The deadlift is an amazing exercise that helps develop the lower back and hamstrings. It is characterized by lifting weight off the floor then standing with legs straight and shoulders back. If done the wrong way, this exercise can be a source of serious injury and could severely hurt someone’s back. It is, therefore, important for powerlifters to be thoroughly conversant with the proper lifting technique for best performance.
How to begin the deadlift
An exercise such as this demands one to have proper form when conducting it, otherwise they are in for a lot of pain. When doing the deadlift, the very first step is to sit back as if one is sitting on a chair. This is followed by employing a reverse grip on the bar. With thighs parallel to the floor and knees over your feet, you can shift the weight from your heels through your legs, not forgetting to have your butt in a downward position and low to the ground.
Care should be taken where the weight to be lifted is too much and with the potential of making one’s back rounded as this may cause severe injury to the back. The lifting part of the exercise requires a lot of power. It should be conducted so as to feel like a push and not a pull.
The stiff-leg deadlift is slightly different from the deadlift. It entails one having a shoulder stance over the bar. The feet should be straight or slightly angled out to the sides depending on an individual’s preference. The feet ought to be flat on the floor at all times. Once a comfortable position has been established, one can comfortably lift heavier weights. The reverse grip is still the preferred grip even for this style of the deadlift and it should be done with the hands outer wider than the thighs.
Straps can help one to establish a firmer grip on the bar where a grip with bare hands feels weak. For the lift portion of the movement, one should ensure that the spine is at a neutral position at all times and the knees slightly bent. The weight is then brought up using one’s hamstrings with a concurrent ascend of both the shoulders and hips. The same order is repeated when bringing the weight down while ensuring that the target muscles are hit and injuries are kept at bay.
The general rules therefore for performing the deadlift can be summarized as follows:
– Knees should be bent at 30 degrees.
– One should bend down slowly towards their feet.
– While keeping the knees still, one should move back to the standing position.
– Shoulder blades should not be squeezed until the end of the movement.
– The back should always be straight and not rounded at the thoracic spine or upper back.
– The head should be in alignment with the spine.
The importance of learning how to do the deadlift properly and safely cannot be under-estimated. Deadlifting has a host of benefits ranging from increasing muscle mass, upper back strength, and power, to improving grip strength and improving sprinting speed just to mention but a few. It however, also has a lot of potential at hurting you if not done correctly.