The deadlift has a questionable reputation, stories abound about back injuries caused by improper lifting technique and many who have never performed deadlifts bad mouth the exercise. It’s easy to understand why so many people avoid adding deadlifts to their workout although it is one of the most effective lifting techniques to help build a strong core and shapely back.
Deadlifts are a compound exercise that works several muscle groups at the same time making it perfect for strengthening, muscle building programs and fat loss. Deadlifts and similar exercises that train large muscles promote the production and release of HGH, human growth hormone with anti-aging properties.
To perform your deadlifts correctly, keep your shoulders parallel throughout the movement, don’t twist or lean which places unnatural torque on your torso. Make sure bar is in contact with the fronts of your thighs at the top of the movement. Keep your eyes up, head up, and keep your shoulders back as you press your knees back and lift your chest. This will help prevent back injuries.
Stand upright but don’t lean back at the top as this can cause pressure on your lower back. To lower the bar, push your butt back and out, similar to your squats, keep your chest forward and your eyes up which will help keep your back straight. Slowly lower the bar to the ground keeping your shoulders over the top of the bar and the bar close to or against your legs and repeat.
Be careful not to let your hips extend too far behind you causing you to put excess pressure on your lower back. You can avoid this common mistake by making sure that you lift your chest at the same time as you push through with your hips. Everything will move slowly up and down in one smooth motion.
Key points to remember when doing safe and effective deadlifts:
- Maintain a straight back through the lift, don’t curve your spine which often occurs if you are using too much weight or your technique is wrong. Practice in front of a mirror or a coach.
- Keep your head up, and eyes straight ahead.
- Keep your shoulders pulled back and over the bar.
- Push through with your heels at the top of the movement.
- Keep the bar close to your legs throughout the entire movement.
Proper technique and practice will allow a safe and effective deadlift and help you build an attractive and shapely back and strong core.