For a lot of us, we may associate deadlifts as an exercise favoured by super strong gym-goers who’re trying to see how much they can physically push themselves with a vein-busting one-rep max – but, what’s often forgotten are the endless benefits that the deadlift can bring to us women, regardless of what our specific fitness goals are! – it’s undoubtedly one of the best functional exercises out there and can truly help us to build a fantastic well-rounded figure.
Keep reading as we talk about what makes deadlifting so great, how to correctly execute a deadlift and how we can align this brilliant move with our personal fitness goals-from toning up to shredding fat!
Deadlifting 101: What is a deadlift?
For those of us who’re unfamiliar with the term “deadlift”, it may sound pretty intimidating. However, the deadlift is actually a simple and easy to execute movement (unless you absolute load the barbell with weights that is!).
Deadlifting is a functional move that involves pulling a barbell up from the ground to the level of the hips (with the torso perpendicular to the floor). If executed properly, the deadlift can be a real game-changer!
On top of really engaging and working your core muscles, deadlifts activate the hamstrings, glutes, back, and traps…that’s a lot of muscle groups from one movement!
Deadlifts are known as a compound exercise due to the way in which they activate and target multiple large muscle groups, both in the upper and lower body – when it comes targeting the whole body through one movement, deadlifts are super effective!
Though commonly associated solely with strength training, deadlifting goes beyond being a strength straining staple. This exercise can be adapted and switched up to cater to all of your fitness desires…from muscle-building, to toning up, to endurance training, they can even be great for weight-loss!
How To Deadlift With The Correct Form – The Basics
There’s no denying that deadlifting a heavy load with the wrong form can put you at the risk of serious injury…with this in mind, correct form is super important when it comes to deadlifts.
Moreover, no matter how light or heavy the weight you’re working with when deadlifting is, the better your form, the more you’ll get out of the exercise!
Right, let’s look at the basics behind how to properly deadlift:
1. Starting Position
Approach the bar with your feet facing forward and position them so that they’re hip width apart. Whilst bent over the bar, with an underhand grip, place your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar – with heavier loads, mixed grips can be considered.
Keep your knees bent so that your shins are either touching the bar or just behind it.
2. The Lift
To lift the bar, drive your hips forwards whilst maintaining a straight back- focusing on core activation and lifting your chest up will help with maintaining a straight back! At the top of the lift, retract your shoulder blades and hold the position for a couple seconds before preparing to lower the bar back down.
3. Lowering The Bar
Whilst engaging the core and keeping your chest lifted up, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Throughout the whole movement, it’s absolutely key that a strong spine is maintained.
What Makes Deadlifting So Great?
Deadlifts can provide us with endless benefits, including helping us to reach a variety of fitness goals, let’s take a look at some factors that make deadlifting such a great exercise!
The functionality and powerful compound element of the deadlift makes it massively effective for strength training! The deadlift engages a variety of muscle groups (hams, quads, back, arms, core- truly making it a complete-body strengthening super move!
For those of us wanting to pack on muscle, between 6-12 reps with a reasonable yet challenging weight load can really go a long way! Or, if you’re more concerned with toning up and training for endurance, deadlifting with a rep range of 12+ reps can really help with toning up and developing increased endurance!
2. Fat Burning
So, we just touched on the ability of deadlifts to support strength and endurance training…but, what about weight-loss?
Well, deadlifts can be profound when it comes to shredding fat and reducing weight!
With deadlifts working so many different muscle groups simultaneously, a great deal of energy is extracted by our bodies when completing sets of this exercise. As a matter of fact, deadlifts do a thorough job when it comes to torching calories.
3. A Staple Movement For Your Dream Physique
With deadlifts involving the targeting of so many muscle groups, they can play a massive role in helping you work towards a beautiful, well-rounded figure!
Want a sexy lower body consisting of a great set of buns and a gorgeous pair of legs? Deadlift training activates and gradually shapes the contents of your lower body, making them fantastic for building that bum and shaping those legs!
Moreover, deadlifts also shed a great deal of focus on the upper body- they work the abs, back, traps and arms, making them a pivotal ingredient if you’re after the recipe for a beautifully sculpted upper body.
4. Improves Posture
As mentioned earlier, the correct deadlifting form involves the maintenance of a strong spine. Without a strong spine, we will not reap the rewards that deadlifts have to offer.
In an era where a lot us may fall into the daily trap of slouching and maintain a poor posture whilst we’re at our desks or sat on our sofas, including an exercise with such a focus on spinal posture in our fitness routines can do a world of wonder!
Additionally, the deadlift can support an increase in strength in the back and core, factors that support the development of a healthy day-to-day posture.
Deadlifts – A Weight-Lifting Masterpiece
So, with deadlifts being such a versatile, multi-muscle group targeting, compound movement that can help you be on your way to pursuing all of your fitness goals and building a fantastic all-round physique…what’s stopping you from adding them to your fitness lifestyle?