The deadlift is one of, if not the best compound exercise out there. It’s great at strengthen up all the major muscle groups of your lower body, while hitting areas of your upper body/core at the same time. It’s also perfect for prehab/rehab situations, improving athletic performance, burning calories etc. Yet we often find here at WitFit Personal Training Springvale, that whilst being one of the best exercises, it’s often ignored or forgotten. This is due to people being scared or unsure of what to do. Therefore this weeks blog will touch on the deadlift, listing some reasons why it’s awesome & help clear up some areas.
Why is it such a good exercise? WitFit Personal Training Springvale
For starters, I’ll ask you a question, how often/where do you usually deadlift?
Your most likely answer: Never. Or at the gym once every week or so.
The funny part is and you may not realise this, but you incorporate the deadlift movement on a day-to-day basis! Think about it, if you ever have to pick something off the floor, that’s a deadlift movement, moving furniture – that’s a deadlift, picking up your kids off the floor? You’ve got it, that’s a deadlift.
The deadlift is a basic human movement, and therefore being able to strengthen us for that movement is a great idea! It ensures we can keep doing the things we love for a long time; and allow our body to deal with physical stresses of everyday life.
What muscles are we hitting?
The deadlift strengthens a whole heap of muscle groups, from your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, upper traps, even your core. It’s a real bang for your buck exercise, which we love here at WitFit Personal Training Springvale. As the deadlift is hitting all these muscles, it triggers a cascade of hormones to be released, such as various growth hormones, which leads to greater muscle growth + decrease body fat.
Is it safe? How do I set myself up?
The positive with deadlifts compared to other compound movements (i.e. bench press or squat), is that there is no sticking point. For example, when we squat, we lower ourselves down, with the weight on our back/shoulders. If this weight is too heavy at the bottom, we are unable to get back up, placing us in a dangerous situation. Whereas with a deadlift, if the weight is too heavy, we can simply not complete the rep and lower the weight, or drop the weight if we are holding it. No spotter is required!
Setup for the deadlift is important, as we want to ensure technique is correct for safety. Check out the image at the bottom to visualise what we are talking about here!
First is the starting position; here are some key points.
- Stand with feet hip width apart
- Stand close to the bar, with your mid-foot under the barbell
- Bend over and grab the bar at shoulder width
- Bend down till shins just touch the bar
- Have hips high, not low
That last point is important, we want high hips as this helps leverage ourselves better, and the lift becomes more efficient. This is due to higher hips allowing the barbell to travel as close to our body as possible, which is what we want.
Once we are set, the key is to:
- Grip the bar tight
- Push through the balls of your feet, the legs power this exercise. The arms just hold the weight; they do not assist in pulling it up.
- Keep the bar as close to your shins/body as possible.
- Lock out at the top, with your hips pushing through the bar, engaging your glutes as much as possible!
So there we go, some simple tips on how to use the deadlift, and the benefits it has! As always, check out our FaceBook page to find out more about the Deadlift and heap of other exercises! If you have any questions on setups, or need help or a demo, or even someone to just watch your form. Come in and ask us at WitFit Personal Training Springvale! We are more than happy to help!
The WitFit Team.
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