How to get stronger at home: just one simple tip will give you bigger arms

Don't fear the deadlift: this tip could help you lift bigger and more efficiently

(Image credit: Victor Freitas/Pexels)

The deadlift is an exercise that many fear, purely because it has such a bad reputation for causing injury and generally making people look like a fool in the gym. That's less of an issue now and if you have been able to secure the Best barbell left on sale as part of your roster of home gym equipment, now is the time to go to work with it.

The deadlift when performed correctly, works almost every major muscle group in the body and is a great way of building muscle, increasing strength and getting the heart pounding.

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PureGym Insider Marni says: "Deadlifts are a great compound movement to incorporate into your routine, and for most people, it is a perfectly safe exercise to perform. 

"But as with any exercise, trying to lift too heavy or with poor form may lead to injury. Therefore, instead of avoiding deadlifts, it is just important to master the movement pattern first before adding lots of weight," she says.

The correct form is essential here and we've even got a guide on how to perform a deadlift properly. As Marni says, start by nailing the correct movement before adding too much weight.

Grab a barbell, some weight plates and get lifting

(Image credit: Leon Martinez/Pexels)

But for those with some deadlift experience, there are a number of tweaks to form that can be made to help you move that weight more efficiently. The first being incorporating the lats.

These large muscles in the lower back help to keep the lower back flat, stop the bar from drifting forward (again, potentially causing back injury) and removes stress from the upper back during the top of the movement.

Russell Jolley, MSc ASCC and Director of TeamCC strength and conditioning gym, believes that learning to engage the lats can really help deadlift-ers shift more weight, more efficiently.

"When you step up to the bar and have your feet in position, grab the bar and imagine you are trying to bend it, wrapping it around your legs," he says.

"Of course, you are never going to actually bend the bar, but this helps activate the lats. At the gym, we talk about 'closing down the armpits', so essentially you can imagine you're trying to grip a piece of paper in your arm pit," he adds.


Visualise bending the bar around your legs to activate the lats

(Image credit: Victor Freitas/Pexels)

Ensuring you keep the lats activated while lifting the bar off the ground is the next step, as many people find their form drops when attempting the second and third elements of a good deadlift movement.

But you know what they say, practice makes perfect, and mastering this move could lead to some serious muscle gain. 

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.