The deadlift in our opinion is one of the best exercises around for functional fitness. No matter what your goal is, lose weight, build strength or improve functional fitness the deadlift is the one exercise you must include.
Quite simply being a full body movement, it uses more muscles then just about any other movement making it essential for building total body strength. Not only will it help you build total strength, it also works your hamstrings, glutes, upper back and core making it a fantastic movement to help you improve your posture and stand tall.
Like all exercise movements, good form is essential. When introducing a new movement to your program you should always start off with a light weight. This ensure you have mastered the technique before adding resistance which means the right muscle will be engaged at the right time helping prevent injury and ensuring you get the most from the movement.
• Position your feet hip width apart
• Grip the bar just outside your legs with an overhand grip
• Straight back with a neutral spine from the start to the finish of the movement
• The bar should remain in contact with your legs for the whole movement
• Hips and knees should move together lifting the bar from the ground to the upper thigh
• Lower the bar back to the ground in a control fashion keeping the bar in contact with your legs and your spine neutral
If you cannot perform the movement with a straight neutral spine when lifting from the floor, elevate the weight. Use jerk boxes or squat rack pins to a height which you can neutralize your spine. Elevating the weight (known as a rack pull) is a great introduction to the deadlift or if you have mobility issues – tight hamstrings
Being one of the big 3 lifts, it’s easy to jump in headfirst and go too heavy to soon, be patient and start light. If your form starts to break down (rounded spine, knees and hips not moving together) it’s too heavy. Be patient, slowly add weight each week (record your workout results). A few kg’s each week soon add up and before you know it you will be deadlifting some bad ass weight.