Originally Posted by Eric Troy
Your Guidelines for a Proper Deadlift Setup
1. Stand with your shins about an inch from the bar with about a hip width stance or slightly wider depending on what works best for you.
2. Look down at the barbell and imagine that there is a vertical line coming up through it so that the line of the barbell is part of an imaginary plane. The barbell and this imaginary line is your reference point or benchmark. You will use this to orient your body to. Remember this if for visualization purposes only.
3. After you grab the bar you will bring your shoulders in front of the bar so that the imaginary line intersects your scapula. In other words, the bar is in line with your scapula. Keeping your shoulders forward of the bar in this position, bring your chest up and shoulders back and locked. Scapula retracted.
4. Hips/Butt: Now that your feet are in the right place and your shoulders are in the right place the trick is to get your hips as close to this imaginary LINE as possible while maintaining your shoulder position. You are NOT bringing your hips down toward the bar…you are bringing them forward toward the line coming up through the bar. WITHOUT moving your shoulders back.
All the while the chest must stay OUT and the shoulders back. The lower back must remain in it's tightly set natural arch.
Really, once you hit step three and you are maintaining a good deadlifting position with your lumbar set you are pretty much there. Step 4 is a very subtle adjustment. If you move your hips down the shoulders drift behind the bar. If you move your hips too far up the shoulder sink. So "just right" is in between. Correct, as has been said before, means your butt is below your shoulders but above your knees. This may seem simplistic and smarmy but but since we see people try to deadlift with their butt below their knees in the "deadlift as squat" position or with their butt pretty much level with their shoulders…it needs to be said, apparently.
You don't have to retract them in the way you are thinking. You just have to make sure they are not extended right from the get go with the bar being still on the floor.