Deadlifting is one of the best exercises you can possibly do when strength training. It’s one of the most neglected exercises in any fitness routine which is completely unfortunate because it has some of the best benefits out of any exercise you can do. Deadlifts work both your upper and lower body. Deadlifts strengthen your lower back and your abs.
It’s one of the hardest exercises to do the “right way” and is one of the absolute best exercises to get you the ripped core that you are looking for. Forget Bosu Balls, Yoga Balls, all of those exercises that don’t hold a prayer to the awesomeness that is the Deadlift.
Not only is deadlifting an awesome full body workout, but it releases hormones in your lower back (guys) which can stimulate testosterone release during your workout, which is a big plus when you are strength training. Whether you are looking to get absolutely ripped or looking to bulk up, Deadlifts should be one of the few exercises at the top of your list. There are a lot of folks that are intimidated by deadlifts, mostly because without doing deadlifts with proper form, you are asking for a lower back or hamstring injury.
Before we jump into the arguments when people protest deadlifts, below is a brief video of what the proper deadlift form should look like:
Here are some of the arguments I hear against deadlifts:
- My lower back is too weak
- It looks like I might get injured
- It feels uncomfortable
- I don’t know how to do execute the proper deadlift form
Bottom line is that if you are into any type of decent strength training routine, you need to be doing deadlifts. It will strengthen every other exercise you do in your entire body. Most beginners don’t realize that deadlifts work your arms, your hamstrings, shoulders, traps and your core all in one exercise. Doing deadlifts a minimum twice a week will strengthen your bench press, your squats, pull ups, leg press, and just about any other exercise you have out there where you are trying to gain strength.
Here are tips for proper deadlift form:
- Use light weights to start. Do not go heavy until you’ve mastered your form. Use the bar if you have to so you don’t injure yourself. Take your time and do it right.
- Tighten your stomach and keep your back straight. Don’t arch it and don’t use your back to do all the lifting. This exercise is half squatting. Treat it as such.
- Keep your head up and don’t jerk. If you jerk your head around, you might pull a muscle in your neck or pinch a nerve in your back.
- Straighten your entire body on the way up. Don’t leave your body in a bent state when finishing the exercise on the way back down.
- Feel it in your legs. Like I said, this exercise is half squat. Power through on your way up to make sure that you finish strong and feel it in your legs all the way through your glutes.
Your next step:
Now that you know how to deadlift, get out there and execute on one of the best strength training exercises out there that you can add to your fitness routine in order to get yourself stronger, faster, leaner and meaner. Whether you are cutting up for a fitness competition or you are prepping for a bulking cycle, deadlifts should be a cornerstone exercise in your workout routine along with nutrition and proper supplementation. Sit down, track your starting points on your deadlift and integrate it into your strength training routine. Make sure you’ve set realistic goals and hit it hard so you can lift like the pros.