Deadlifts are one of the best full body exercises you can do IF you can do them correctly, which is a big if. Proper form is vital with deadlift as it is very easy to injure yourself. So if you are a beginning, you may want to hold off until you are more comfortable or until you have a trainer to help you.
Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, similar to your squat stance.
Place the bar below you, no further than four inches from your shins.
Grip the bar with your fingers closer to the bar rather than your palms, which will increase the strength of your grip. For even more grip strength use an alternating grip with one overhand and one underhand.
Keep your arms straight with your chest up and your back straight. Check yourself continuously to make sure your back is not rounded.
Concentric Lift: Lifting the Bar
Grip the bar as tight as you can and pull the bar up in a straight line.
Your shoulder blades should be placed directly over the bar.
Be sure you are pushing from your heels not your toes. Curl up your toes if it helps you.
Remember, you are starting with the bar within 4 inches to your shins so keep it that way the entire way up. The closer, the better, as it puts less stress on your lower back and allows you to increase the weight you deadlift.
As you are raising the bar, squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs to prevent pulling with your lower back. Again, make sure your weight is in your heels as you bring your hips forward.
When your knees and hips are locked you have reached the top of the exercise. Do not roll your shoulders back or arch your back.
Eccentric: Lowering the Bar
As you lower the bar back down all the same concepts apply as they did on the concentric part of the lift. Just think that you are following the same line as you did going up.
Keep your chest up, back straight, and gaze straight ahead.
Keep the bar within four inches to your body.
Bend with your hips first, and then bend at the knees to lower the bar all the way to the floor.
Repeat 7-11 more times and you have completed your first set! Poundage is very important when doing deadlifts, but proper form is at the utmost importance to prevent injury. So once you are comfortable with the exercise really load on the weight to see a difference!
Benefits of Deadlifts
- Works more muscles simultaneously than any other movement
- Strengthens the entire back and surrounding muscles, making it great for rehabilitative, and preventative, purposes.
- Key core strengthening movement
- Increases leg strength
- Improves grip strength
- It has a real life application as lifting objects from the ground is typical for anyone on any given day
- It is the King of mass gaining exercises!