The deadlift movement is an extremely popular exercise and a true test of total body strength. It is popular across numerous weight lifting circles including bodybuilders, powerlifters, and Crossfit athletes.
The deadlift focuses on lifting a dead weight off the ground to hip level without using momentum to assist the weight on its path up. It is known as one of the “big three” exercises for powerlifters which includes squats, bench press, and the deadlift. Bodybuilders use the deadlift to promote muscle growth in their entire posterior chain (muscles on the back of the body).
The deadlift primarily works the muscles of the hamstrings. However, it is a complete compound exercise and also requires muscle activation from the back, glutes, hamstrings, arms, and core.
The deadlift movement shouldn’t be performed by just anyone as it involves a lot of technique and skill to execute. However, the hip-hinge movement pattern trained while performing a deadlift is and should be included in every workout program.
For those who cannot deadlift using the conventional pulling method, they can perform the exercise using one of the many deadlift variations out there.
In terms of what it can provide and how it can work your body, there are few exercise moves that come close to the deadlift. Deadlifts can reinforce your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings), boost core stability, activate your glutes, and improve your power growth if you include them in your regular workouts.
So, when do we start? There are many different types of deadlifts, including trap bar deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts, to name a few. We’ve got solid recommendations for newcomers, as well as a simple deadlift workout to get you started.
1. Trap Bar Deadlift
Step up into the center of the bar and hold a handle on each side.
With a neutral spine and tucked chin, sit back and bend your knees, keeping them in line with your ankles. To lift, drive your hips forwards, pushing down through your heels.
Pause at the top, then slowly return to the start position.
2. Traditional Deadlift
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shins touching the bar. Bend down, keeping your spine neutral, until your hands meet the bar. Squeeze your lat muscles and feel the weight in your heels. Keep the tension and, in one movement, pull the bar up and extend your legs. Hold for a second before lowering.
3. Sumo Deadlift
With feet wider than hip-width apart, turn your toes outwards.
Get your shins touching the bar before you bend down, engage your lats and pull up to standing in one swift movement. Lower back down, keeping your spine neutral.
4. Romanian Deadlift
Hold the bar with it touching your thighs.
Feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forwards, keep your knees soft but don’t bend them. Hinge forward, keeping your chin tucked in and core engaged.
Tense your hamstrings and drive back up to the starting position, maintaining that neutral spine.
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