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The Deadlift

By Team No.17 | In Exercise of the month | on December 17, 2014

Deadlifts have been hailed by many as being the most fundamental lifting exercise in the world of resistance training. Some use it to work their back muscles, and some see it as a hamstring movement, but in fact the deadliest works out your entire posterior chain from the vertex of your skull, all the way to your Achilles’ tendons.
The reason it is considered so important to work on the posterior chain is that it is constantly being opposed by the activities of daily life. When you sit at a desk all day, drive in your car, sit on the couch, the muscles at the
front of the body adopt a shortened and flexed position, causing us all to develop chronically poor posture. Performing exercises which enhance the muscles at the posterior of our bodies helps to combat this epidemic.

Another reason we should all deadlift is that it is a seriously good bang-for-your-buck exercise. That is to say that if you only have limited time in the gym of a given session, you could choose to waste your time on ab
crunches and not really achieve anything at all, or you could do some deadlifting and work out a huge percentage of the muscles in your body whilst getting a neurologically challenging work-out and work on your sixpack at the same.

The more muscles you can actively engage during an exercise, the greater the hormonal response and the more lean tissue created. The more lean tissue, the higher the fat loss.

We mentioned that the deadlift trains the abdominal muscles. It in fact trains the entire “core” from your rectus abdominus, to your obliques to the paraspinal muscles lining your spine in the lower back particularly. The activation of these muscles and their strengthening in a controlled manner allows to prevent injury experienced by less active, sedentary people when they pick up a relatively light box in the work place or lift a child at home. Not
only will your back be better able to deal with these common situations once you’ve been deadlifting, but also the technique you acquire doing these lifts in the gym prepare you for all aforementioned eventualities.

Deadlifts are the perfect choice of exercise if you’re looking to improve your power, as well as improving the transfer of force from the lower to the upper body. This becomes particularly relevant in athletes competing in sports where they need power as well as speed. A 2011 publication by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that deadlifts lifted from the ground with the fastest possible concentric speed can help to build speed by improving your ability to accelerate through the entire motion of the lift. This helps particularly with
Olympic lifting where power and speed are obviously essential. There is no use in building strength
without also teaching the body to apply that strength powerfully in the land of Olympic lifts.

Tips if you’re new to deadlifting:

        Learn in the gym with supervision of a good coach to ensure proper form is maintained.
        Start low and go slow – pick a manageable weight and increase gradually. There is no rush


        to greatness.
        When setting up for the lift, step your toes step under the bar, approximately hip width


        apart. Once there, neither your feet nor the bar moves until you pull it from the floor.
        Hold on with a mixed-clean grip, or whatever your trainer has showed you.
        Drop your hips and lift your chest until your arms have no bend at the elbow.
        Engage your pelvic floor muscles and take a deep breath in (personal choice whether to


        breathe in here or not).
        ) PUSH THE FLOOR AWAY FROM YOU WITH YOUR FEET (ie. stand up with the bar,


      maintaining a neural spine with natural lumbar curve).

Key tip to remember is that the arms are simply hooks. Your body does the lifting, and your arms
are merely the apparatus connecting you to the bar. Push the floor away from you, and the rest will
fall into place. Happy deadlifting.

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