RM to focus on good form first.
Keep in mind that a little rounding in your upper back is considered normal. The concern comes with arching your lower back or over-arching your upper back.
Prematurely Shooting the Hips Up
Your hips are involved in all types of deadlifts. But, when your hips are the first area of your body to raise or shoot out, you’re doing something wrong.
It’s a common error, but it’s also a fixable error.
The likely solution is setting up your deadlift higher from the get-go. This reduces the distance your hips can shoot back and helps your deadlift to be more efficient.
You also want to make sure you’re bracing your core and keeping your abs tight on the deadlift for a stronger hinge.
Not Stacking the Joints
When Nippard talks about “stacking” your joints, he’s referring to keeping all of your joints in a straight line for proper form.
The “perfect” deadlift form will keep your knees above your heels.
If you’re struggling to keep good form, there are a few things you’ll want to think about doing.
Here’s what you can do.
- Narrow your stance to bring your heels under your knees.
- Work on dynamic stretches for your inner thighs.
- Get flat-soled shoes that keep your feet flat on the floor for ease of form.
Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II Shoes
Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II Shoes really provide a sturdy base during heavy lifts. The solid, raised heel gives you extra stability during squats and the forefoot is still flexible enough to aid in explosive barbell movements. Plus, they look pretty sick, am I right?
These tips aren’t just about keeping good form. Keeping your joints stacked is also a great way to stay safe during deadlifts.
Locking Out Excessively
The lockout is probably the most important part of the deadlift. But, locking out too much is unnecessary and a waste of energy.
There’s no need to hyperextend your back once you reach the top.
It looks silly, doesn’t help, and might actually hurt you.
To fix this problem, you’re going to need to work on your form during your deadlifts. Flex your glutes and shoulders at the top and do nothing more (like flexing your shoulder blades).
Just because you now know how to deadlift like the pros, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to do them every single day.
Nippard recommends doing deadlifts just once or twice a week because of how tiring they are and how much time it takes to recover.
In terms of gains?
Sets of 1 to 5 reps would be better for strength while 5 to 10 reps are better for hypertrophy.
So, we’ve gone over quite a bit here and we want to make sure that you’re really getting the most out of your Jeff Nippard-style deadlifts.
A few extra tips are in order.
Nippard recommends flat-soled shoes for supreme balance to keep your knees directly over your heels. You may also want to wear high socks to keep the barbell from scraping against your shins if your form is weak and a powerlifting belt to keep your lower back stiff.
Want to use Nippard’s best methods to transform your own body? Check out this blog post: Jeff Nippard: The Bodybuilding Hero We Need (Backed By Science)
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One
Getting in shape isn't easy. But this program gives you a real-life approach to building a leaner, more muscular body without obsessing over fitness 24/7.