Deadlifts – 4 reasons Why you should be doing them
I’m not shy about the love I have for the deadlift. If I’d have to pick a favourite exercise it would be right up the top of the list (bit hard to choose one favourite, right?). Not because I’m particularly good at them, but because as an individual exercise they provide a huge amount of benefit. Seriously, in terms of bang-for-your-buck exercises, deadlifts are king.
You can’t cheat a deadlift. Either that bar is coming off the floor or not. Sure you can quarter squat a ton of weight, but a quarter deadlift doesn’t count.
So in this little post I am going to outline a few of the reasons why I think deadlifts are hands down the most beneficial exercises you can implement into your program.
They reinforce the hip hinge
The hip hinge one of our fundamental movement patterns. It allows us to lift considerable loads through the loading of the posterior chain. This loading (if done with a neutral spine) spares our lower backs from any undue stress.
Learning to hinge at the hips is important in relation to both pulling huge ass weights off the floor, and lifting things in day to day life. By learning to stabilise the trunk in a neutral position, while applying a concentric load through the hips, we can limit stress placed on the lumbar spine, and avoid any issues associated.
Dat Posterior Chain
The posterior chain refers to the back of the body (AKA spinal erectors, glutes, hamstrings, calves). You know, all those muscles that tend to get missed during the third (or fourth? I can’t remember) chest and bicep workout for the week.
And the deadlift crushes it. Every muscle on the backside of your body is working overtime to stabilise the spine against flexion forces, extend the hips, and maintain retracted scapula. Both hitting muscles that often, and undeservedly, get neglected By training these muscles we can also reverse the negative postural deviations caused by the excessive sitting (something that a lot of us do too much of).
Not to mention the important role that the posterior chain plays in the explosive hip extension seen during sprinting and jumping. Increased strength of the posterior chain could significantly improve athletic performance by making an individual faster and more powerful.
Believe it or not, hanging on to a really heavy barbell increases your ability to grip stuff. Hard. Important when doing heavy rows, chins and presses, if your grip strength is not up to scratch it can limit your improvement in heap of other exercises by giving out before the target muscles do.
Not to mention the importance a firm grip can have in day-to-day life, from unscrewing the lid off a jam jar to shaking someone’s hand. Heck, deadlifting may actually improve first impressions by both improving your handshake quality and making you looked jacked.
They can be regressed and progressed to suit any scenario
The deadlift is extremely versatile. Want to teach someone to hip hinge but they lack the necessary mobility to deadlift from the floor? Deadlift from blocks or do rack pulls.
Have a solid deadlift but lacking single leg hip stability? Single leg deadlift variations can help.
Solid hinge but a weak upper back? Snatch grip deadlifts could be your answer.
Anywho, you get the point. Very versatile, with a heap of variations that can be implemented to target a heap of different goals.
You look like a boss ripping a loaded barbell from the floor.