The deadlift exercise is an essential component of any workout routine if you are hoping to increase muscle size and gain strength. According to Mark Mogavero, the owner of Dynamic Personal Training, “If I had to recommend one exercise to someone that would provide the most benefit not only inside the gym, but outside as well, without question I would recommend the basic deadlift. To me, there is no more pure form of exercise and no other exercise comes close in terms of improving one’s life outside the gym.”
Many people may think of Hulk Hogan when they picture the deadlift, but this exercise is not limited to body builders by any means. Simply stated, this exercise has you lift dead weight off of the floor into an upright position.
“In an average day for the average person, how many times does one pick an object up?” said Mogavero. “Regardless of whether the object is picked up from the floor, couch, car-seat, etc. the fact remains that any person lifting an object in this manner is performing a deadlift.”
The deadlift exercise requires the use of all the back muscles including the butt, hamstrings and calves, but the mid to lower back will be primarily targeted. Increasing power in these specific muscles will lessen your chances of throwing out your back and will aid in overall body strength.
- Since the deadlift exercise is extremely demanding of a majority of the body’s muscles, you are also receiving a cardiovascular exercise.
- Performing such a demanding exercise will increase your metabolism for several hours. This allows your body to continue burning fat even after you have finished your workout.
- Due to the strain your body experiences when performing the deadlift, an increased dose of hormones will be released into the bloodstream healing tendons, muscles and other soft tissue. This process will help your body build muscle, heal and burn additional fat.
So how do you perform a basic deadlift? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Position yourself so your shoulders are aligned over the bar, chest and hips. The tip of your toes should be directly under the bar.
- Hinge at the hips to get down to the bar.
- As you begin to lift the bar, keep your back flat or neutral. DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK.
- Keep the bar tight and close to your body
- When you move into an upright, standing position make sure to drive through the heels and use your hips, butt and glutes.
Now that you know how to get started, do not forget to check out our deadlift video, which is just above this article, for a more detailed approach from ARC personal trainer Brian Tabor!
Featuring Brian Tabor, M.S. Exercise Physiology, San Diego State University, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Written by Leila Seed, ARC Public Relations Specialist
Brian Tabor, ARC personal trainer