“There is no point in being alive if you cannot do the deadlift” - Jón Páll Sigmarsson[tweet this].
Why should i do the Deadlift?
Here are just a few of the copious amount of reasons to do this compound exercise:
Cutting it short, you are going to sculpt a great looking behind, abs of steel and an all-round killer body! This simple exercise teaches your body to move functionally not only in the gym but outside in ever day life. All you have to do is correctly lift the barbell off the floor (what else do you need!?).
Still not Satisfied?
Well, here are five more reasons you should be doing this simple exercise:
1. Feel the Burn!
This exercise recruits a vast number of muscle groups, so not only are you going to be building lean tissue you are going to be burning a heap of calories during and at least two days after! So sit back and let the fat burn off…Or hit the gym and burn a heap more!This simple exercise that doesn’t require a spotter (unlike the infamous squat) which means more flexibility in the gym and you look awesome doing something relatively easy. If things get a bit difficult and you need an escape plan, just let go of the bar.
Want to make it even easier? Use a hex bar rather than the traditional barbell. This will distribute the weight evenly and build your form ready to go that step further.
Feeling crazy? Why not throw it into a killer circuit to have an even greater metabolic burnout. Here’s a quick example of a great circuit to hit the posterior chain and core.
a) Deadlifts 10 repetitions
b) Kettlebell swings 30’s
c) Walk outs 10 repetitions
30’s rest and repeat 5 times.
2. Need for Speed or jumping to Greater heights?
Deadlifts are a great exercise to boost power and improve force transfer from the lower body to upper body. By training for an “explosive positive” you will be able to build speed by improving your ability to accelerate through the entire motion of the lift. By training with a lighter load of 30-40 % of your one rep max, research has shown you can produce the same amount of power as with a power clean!
3. Help strengthen the lower back and build that core!
The Deadlift is by far superior to any other typical core exercise as properly trained deadlifts can activate all the muscles in the trunk, including the rectus abdominis, obliques and the paraspinals of the lower back. Believe it or not the squat actually requires greater activity of the lower lumbar region of the back than the deadlift!
Moral of the story? Train both squats and deadlifts for killer abs. If you are hard core and training both in a session make sure to prioritise squats as this will warm the lower back ready for those explosive deadlifts.
4. Do Deadlifts for better mobility and less pain
Unfortunately in my experience the people who can benefit from deadlifts are the ones who think it’s dangerous…
The fact is you are more likely to suffer from back pain and injury by not properly isolating the glute and hamstrings and not keeping an arch in the lower back.
Training deadlifts along with other compound exercises such as the squat can help improve functional movement patterns in the lower body, and coordination in the hip and knee joints therefore reducing risk of hip and knee injury!
The Deadlift is also an essential exercise to teach fundamental movements for everyday activities, such as picking up luggage from the floor or a boot of a car.
Not only will you be able to get your shopping from the back of your car without pulling your back but deadlift training will improve balance, walking and quality of life.
5. Deadlifts help break training plateaus!
Training the Deadlift should be done sensibly… it will make you stronger from head, shoulders, knees and toes. You will reap the rewards by having stronger glutes, hamstrings and back but also build strength in the arms and hand grip. This will inevitably mean numbers will start to climb in your other exercises. Now imagine if you threw squats into the mix… the sky is the limit!
Learn how to effectively execute a perfect deadlift with the free work-up skill below and start breaking some personal bests.
In the meantime here are some hints and tips to help you on your way:
Sean Baldwin is the founder of Tri Force Training, a Personal Training service in Harrogate.