Do you know what a deadlift is? Do you know how to deadlift properly? Most people who attend a fitness gym have probably never seen someone deadlift let alone done the exercise themselves. Well I can say you are missing out. The deadlift is the best gym exercise for all over body development and strength gain bar none. The squat is good, the bench press is good but nothing hits quite as well as a deadlift.
If you’re not familiar with the deadlift, it’s essentially just picking up the off the floor. It’s about lifting a loaded barbell from floor height to a fully erect standing position, easy.
So, if it is such a good exercise, why is it rare to see someone deadlift?
- It’s a hard exercise.
- Fitness gyms frown upon the exercise because of the noise and possible floor damage.
- It’s a really hard exercise.
- Doctors and ‘health professionals’ frown upon possible back damage.
- It’s a really, really hard exercise.
The deadlift uses the most muscles in your body compared to every other exercise and it is this that makes the deadlift so difficult. One weak body part and the whole deadlift movement can suffer. With every repetition you’re engaging your whole posterior chain from the nape of your neck all the way down to your calves. Other body parts are also engaged in the movement including your abs, obliques, quadriceps, biceps, grip and forearms.
Deadlifting has many benefits for the serious gym member including muscle size, muscle strength, loss in body fat and core strength.
Correct Deadlift Form
Load a barbell with a weight you should easily be able to lift to practice with.
- Stand with your feet just under shoulder width apart and your shins near touching the bar.
- Bend over at the waist and take a grip of the bar just outside your legs.
- Use a one hand under, one hand over grip for maximum balance and strength.
- Flatten your back and as you do so bend your knees. There should be a point when you have a completely flat and rigid back and bent knees. This is the optimum pulling position.
- Look up and pick a spot to focus on.
- Take the ‘whip’ out of the bar. This means just pulling up gently without lifting the weight off the floor. This stops the bar from being snatched off the floor, the bar should rise smoothly.
- Pull the bar off the floor as fast as you possibly can and keep pulling until you are standing straight up. Drive up using your legs as much as possible.
Watch video clips of great deadlifters like Andy Bolton and Konstantine Kostanov to view their style and technique. The one common factor I have noticed is that they do not bend their knees as much as some other lifters. This means they must have great upper and lower back strength.
By including deadlifts into your weekly gym routine, performing them correctly and with a good weight I can guarantee you will see excellent results in your physique, strength and development.
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