Many people fear performing deadlifts out of concern for injuring their lower back. These fears are well-founded because most people have weak lower backs. But here is the irony… most people have weak lower backs they haven’t been performing deadlifts. Muscles are very easy to understand: use them or lose them.
- Natural stance with feet under hips
- Symmetrical grip whether parallel, hook, or alternate
- Hands placed where arms won’t interfere with legs while pulling from the ground.
- Bar above juncture of little toe and foot
- Shoulders slightly forward of bar.
- Inside of elbows facing one another
- Chest up and inflated
- Abs tight
- Arms locked and not pulling
- Shoulders pinned back and down
Lats and triceps contracted and pressing against one another
- Keep your weight on your heels
- Bar stays close to legs and essentially travels
- straight up and down
- Torso’s angle of inclination remains constant while bar is below the knee
- Head straight ahead
- Shoulders and hips rise at same rate when bar is below the knee
- Arms remain perpendicular to ground until locked
Here are four reasons to perform deadlifts:
1.BUILD A STRONGER CORE
By “core” we are referring to all of the muscles that protect your lumbar spine. These muscles include your abs but also includes your obliques, erectors, and transverse abdominus. Your core exists to resist movement of the lumbar spine. When performed properly, while keeping the spine in a neutral position, the deadlift is a great exercise to increase core strength, as an ‘anti-flexion’ exercise.
2. REQUIRE A PROPER HIP HINGE
The hip hinge is a very basic, yet difficult concept to master. The hips are a mobile joint, and the low back should be stable when performing the movement. The proper hip hinge allows for maximal power production from the musculature of the hips during the deadlift. Often times, people with poor body awareness will flex their low back instead of their hips thus creating a greater stress on the low back. Many people with low-back health issues, do not properly hinge their hips.
3. TEACH HOW TO LIFT PROPERLY
Here is the irony when a mom with young kids says she’s afraid to deadlift a barbell or kettlebells: she twists, flexes and over extends her back when lifting her 20-lbs infant, while sometimes standing on one leg. In terms of shear forces on the spine and discs, flexion coupled with rotation creates the weakest points for a lumbar disc. This is when a disc herniation is most likely to occur. Learning to lift properly is beneficial to your back health for both in, and outside of the gym. There is a much higher percentage of the public suffering from low back pain as a result of coughing, sneezing, or twisting and bending to lift something light off the floor; then there are from deadlifting properly.
4. IS A FULL BODY EXERCISE
The deadlift is a compound, multi-joint movement. As such, your muscles from your shoulders to your knees will work together during the movement. In addition, muscles on both the front and back of the body are working during the lift. These kinds of lifts are great for building muscle and burning fat. As a general rule, the more joints involved, and muscles involved in a lift, the greater the physiological benefits that can result.
If you need help, click to get started with a coach.