Deadlifting Workout

Deadlifting Workout

Is The Deadlifting Workout Right For You?

Deadlifting - Man performing a deadlift

Deadlifting is the classic strongman stunt you see in all kinds of media. It's also a major olympic event, the one where men and women lift a barbell carrying huge amounts of weight over their heads. It looks really, really difficult and requires great strength and technique. Most of us dismiss the deadlifting workout as an exercise for bodybuilders or serious fitness addicts who spend hours a day in the gym. But here’s the secret: it’s not. With the right knowledge, regular practice and most importantly, patience, dedication, and the proper technique, anyone can do it!

Why Should I Deadlift?

The deadlift is the king of exercises in the physique building world. Deadlifts target your quads, hamstrings, gluts, spinal erectors, abs, traps, and upper lats. Of course, deadlifts are usually only carried out by the truly determined. The average gym patron doesn’t perform deadlifts because they usually lift only for recreation and general fitness. They don’t have the training or knowledge necessary to properly perform deadlifts. But the fact is the deadlift is one of the best exercises around, whether you want to build muscle, tone, burn fat, or increase strength.

Proper Deadlift Technique

The most important thing to learn when it comes to deadlifting is technique. Incorrect technique can not only do nothing for your goals, it can actively harm you. Deadlifting, as it involves heavy weights being lifted over your head, can be very dangerous if not done properly.

Deadlifting is done with what’s called a hip hinge, which is like a horizontal thrust that comes from, as it sounds, your hips, not your knees. Your butt should go back as you crouch down, and should fire forward as you stand up again. To deadlift, first stand behind a barbell that is placed on the floor in front of you. Your feet should be approximately the width of your hips. Place your hands shoulder width apart. The best grip to use is what’s called the over/under grip. Put one hand on the bar facing up and one hand facing down. This grip prevents the bar from rolling out of your hands when it’s carrying a heavier weight.

deadlifting workout man

Your arms should be more or less perpendicular to the ground. Lower your butt until your quads are parallel to the floor (the bar should be just ahead of your shins). You should grip the barbell so that both hands are placed slightly outside your legs Lift the bar by pushing your legs to the floor and maintain your chin and chest up. Your butt should jut out as you push forward with your hips. Keep your feet flat on the ground. Your shoulders and knees should be locked. Pull in this erect position until you are at arms length and the bar is stopped at thigh level. At the end, your arms should be hanging straight.

What Not To Do When Deadlifting

What NOT to do when performing a deadlift is just as important as what you should do. First, do not round your back at any time! Never jerk the bar up to your thigh. Don’t tip forward or move your feet at all during the lift, don’t let your knees bow in and out, don’t hitch the bar and most importantly, do not go heavy too soon.

What and When To Deadlift

The ideal deadlift rep range is 1-6 reps. Higher than that risks damage to your muscles. Do 5 to 10 sets, maximum. An ideal ratio is 5 sets of 3 reps. You shouldn’t do your deadlifting workout more than once a week, as they are extremely taxing only your body. Carefully plan your deadlift day. Don’t train the same muscle group the day before or after your deadlift workout, as proper recovery is key to gains in strength and size.

Deadlifting Workout Accessories

Before you head to the gym, pack your bag with a few things that’ll enhance your deadlift workout. First, pick shoes with flat soles. These will help you maintain even balance. Gym chalk is an excellent and inexpensive investment. This will improve your grip and prevent your sweat from "greasing" the bar and increasing the chances of dropping it. For training purposes, or if you have weak grip, you might consider wrist straps. These will make it easier for you to keep your hold on the bar. Don’t use wrist straps all the time however, as building grip strength is key to successful deadlifting. Lastly, you may want to consider a weight belt. This keeps your core in place and provides a structure to lean against to ensure proper form. These belts are usually chunky and secured tightly to the lower abdomen.

Try The Deadlifting Workout With a Partner First

If you’re new to deadlifting, find a friend or trainer who can help you with your first few runs. Ideally, you want someone experienced who knows how to deadlift so they can observe your technique. Only they can tell you if you’re doing it right. Going it alone means you could go through months of deadlift training employing poor technique, only to find out later that you’ve been deadlifting incorrectly. It’s worth the effort to find a friend to observe you before you get seriously into deadlifting. With that said, one last important thing is not to let fear get in your way. Just get out there and do it. Observe proper technique. Pace yourself. Get some help. And have fun! You’ll begin to see the results you want.

Contact Tim Adams

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RX Fitness Equipment is here to help with your fitness goals, whether they involve deadlifting or any of the hundreds of other fitness choices you have. We carry weights and weightlifting equipment to fit every goal and budget, including barbells, weight plates, benches, dumbbells, kettlebells and accessories for them all – everything to make your fitness routine more productive. Come in and let us help you find exactly who you're looking for. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.

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