Thursday, 19 January 2012

How To: Deadlift Effectively and With Proper Technique

The deadlift is perhaps the most everyday applicable exercise there is. The deadlift is even more applicable to everyday life than the bench press. How many times do you pick up something heavy at work or at your home? Probably a lot. This is basically what you're doing with the deadlift. You're picking up a heavy amount of weight straight off the ground.
The deadlift is another for those trying to build muscle and gain strength. All powerlifting lifts will benefit from the deadlift. Why? Because a properly performed dead lift is another massive muscle building exercise! Weight lifting programs are meant to build as much strength as possible, and since the deadlift works the largest muscles in the body (your back and legs), the best powerlifting and muscle building programs utilise this lift.

The muscles you'll build with the deadlift

The deadlift works the largest muscles of the body. With the deadlift you'll...
• Work more large muscles than you would with the squat or the bench press
• Work the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. You'll build well-rounded leg strength.
• Increase your grip strength. In order to hold the weight, you need a strong grip. The deadlift will help increase that grip strength.

How to perform the deadlift safely and effectively

Proper dead lift technique is important if you want to deadlift without injury, even more important than proper bench press technique. You can injure more, larger muscles with the dead lift than you can with the bench press or almost any other lift.

Read the rest after the jump!

Here are the steps to a perfect deadlift:

• Step 1: Begin your proper dead lift by stepping up to the barbell. The bar should be about mid-shin level and 2-4" away from your shins, laces under the bar. You may have to place the bar on small plates to raise it up high enough.
• Step 2: Place your feet about shoulder width apart, as you would with many other lifts in your workout programs.
• Step 3: Grab the bar with your hands about 20" apart. Your chest should be pointed up. Pull your shoulders back so your upper back is never "rounded." Look forward, not down.
• Step 4: Begin the lift. Keep your arms straight. The bar should come as close to your shins as possible without actually touching them. Put your weight on your heels. Squeeze your glutes so you lift with your legs, not your back.
• Step 5: Keep this posture until you're all the way up with your legs locked.
• Step 6: Low the bar in the same posture. Flex your hips first. When the bar is past your knees, you can bend your knees.

Important safety tips to remember for a proper deadlift

As with many other lifts in muscle building workouts, the deadlift is easy, and but also dangerous, to do incorrectly. Never raise or lower your hips past the correct position. You can do this by putting the bar at mid-shin level and having your shoulder blades directly over the bar.
Bending or hyper extending your back puts excess pressure on your spine and back muscles. Prevent bending your back by keeping your chest up and spread out. Always look straight forward when doing a deadlift.
Bending your elbows can tear your biceps. Always keeps arm straight by tightening your triceps.
Remember, the deadlift is different than the squat. Although they appear to work the same muscles, they are actually two very distinct lifts. Confusing the proper steps between these two lifts could result in injury. Always remember the squat and the deadlift are different.
You'll be lifting more weight with a deadlift than you will with any other lift, so increase weight with caution. Make sure you're comfortable with your technique at a particular weight before increasing. Your muscle building goals will be ruined if you injure yourself. Proceed with caution, do every deadlift correctly, and you'll be building muscle with your workouts quickly!

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