The Deadlift is done by simply grasping your freeweight bar (with as many weights as you can feasibly – not comfortably – lift) and lifting up until your standing up with the bar hanging in front of you, arms extended.
How to get the most of out the deadlift
First, before we go any further, you should know how to make sure you get all the benefits from deadlifting.
The simple act of deadlifting itself doesn’t guarantee any results. You need to follow certain protocols and techniques to get the results you want.
Let’s quickly go over the main things you need to do pay attention to.
Fix your deadlift form
One of the reasons why the deadlift is not more popular is the risk of injuries associated with it. Because it involves so many muscles, the chances of injuring yourself are greater than most other exercises.
Also the posture you have to be in to perform the movement puts your spine in a vulnerable position.
But with the right form, you can get all the benefits and avoid all the injuries.
The most important aspect of your form is the shape of your back. Avoid rounding your back as this will put your spine and back muscles under extreme tension.
When you round your back, you wind up putting the majority of the load on isolated areas of your back. The right way is to keep your back and spine straight all the way up to your neck. Neck and back should be aligned.
Your grip should preferably be shoulder width apart. Don’t fully extend your arms at the elbow to avoid placing too much weight on your elbow joints.
Slightly bent elbows will distribute the weight throughout your arms and body without placing to much strain on the joints.
Lift Heavy For The Real Benefits
While doing light deadlifts is better than not doing any at all, to get the most out of it, you need to do them with heavy weights.
What’s light or heavy depends on your current strength level and body weight. But a good indicator that you’re lifting heavy is that you’re only able to do eight reps per set at the most. If you find you’re able to continue after 8 reps, increase the weight.
6-8 reps using heavy weights with good form will yield amazing results given that other aspects of your health and fitness are in order.
In fewer words, to get the best results from deadlifting, you need to lift heavy with good form.
Now that you know that you need to do, let’s go over the seven most beneficial reasons to incorporate this exercise into your workout routine right away.
1. Increased Fat Burning
Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer and fitness author, recently wrote about a study where: “Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks.
The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).
The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively).
Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.”
Lifting weights and resistance training will burn more fat than just dieting or dieting with cardio exercise alone.
2. Better Posture
Deadlifting increases your core strength and adds to core stability, according to Robson.
Deadlifting targets all of the muscles responsible for your posture and enables you to keep your back straighter during regular daily activities.
3. Suitable for women
Women are always concerned about getting a male physique when working out. Unlike common belief, deadlifts do not distort one’s femininity, but improves on their physique.
4. Fat burning
Because of the exertion involved during the deadlift, you recruit more muscle fibers, burn more calories and than you could with other movements.
The result is increased fat burning. If you’ve read my other articles, you know that compound movements are the best exercises for fat loss. And the deadlift is the king of compound exercises so you get the idea.
5. More Muscles Worked
The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. The lift engages all of the major muscle groups, according to exercise physiologist Kevin Farley.
If you need to do one exercise, this is the one to do. The Deadlift works your lower and upper body, including your back muscles.
6. Functional Strength
When you perform physical labor, you frequently pick up items off the floor and lift them. Performing deadlifts develops the muscles and the movements that are involved in many forms of physical labor.
Also, because deadlifts normally involve lifting heavy weights, they help you develop a strong grip, which is also associated with many physical tasks.
7. Increased Real Life Lift
When you do other lifting exercises, like a bench press, for example, you’re not doing anything you might really do in real life.
When are you ever going to have the need to lay on your back and push something in the air — unless you’re giving your two-year-old “flying lessons.”
The Deadlift develops the muscles you need to actually carry something, like a bucket of water, those heavy grocery bags or your neighbor’s dining room table.
8. It’s Safe
The Deadlift is one of the safest weightlifting exercises you can perform. You aren’t going to get pinned under the weight or have to worry about it pulling you over backwards.
If you get into trouble, you can simply drop it…making for a loud bang, no doubt, but no damage. You also don’t have to have a spotter to perform this exercise.
9. Core Strength
Deadlifts are effective exercises to develop your core strength, which is derived by training the central muscles of your body.
Muscles that make up the core are found in your upper and lower back, your hips, your buttocks and your abdominals. All those muscles work in unison when you perform deadlifts.
Having a strong core is important for maintaining healthy posture and preventing back problems. As an athlete, virtually all your movements require the stabilization of your core muscles, in order to generate maximum power.
The strength of your core muscles also helps you to maintain proper balance. In order for your extremities to generate maximum force, you must have stable core muscles.
10. Improved Grip Strength
According to Outlaw Fitness: “Deadlifts are renowned for their ability to build massive amounts of grip strength, and for good reason.
Your fingers are literally the only things connecting you to the weight of the bar. Your forearms have to work incredibly hard as you progress in weight to keep the bar from falling out of your hands. Subsequently your grip strength grows by leaps and bounds.”
11. Increases Hormones
Now don’t worry, these aren’t the hormones that will make you more emotional! Instead, by doing at least 8 to 10 repetitions of Deadlifts with significant weight, you can increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone produced by your body.
Testosterone increases muscle growth and improves muscle repair while growth hormone, which is produced by your pituitary gland, promotes tissue healing, bone strength, muscle growth and fat loss.
12. Cheap and Easy
A lot of exercises require a lot of equipment, special shoes or whatever. Not the Deadlift. Just a bar with some weight. Pick it up. Simple.
You can usually find freeweights and a bar at a thrift store – or being given away by a friend – making it even cheaper.
13. Increased Cardio
Believe it or not, doing 10 repetitions of Deadlifts will increase your cardiovascular ability. You might want to make sure you have somewhere to sit down when you’re done!
14. Better Overall health
Stronger, more testosterone, more positive outlook on life equals better overall health. It’s simple. Doing deadlifts also improves your cardio.
And as you know, good cardio is important for overall health. You also build joint strength and your immune system gets stronger.
Most Compound exercises will do these things but the one thing that makes the deadlift stand out is that it does this for your entire body. It’s a true full body powerhouse.
15. Prevents Injury
The Deadlift can help prevent injuries by increasing the strength of your muscles around critical tendons and ligaments.
Supporting joints with strong muscles is crucial to preventing injury, especially in the hamstrings and lower back.
Deadlifts are intense and involve using your entire body. Consequently, it is important to warm up thoroughly before lifting heavier weights.
Start with two warm-up sets using light weight with high repetitions. Also, to avoid injury, keep your back straight as you lift, and push with your thighs.