The deadlift is one of the most demanding exercises out there. It definitely belongs in your work out routine, as very few exercises will add as much strength as this beast. How much muscle it may add on it’s own is debatable, but there is no doubt the strength benefits gained will do you well in other exercises you can do.
Deadlifts are one of the three lifts used in powerlifting. The others are: Squats and Bench presses.
You often find grown men, with decent Biceps size come up with very creative excuses not to do the deadlift.
To be honest, if you are a beginner, do not just watch YouTube lifts and go at it alone. Get an experienced Personal Trainer, or a competent friend to guide you through the drill. It is worth it, as this exercise can really hurt you if you have no clue what you’re doing.
The deadlift is a multi-joint movement involving your hips, knees and ankles. Obviously this means a lot of muscle groups have to participate in getting that barbell off the ground, and up to the point of lock-out.
The general movement of a deadlift from a starting position commences when weight is on the heels and you have your shins touching the bar. From here you attempt to “get up” by straightening your knees and hips while keeping a straight back, keeping tension in your lats. Imagine your arms as hooks, and don’t attempt to get the weight of the floor with arm strength.
As you get up, keeping the barbell in touch with the body at all times, focus on driving your heels through the ground and letting your hips do a lot of work by driving them forward approximately when the weight is knee high. This will let your lower back take less of a hit.
You finish off with straight, hanging arms and hips extended. From here you lower the bar in a controlled fashion, the same way as it came up.
I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to deadlifts. I’ll tune in on more deadlift specifics in my next article.