If you love working out, then you have probably heard of the term deadlifts before. Whilst they may sound like they could be really difficult, they are actually not that bad. Deadlifts are a great way to weight train, build muscles and work on multiple muscle groups at the same time.
With deadlifts, you can simultaneously work on your strength, grip, muscles, and core. Unlike other weight lifting exercises, you can use deadlifts to work out your back, upper body strength and lower body strength at the same time, which is why these muscle exercises have become so popular. So, what exactly is a deadlift?
What is a deadlift?
The deadlift is a versatile weight training exercise designed to improve your strength in both the upper and lower body. If you want to tone the whole body at once, then this is the exercise for you.
To perform a deadlift, you will have to lift a loaded barbell or bar, off from the ground, pulling it level to the hips, before placing it back on the ground again. Seems so simple, right? The truth is, you have probably done deadlifts before in your everyday life when lifting items from the ground.
The only problem is that if you want this exercise to work on lots of muscles at once, you will have to perfect your form and perform it properly. So, before we show you how to do them, you should know exactly what muscles this exercise engages.
What muscles do deadlifts work?
Deadlifts are what is called compound movements. This means that they work a lot of muscles simultaneously in just one movement. With the deadlift, you will be able to work your back muscles, lats, glutes, hamstrings, and the core muscles to help develop your strength and tone in the abdomen muscles.
By activating all of these muscles in just this one exercise, you can work on them at the same time, building muscle mass, strength, tone and flexibility. Not only are the lower body muscles strengthened, such as the glutes, but you can also engage the deltoids, trapezius and bicep muscles, too.
However, you will need to perform this exercise properly if you want to really see results from this workout. So, check out our 5 simple steps to perfect the deadlift!
5 Simple Steps to Perform Deadlifts
One of the most important things to remember when performing deadlifts is having the proper form. Without using the right muscles to lift, you could really injure your back, or other parts of the body.
1. The first step is to load up the bar or barbell with weights. If you are performing a deadlift for the first time, then start with much lighter weights until you are comfortable with the action and exercise.
Once you have loaded up the weights, walk up to the barbell or bar to the point where your shins are about 1 inch away from it. Stand with your feet and heels about 6-8 inches apart, which should be a little bit of a narrower stance than a normal squat.
2. Next, lean over, but keep your legs strong and lean and grip the barbell. Remember to keep your elbows in a position just outside your knees, and try not to move or roll the bar. The bar should be directly over your midfoot to keep a good balance point for this exercise.
3. The next step is to push your shins forward to touch the bar, without actually moving it away from its starting position. Then, keep your hips in place, and do not move them from this spot for the exercise. Proper form and stance is critical!
4. Following this, tighten the muscles in your back, and engage and squeeze your chest up. Do not move the hips. Keep your lumbar spine in a normal extension. You will have to keep your hips lower than your shoulders, otherwise you will be lifting with the lower back, which can cause an injury.
5. Finally, you will need to use an overhand grip lift and drag the barbell up the legs, whilst keeping your lumbar extension and lift. Engage the core muscles, and pull the bar upwards, keeping it at your hips where your arms are extended. Then, go back down until the bar touches the floor again, and repeat.
If you are deadlifting for the first time, then we recommend that you only do one set of about 3-5 reps. This is because of the sheer amount of muscles that the deadlift uses.
If you start with multiple sets, you can really cause a strain on the lower back, or even cause a lumbar injury which can be incredibly painful. As you practice, you will be able to increase the amount of deadlifts that you perform.