Benefits Of Deadlifts

The Deadlift! Intimidating as it may sound and look, the deadlift is one of the best compound, functional, and effective exercise movements that can bring more benefits in one fluid motion, than nearly every other lift in the gym. 

Deadlifts have many known full body benefits and are extremely crucial in the development of total-body strength, proper hip function, core strength, and spine stabilization (which can reduce the risk of lower back injuries). Since deadlifts recruit multiple muscle groups, joints, and stabilizing muscles, they also burn more calories and more body fat as compared to other exercise movements. With the proper form, the deadlift can add a ton of performance and health benefits, to your training program. Learn how deadlifts change your body for the better!

5 Proven Benefits Of Deadlifts

The deadlift recruits major muscle groups such as the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the lats. It’s a full-body-exercise that builds total body strength. So if you’ve been wondering how to build some sweet glutes, and a strong core you should probably consider including the deadlift into your training routine. Besides when you're at the box every day is leg day. 

1. Deadlifts Improve Posture 

The majority of us have postural imbalances, and many are quad dominant, meaning that most of the muscle mass in our legs is attributed to the quadriceps. Thus we develop a structure that lacks balance, since the hamstrings are an often neglected and forgotten muscle group, leading to an innumerable amount of issues such as hunched shoulders, a weakened core, and underdeveloped glutes, which makes us prone to lower back issues. 

Posterior training will with deadlifts help reduce these risks and give you a stronger posture for proper spinal support and a stronger back. Not to mention, help you carry yourself with more confidence [R]. Improper posture can lead to muscular imbalances, disrupting your body's homeostasis, creating overcompensation, muscle tightness, and making your more prone for injury. Deadlifts can help you build bigger hamstrings and glutes, and develop a stronger back, lats, and core. 

2. Deadlifts Improve Total Body Strength

One of the best benefits of deadlifts, is the total body strength they can produce. Deadlifts are a compound movement, meaning they use multiple muscle groups, joints and stabilizing muscles, in unison, giving you more bang for your buck when it comes to building more strength. 

According to a study published in the Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Farley, K. (1995). Analysis Of The Conventional Deadlift. Strength & Conditioning Journal, deadlifts activate many of the large muscle groups in the lower as well as the upper body, including the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominals, and latissimus dorsi (lats). 

If the goal is strength and body aesthetics, deadlifts are going to hit all the sweet spots, and help you build bigger quads, active your glutes to build a bigger butt, stronger abs, better hip mobility, and a more defined back. 

RELATED ARTICLE How To Get Stronger In 3 Simple Steps

3. Deadlifts Increase Muscle Growth 

Deadlifts are generally your heaviest lift and a compound movement that uses many different muscle groups. Therefore, by incorporating deadlifts into your training program, you'll gain more lean muscle mass when performed correctly. 

Deadlifts build core stability, gripping strength and many different muscle groups such as your back, legs, shoulders, and arms. Not only that but deadlifts build your glute muscles. With stronger glutes, hamstrings, and better core strength, you'll have more explosive power and endurance, improving overall athletic performance. 

RELATED ARTICLE How Do Muscles Grow

4. Deadlifts Reduce The Risk Of Back Injury

As odd as this may sound, one of the benefits of deadlifts, is reducing the risk of back injury. Often times your back may be sore, or you may hear of injury associated with deadlifts, however, injury is only due to incorrect form and posture.

Deadlifts work the entire dorsal or posterior aspect of the human body, from the hamstrings clear up to your lats and especially the lower back. Deadlifts work in an extremely pragmatic way, to help protect the lower back by further developing the core. Deadlifts actually cause the abdominal muscles to contract and become conditioned more so than abdominal specific exercises.

Lower back muscles aren’t enough to keep the spinal column from folding forward when confronted with heavy loads of weight when performing movements such as the deadlift. Instead, heavy deadlifts activate and condition the core in its entirety, creating internal pressure from the superior and posterior aspect of the body that immobilizes the spine.

This is essential for creating the lower back strength that is vital to prevent the risk of injury [R].

5. Deadlifts Help Burn More Body Fat

Since deadlifts use such an abundant amount of large muscle groups, in one compound movement, the body has to work significantly harder to perform such a movement. In turn, the body burns more calories to exert more energy. Resistance training also speeds up resting metabolism, as the more muscle mass you acquire, the more calories you burn.  

Thus, adding the deadlift to your workout, will help with your aesthetic goals in developing a better physique, correct imbalances for better posture, support total-body-strength, and increase muscle growth to avoid back injury.

RELATED ARTICLE How To Burn Body Fat In 5 Easy Steps

How To Deadlift: The 1-2-3 Guide

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional powerlifter, the deadlift is no doubt the king of full body movements. But the problem is that many of you new to lifting and exercise programs like CrossFit don’t know how to execute the proper form to use the deadlift effectively. But not to worry, you’ll be lifting heavy loads and feeling like an Instagram hero in no time!

Taken straight from the American Council Of Exercise (ACE) here are the proper 1-2-3 steps on HOW TO DEADLIFT!

There are three specific phases: the setup, the pull, and the lockout.

Here’s your set-up:

  • Stand with feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Rest your shins against the bar.
  • Hinge at the hips and sink back into your glutes while keeping your spine extended and chest lifted up toward the ceiling.
  • Grip the bar with one hand facing palm-up and the other hand facing palm-down. This over-under grip is for safety and can keep the bar from rolling out of your hands.
  • Squeeze the bar with your hands as you sink back into your hips. As you sink into your hips, think about pulling your back and down to engage the lats. This will help keep your low-back stable. 
  • For the pull:
  • Push your feet into the floor to straighten your legs and lift your chest as you lift the weight off the floor. As you stand up, think about pulling back on your knees and pushing your hips forward.
  • Finally, for the lockout:
  • At the top of the movement, hold your shoulders back as you keep your spine straight and tall. Pause for a moment before descending into the lowering phase.
  • Slowly push your hips back while keeping your spine long and chest lifted into the air.
  • Use your thigh muscles to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers back to the floor.
  • At the bottom, pause, reset your hips and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

For the pull:

  • Push your feet into the floor to straighten your legs and lift your chest as you lift the weight off the floor. As you stand up, think about pulling back on your knees and pushing your hips forward.

Finally, for the lockout:

  • At the top of the movement, hold your shoulders back as you keep your spine straight and tall. Pause for a moment before descending into the lowering phase.
  • Slowly push your hips back while keeping your spine long and chest lifted into the air.
  • Use your thigh muscles to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers back to the floor.
  • At the bottom, pause, reset your hips and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

 


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References
Ebben, WP, Feldmann, CR, Dayne, A, Mitsche, D, Chmielewski, LM, Alexander, P, and Knetgzer, KJ. Using squat testing to predict training loads for the deadlift, lunge, step-up, and leg extension exercises (squat regression study). J Strength Cond Res 22(6): 1947-1949, 2008
Schellenberg, Florian et al. “Towards evidence based strength training: a comparison of muscle forces during deadlifts, goodmornings and split squats.” BMC sports science, medicine & rehabilitation vol. 9 13. 17 Jul. 2017, doi:10.1186/s13102-017-0077-x
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