When creating an exercise program for anyone who is looking to increase their overall strength and lose body fat you must include the deadlift.

Unfortunately the deadlift is one of the most over looked exercises for those wanting to increase their overall strength and lose body fat.  The reasons for this could range from not knowing how to properly perform the movement to not wanting to look like a power lifter.  But the benefits of including this overall body movement into your workout regimen should change your mind.

For many years powerlifters and Olympic lifters have been performing the deadlift as a means to increase overall strength and performance.  If you are an athlete who is using a performance based training program then I am sure you have used the deadlift as a staple to your conditioning.  Most crossfit gyms understand the benefit of the deadlift but it seems as though many fitness enthusiasts steer away from this amazing exercise.

If you are using a consistent workout routine to lose fat and gain strength then I can assume that you are missing one huge component.  So let’s visit a few of the many benefits of the deadlift.  One of the biggest benefits of the deadlift is increasing overall body strength.  When performing the deadlift you are activating all of the major muscle groups in the body.  Your quads, glutes, hamstrings, lower and upper back, and core.  By activating all of these major muscle groups all of your other exercises will benefit as you gain overall body strength.

Aside from the benefit of overall body strength the deadlift is also a fat burning machine.  By adding in the deadlift to your workout you can increase your body’s fat burning ability by up to 44%.  That’s huge! Lifting weights and resistance training will burn more fat than just dieting or dieting and cardio exercise alone.  The reality is that if you can only do one exercise you should choose the deadlift.  Of course having a personalized workout program increases your chances of reaching your goals.


How to perform the deadlift correctly

I understand that adding in the deadlift into your workout routine can make you feel a bit anxious.  As with any exercise you should make sure that you can perform the deadlift using the correct form.  In order to do this you will want to start out with a weight that allows you to feel the movement in the working muscles but not be so challenging that you use the improper form.

First of all you will want to load the bar with a weight that is moderately difficult.  Then step up to the bar placing your toe approximately hip width apart.  Your toes should also be underneath the bar.  Bend your knees just enough so that you can reach the bar with extended arms comfortably.  Your butt should not be lower than your hips.

Now arm placement is just as important as foot placement.  You want your hands out far enough that your thumb side is even with the outside of your foot.  They should be even with the outside of your shoe.  There are two different types of grips common with the deadlift.  Some lifters like to have their left hand in an over hand grip with the right hand in an under hand grip.  Other prefer to have both hands in an over hand grip.  In either case it is your preference.  I prefer the latter.

Next you’ll want to lift at the hips until you feel pressure on your arms and shoulders.  Your body should feel tight.  You head should be looking straight forward.  It is not necessary to look up while performing the deadlift.  Keep your head in a comfortable position.  You are now ready to perform the movement.

While keeping the back flat, do not round the back, lift the bar while extending the legs and hips.   Keep the bar close to the body.  I like to slide the bar up my shins.  Once the bar goes past your knees activate your lower back by bringing your hips forward.  Your shoulders should be back and not rounded.  Pull the bar up slightly past a stand-up position.  Pause and lower the weight in the same motion back to the floor.  As the weight gets heavier you’ll want to drop the weight to the floor.

If done correctly, you will be exhausted at the end of each set and should take a minimum of 90 seconds to recover before starting again.  It is important to make sure you are not rounding your back or your shoulders.  Every major muscle groups should be utilized during the movement.  As you are pulling with your lower back you should also focus on pulling with your upper back and shoulders.  Remember this is an overall body movement so make sure to use every muscle to complete the movement.

As you can see that the benefits of adding the deadlift to your workout routine certainly outweighs the misconceptions you may have.  This phenomenal exercise will help you to gain lean muscle mass, overall body strength, and burn more fat than you thought possible.  If you are still not sure about adding the deadlift into your workout contact me for a personalized fitness routine and be on your way to peak physical condition.




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