If you need to do one exercise, it’s got to be the deadlift.
The deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. It engages all of the major muscle groups including the muscles responsible for your posture as well as your core stability.
This translates to better real life movements like carrying groceries, moving furniture or picking up a drunk friend.
Some argue that doing deadlifts is dangerous but it’s actually one of the safest compound movements, if done correctly.
There is no risk of getting pinned under maximal weight, as with squats, and you won’t need a spotter. If you get into trouble, all you have to do is lower the weights back to the ground.
To get the maximum benefits and reduce the risk of injuries, it’s important to take some time to master your form, especially before lifting heavy weights. Here’s a simple guide to help you deadlift safely and more efficiently:
Whether your goal is to build strength, gain muscle or lose fat, the deadlift is a powerful tool and you should consider incorporating it in your fitness programs; and make sure to practice, practice and practice!
1. Set up your stance.
Your stance should be around shoulder width apart with your mid-foot under the bar.
2. Set up your grip.
Your grip distance should be where your hands naturally fall when you stand up straight. Bend over and grab the bar without bending your legs.
3. Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar.
The best starting position is when your shins are perpendicular to the ground and your shoulder blades over the bar.
Take a deep breath and brace your abdominal wall. This will keep your spine safe and will let you generate more force as you lift.
5. Cut the slack off the bar.
Engage your lats, lift your chest up and straighten your lower back.
Start the pull by thinking about pushing yourself away from the ground. This will help recruit your glutes and hamstrings more. Once you start pulling, push your knees out a bit and drive your hips forward.
7. Lock out.
Squeeze your glutes as you lock out and stand erect, making sure not to hyperextend your lower back.