Learn How to Build Muscle

Benefits of The Deadlift

The deadlift may seem like a useless exercises at first – after all, who gets ripped picking things up off the floor?!

But, upon closer inspection you may start you realize that the deadlift is one of the best compound exercises for overall muscle building and strength.

In this article I will discuss the many benefits of the deadlift, how to perform one properly, and how to improve your deadlift.

The deadlift works an incredible amount of muscles in your body. They work the quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals, triceps, traps, deltoids, forearms, lower back and lats – just to name a few. Almost all of your smaller stabilizing muscles are worked by deadlifts, which makes them one of the most effective total body exercises.

Most people swear by the deadlift and claim that it is the single best exercise for adding mass to your entire body. Others suggest that it is possibly the most dangerous one with the biggest chance for injury. Understanding how to properly perform the deadlift will dramatically reduce the injury risk and allow you to build muscle safely.

At first glance, the deadlift seems like a simple exercise – pick the weight up, put it down. While this may be the basic movement, it is much more complicated than that. A proper deadlift requires your scapula to be ahead of the bar during the beginning on the lift, the bar to be over the middle of your toes, your back to be compact and straight, your abdominals to be tight, your arms to be relaxed but stable and your neck to be a neutral position.

With so many things to focus on at once, it is no wonder many people find this exercise to be challenging. As the old saying goes however, “practice makes perfect”.

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Start by loading the weight onto the bar. You should perform a few warm up sets before your working sets to get the blood pumping into the muscles. The bar should bisect the middle of your foot – or cut your shoe in half, and your feet should be shoulder width apart or a little wider than shoulder width apart.

Try to use a normal grip for weights lighter than your one rep max – any heavier and you should consider a mixed grip or lifting straps/chalk. As you prepare to lift the weight, focus on keeping your back straight and your abdominals tight.

Your neck should be in a neutral position – not extended all the way up or down. Lift the weight using your legs to push up then drive your hips forward to finish the movement. Always make sure that your back is straight and does not round during the beginning of the lift.

Perfect your deadlift technique by watching videos of Olympic lifters or powerlifters. Try to read as much as you can about the dead lift and proper technique. This will help you envision the motion and certain cues to remember during the lift. As always, you can read as much as you want about the deadlift, but perfection will only come with lots of time spent with the bar!

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