Deadlift – Definition, Benefits, and How-to
Deadlifts are an essential part of every strength training program due to the high number of benefits they provide. It’s important to know what muscles do deadlifts work.
Performing a deadlift builds your core strength, which eventually optimizes your motor function, trunk stability, and coordination. For this reason, athletes are obsessed with deadlifts, and so should you. Deadlifts also work muscles in the posterior chain.
In this article, we will cover the benefits that deadlifts offer, including the muscles that get recruited with every movement and what muscles the deadlift works.
The benefits of deadlifts
A deadlift is a compound exercise that requires you to lift a barbell from the floor. This is also referred to as dead weight, which means there is no momentum to support the movement, giving this exercise its name. Here are the muscles that deadlifts work.
Deadlifts recruit the following muscle groups:
- Core muscles
Due to the intensity of the exercise, the muscles need a lot of power to complete every repetition. As a result, this exercise provides you with an array of benefits that include muscle growth, better coordination, improved spinal alignment, and more.
How many deadlifts should you do
People often ask about the number of repetitions they need to perform when they are deadlifting. However, there is no one answer that covers this topic.
As a general rule of thumb, you need to adjust the number of repetitions based on the amount of weight you are lifting.
If you are new to the world of fitness or deadlifts, you need to focus more on performing the exercise in the correct form rather than how much weight you are lifting. Start with 5–8 deadlifts per set and work your way up to 3–5 sets.
For advanced athletes who use extremely heavyweights, you can do 1–6 repetitions per set – depending on the weight – and up to 5 sets. Make sure to rest between each set.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of maintaining the correct form. Doing deadlifts incorrectly could precipitate a variety of musculoskeletal injuries.
How to perform a deadlift
To perform a deadlift, you need a standard 45-pound barbell, which you can add more weight to each side (2.5–10 pounds). Preforming the deadlift correctly is important to work the muscles properly.
- Stand behind the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Make sure that your feet as almost touching the bar.
- Maintain a lifted chest and sink back into your hips while keeping your back straight.
- Bend over and grip the barbell.
- Keep both hands facing down (you can also face one palm down and the other up).
- Press your feet into the floor and sink your hips back.
- Maintain spinal alignment and push your hips forward into a standing position.
- Finish standing with your shoulders back, knees knocked out (almost), and legs straight.
- You should hold the bar with straight arms.
- Go back to the initial position while keeping a straight back, bending your knees, pushing the hips back, and squatting down until the bar touches the floor.
- Repeat this exercise according to your fitness level.
Besides the conventional way of doing deadlifts, there are several other variations, including:
The Romanian deadlift is a variation exercise that boosts the strength of the posterior chain muscles (e.g., hamstrings, gluteus maximus).
It targets the core muscles and the lower body with one movement, making it an excellent variation for individuals with weak cores, chronic back pain, and musculoskeletal problems in the lower body portion.
Here is how to perform the Romanian deadlift:
- Grab the barbell from each end and place it at the hip level.
- Bring your shoulders back while you maintain a straight back.
- Lower the barbell toward the floor.
- Push your hips backward.
- Reverse the last movement as you get up into a standing position.
- Repeat this exercise for 3–5 repetitions.
Here is how to perform a kettlebell swing:
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and place a kettlebell on the floor (between your feet).
- Maintain a straight back and hinge forward with your hips.
- Bend down and grab the kettlebell with your hands.
- Ensure that your spine is aligned and feet flat on the floor, then pull the kettlebell back between your legs.
- Push your hips forward and pull your knees back.
- Swing the kettlebell forward in front of your body.
- Tighten your core muscles and contract the muscles of your arms and shoulders to pause the kettlebell at the top before it swings back.
- Perform this exercise 12 to 15 times for up to 3 sets.
The power of this movement should be coming from your legs and not your shoulders. The explosive movement should also propel the kettlebell to the height of your shoulders or chest.
Pistol squat on Bosu
To perform this exercise, you may need a Bosu balance trainer.
Here are the steps to performing pistol squad on Bous:
- First, place the Bosu balance trainer on the ground.
- Put your right foot on the middle of the flat side of the Bosu and strengthen your left leg while lifting it out in front of your body.
- Maintain your balance with the standing leg while bending your knee and lowering yourself down into a squat.
- Keep your body weight in the heel and lean forward while ensuring that your back is straight.
- Squeeze your right glute.
- Stand up to return to the initial position.
- Perform this exercise 5 to 10 times on each leg.
The total number of sets should be around 3.
Deadlifts are fantastic exercises that recruit a large number of muscle groups. It is a compound exercise that is indispensable for every strength training routine. Deadlifts work a lot of muscles and we covered a lot of them.
We hope that this article answered some of the questions you had about deadlifts and how they improve your overall fitness and strength.
If you still have any remaining questions, we urge you to leave a comment in the section below or reach out to us by clicking on this link insert link of contact us page).
For more advice for about deadlifts visit us at www.onthegofitnesspro.com and talk to one of our trainers.