Pick things up and put them down. Seems easy enough. This simple move is one of the most powerful moves in weight training. It is the best way to show your brute strength and power. Being able to rip 2-3 times your bodyweight off the floor is one of the most impressive things you can do. Holding on to a bar with all your might, squeezing it until your knuckles turn white, standing up with every muscle of your body shaking to finish the move is the reason we all go to the gym. If you perform the deadlift in your weight training program, you get all these things and more.
The deadlift is the cousin to the squat so the list of muscles worked is very similar.
- Lower back
You also get some activation in these muscles:
This is one of the most important movements in weight training. It most definitely should be in every person’s program. Because it’s mainly a strength movement, higher intensity with lower volume is recommended. Working up to a set of 5 reps for 5 sets is a great way to start. You can work at that rep scheme for 6-8 weeks and then decide to increase the intensity (moving to 3×3 at a heavier weight) or working with that weight for 5 sets of 10.
You don’t need much gear for the deadlift:
- Belt- when the weight on the bar goes up, you’ll want some help keeping your core tight. This will keep your lower back safe.
- Straps- You don’t want your grip to be your limiting factor. After getting most of your work in without straps, use them to continue going up in weight and/or reps
- Shoes- next to being barefoot, wearing flat soled shoes is the next best thing. High heeled shoes will put the emphasis on your quads and soft, spongy shoes will rob you of the force you put into the ground.
To perform the deadlift:
- Stand with your shins 2-3 inches away from the bar.
- Place your hands on your thighs
- Slide your hands down your thighs until you reach your knees while keeping a straight back
- Once you reach your knees, drop your hands and bend your knees
- Reach down and grab the bar
- With a tight core, push against the floor and raise your chest.
- Finish the movement by bringing your hips to the bar
- Reverse the movement and return the bar to the floor.
You repeat this process for whatever rep scheme you have programmed. Watch this video so you have an idea on how to put all these moves together.