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Where Do I Look When I Deadlift? by Dr. Hailey Jackson

Where Do I Look When I Deadlift? by Dr. Hailey Jackson
  • PublishedFebruary 3, 2023

By now you probably know I am a fan of the deadlifting movement. It’s one of the most functional movement patterns, and we do it often each day. Each time to pick up a laundry basket, a kid off the floor, or any of the sticks/limbs that fell the last few days, you are deadlifting. 
But when you are formally lifting in a gym, where should you be looking when you initiate the movement by picking the barbell up off the ground? Straight ahead at the ceiling or at the floor in front of you? 
For optimal core engagement and spinal alignment when lifting a heavy load, it is best to look ahead at the ground. When you look ahead at the ceiling, you are hyperextending your spine, which translates to your lower spine as well. With the lower spine in a not-optimal position, it is more challenging to engage your abdominal muscles. 
Circling back to how deadlifting is a functional movement pattern, when you naturally pick something up in your household, your eyes naturally fall to the ground in front of you, and raise as you lift the object you are lifting. 
Consider doing the same with formal weight lifting in the gym or during your home workouts. Start by staring straight at the ground ahead of you with your spine in a neutral position, and allowing your eyes to raise with the barbell or dumbbells. 
For more information on movement for the female athlete, check out @thepowerfulpelvis on instagram, or call 903-962-2600 to schedule an appointment. Happy lifting! 

For a more info, be sure to call 903-962-2600, follow @thepowerfulpelvis on Instagram, or learn more at



Written By
Taylor Nye

Taylor Nye is the editor of Front Porch News. She has degrees from the University of Wisconsin in human biology, Latin American studies, and public health. She has previously worked at the Wisconsin State Journal, Tucson Weekly and Sulphur Springs News-Telegram. As a sixth generation Hopkins County resident, she loves celebrating our heritage and history.