If your weightlifting regimen’s main objective is to enhance your overall strength, then adding deadlifts to the plan is a good idea. Deadlifts are exercises that make all of the chief muscle groups in your body work hard. You achieve incredible strength due to the muscles worked during this exercise and the strength is helpful in your routine chores as well. It is essential to perform the deadlift workout in the right way to make the most of it and for your safety. Make sure to consult this exercise with your doctor before adding it to your exercise plan.
Target Muscles of the Deadlift
The deadlift focuses mainly on your back and aims to make your lower back stronger and bigger than before. The latissimus dorsi along with the associated muscles comprises the deadlift muscles in this region.
The deadlift helps you develop strong and round glute muscles. They come into action when you ascend during the workout. The other deadlift muscles worked in this region include the pelvic/hip muscles.
The deadlift works your complete leg region in a manner similar to squats, but squats help you develop your legs better. In fact, your legs perform the major part of the deadlifts while your back holds your body in the right position.
The deadlift muscles worked in the arm region include all the muscles in your arms and forearms.
Overall Benefits of the Deadlift
The deadlift workout strengthens the lower back and helps in improving your body posture. Weak lower back destroys your posture and activates different pains in your back area. By reinforcing your back area, you can enhance your spine’s positioning and reduce your likelihood of developing a slouch.
Routine Chores Easier and Injuries Minimized
The deadlift exercise requires you to pick a weighty object from the ground and raise it up to your waist. This is a genuine test of your strength and helps you in carrying out routine chores easily. It also reduces your risk of suffering from injuries. When you perform the workout in a routine, you can conveniently lift heavy objects as your back becomes stronger than before.
The deadlift muscles worked out in the exercise improve your grip strength. The exercise also helps you build core strength, including your waist, abs, backside and hips along with your lower back. Additionally, the deadlift workout develops your rate of force and explosive strength. It refers to how fast you can create muscle tension.
Being performed in the right way with enough intensity and effort, this exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system. The aerobic system of your body becomes activated and you get enough supply of oxygen, which boosts your cardiovascular system.
The deadlift exercise is similar to a crunch, full-back tension, leg press, leg curl, straight-armed pull-down and shrug, all executed at the same time. The number of deadlift muscles worked out in the exercise is huge and they help in stabilizing your body, which in turn improves your overall stability.
Perform the Deadlift Step by Step
Stand with your feet apart at shoulder width distance. Hold the barbell in a manner that your inner forearms touch your thigh’s outside and your shins touch the barbell. You can use an underhand/overhand or overhand grip. However, the former is mostly preferred.
Fix your spine slowly in a neutral position. You shouldn’t bend it downwards or face upwards, but should look straight ahead. Keep your hips downward and pull in your lower abs to adjust them in a neutral pose. Hold your shoulders back and slightly squeezed, positioning them over the barbell. Squeeze your glutes together and tighten your shoulders before raising the weight.
Hold the barbell and use your legs for powering the bar upwards. Make sure to ascend the shoulders and hips simultaneously and hold the bar in place with your hands. While moving the bar upwards, lock it by investing in more strength by your upper body. Push the bar with your heels when you’re in the ascent stage. Keep your body and bar in touch with each other throughout this phase.
Reverse the previous step until the bar reaches the floor. Repeat the steps again till you complete a set. Never depend on your momentum for powering the bar up during the next rep as this can result in a harmful jarring effect and even spinal damage.
Watch the following video to better understand these steps:
Variations of the Deadlift
You keep your hands outside the feet and stand apart at hip width.
The hands are kept inside the feet.
Trap Bar or Hex Deadlift
You use a special bar made for deadlifting that changes your biomechanics.
Snatch Grip Deadlift
You use a wider grip such as the Snatch.
Romanian and Stiff Legged Deadlift
These variations look similar but their targets are different. Romanian deadlift aims at hamstring while stiff legged deadlift improves your lower back. For the Romanian, you keep the arch in your back and lean forward at your hips while keeping the bar in contact with your legs. As for the stiff-legged deadlift, you bend forward at your waist and flex your spine, keeping the bar farther out.
Rack Pulls/ Deficit Deadlift
It is a way of deadlift that is performed as you stand on a weight plate or short platform with a height of about one to four inches.
This is a great accessory workout, or you can practice it when weights and barbells aren’t available.
Tips for the Deadlifts
1. Keep your shoulders back and chest forward. Refrain from rounding your back as it makes you vulnerable to injury.
2. Never jerk the barbell up for completing the movement when you are in its middle. Make sure to keep your arms straight throughout the workout and they must not pull or bend.
3. Always move your body upwards at a constant pace. Your chest shouldn’t ascend faster than your hips.
4. Your knees must be fixed during the entire workout. Bending them in or out could activate an injury. Never move your feet or tip forward as it could make you lose your balance.
5. Maintain a smooth movement while moving from bottom to top and vice versa.
6. Use straps for super heavy weights.
Here is a video that will give you some insight into the commonly made mistakes during deadlifts: