Do you incorporate deadlifts into your workout routine?
You do? Excellent… If you don’t bud… you may want to re-consider!
Why Should You Deadlift?
The deadlift is up on the pedestal with the squats because it is a great all round muscle builder. It works the same muscles as the squat, but with more emphasis on the back muscles.
Deadlifts will help you improve your grip strength and also build your forearms, which are beneficial for martial arts.
A long time ago I damaged my right side trap muscle from overhead pressing with incorrect form (okay, being a teenager I was also a bit overzealous in the weight I was attempting to lift, Stupid I know).
As a result, every time I try to do barbell shrugs my trap would get a sharp pain running through it; in the end, I was unable to train my traps.
However, once I added deadlifts to my routine I noticed a considerable size in trap development, without directly training them!
This is because deadlifts build all the muscles in you back; they also build the glutes and hamstring muscles extremely well.
Some benefits of the deadlift are;
- All round mass builder.
- Increases all round strength.
- Improved grip strength.
- Strengthens the core.
- Good fat burner, as it recruits a lot of muscles
Deadlifts are a very wise choice to add into a routine if you want to gain size and strength. The muscles that get worked out from deadlifts are similar to that of squat, so it should not be added on days when you are performing squats.
Before any physical exercise, it is important to stretch and warm up. I explained the difference between dynamic stretches and static stretches in the post- how to lift more weight- squats for beginners.
You also want to stretch on the days you don’t train, this will get the blood circulating and improve your recovery time. A foam roller is excellent for this. It is very useful when training with weights and has many great benefits. You can read about foam rolling in the post – Tight muscles? 4 reasons why you should be foam rolling.
Before attempting any exercise warm up by working up a light sweat in any way you choose. This can be by running, boxing on a heavy bag, jumping rope etc..
- Stand with your feet, shoulder width apart.
- Keep your arms straight, relaxed at the sides of your body.
- Swing them straight up in front of you 5-10 times.
- Increase the range of motion each time until your arms are above your head.
- Stand up straight and bend your knees slightly.
- Position your feet shoulder-distance apart and put your hands on your hips.
- Rotate your torso to your right while keeping your hips squared forward.
- Return to centre, and then rotate to your left. Complete 10 to 20 twists in each direction.
You should also perform the leg swings as shown in the previous posts about squats.
- Stand with your arms extended in front of your torso, with your fingers interlocked and your palms facing out.
- Slowly lift your arms, so they are extended overhead with your palms up.
- Breathe in and out deeply, as you continue to reach upward with your hands and arms.
- Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and then relax your arms back to your sides.
(Static stretches shouldn’t be held for longer than 10 seconds before exercises as it will decrease your muscle strength).
To be able to lift maximum weight and avoid injuries (which are quite common when newbies deadlift) you need to make sure you perform them with the correct form. This is ESSENTIAL. Below are the steps for you to follow to deadlift correctly.
How it’s done;
1) Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes very slightly pointed outwards, with your mid-foot under the bar.
2)Grab the bar.
Note:Squeeze the bar tight in a full grip (thumbs wrapped around the bar). Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, and your arms should be just outside your legs.
3) Bend your knees.
Notes: Your shins should touch the bar. Keep the bar over your mid-foot.
4) Lift your chest.
5) Straighten your back. Make sure it is not rounded.
Notes: There should be a straight line from your head down to your lower back.
6) Take a big breath and hold.
Notes:Keep your eyes fixed in front of you, do not look down or up.
7) Pull on the bar and stand up using your legs and lower back together. Keep the bar against your legs.
8) Exhale your breath at the top of the movement.
Notes: Do not let your knees cave inwards. This can cause injury to the knees. Also, don’t lean back at the top of the movement. This can cause injury to the back ( I don’t understand, why most newbies do this..? Crazy).
9) Let the weight back down to the floor gently by pushing the hips back and bending at the knees.
The deadlift is definitely one of the best all round mass builders! Make sure you use the exercise as it also develops great strength.
So there’s the step by step guide of deadlift’s for beginners… follow the above steps to stay injury free when performing the deadlift.
Do you use deadlifts in your workout routine? If so, what sort of rep schemes do you use? Let me know in the comments section, If you have any questions or need any additional help feel free to contact me.