What is a Deadlift?
The deadlift is simply picking a weight off the floor and putting it back down again.
The weight can be anything from a barbell, kettlebell, piece of furniture, groceries bag or even your kid. In essence, the deadlift isn’t necessary an exercise, it’s a movement pattern. It’s something you do every day without giving it much taught.
But when you put it into a fitness context, all of a sudden it becomes a point of controversy. Deadlifting has been associated with low back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries and spine injuries. To be honest, these injuries come up in everyday life as well, especially low back injuries. I’m sure at some point, say when you lifted a heavy groceries bag, you might have tweaked your back a little.
Does that make lifting bags dangerous? Will you stop doing your groceries because you’ve hurt your back?
I don’t think so.
Back pain is a very common health problem. It can have a major impact on your quality of life because it interferes with you being able to work, take care of yourself and your family. The extent people will go to in order to get rid of back pain is incredible. Acupuncture, chiropractics, braces, strong pain medication, natural remedies, you name it, people try them all.
Sure, these techniques are useful, for example medicine in a case of acute back pain, but this is only a temporary fix. Next time you try to lift something you’ll be back to square one. Either that or maybe you’ll spend your life avoiding certain activities, and living with fear of hurting your back.
If you ask me, that’s not a very fun way to live your life. Luckily this is where learning how to deadlift properly comes in.
Deadlifting builds a body that is better adapted to face whatever life will through at you. It builds muscle, keeps your joints and bones healthy and it trains the mind as well. Deadlifts aren’t easy; it takes practice to learn how to do them. That’s why probably most people tend to avoid them.
Do them with bad form, and they pretty unforgiving.
To give you a better understanding of what I am talking about, it took me almost 2 years, to feel confident with my deadlifts. When I started out I had virtually zero experience with deadlifting. I had poor flexibility and mobility and didn’t know how to move properly.
I first had to sort out those issues before I could start doing deadlifts and challenge myself with other variations like single leg deadlifts, swings and eventually single arm swings. During this process, not only did I build muscle, strength and lost weight, I also learned to be patient, more disciplined and focused.
Things I most definitely was not. Developing these skills has certainly made life more enjoyable. To this day, I still have to focus every time I do them and try to improve my balance and coordination. This comes in more as a reality check and what to expect, if you want to learn how to deadlift properly, stay safe and build strength.
The problems people usually have when they start to learn how to deadlift are:
Lack of mobility in the hamstrings and hip flexors
Short hamstrings and quads can limit your range of motion, giving you a hard time getting down in a proper deadlift position.
You can check out the videos down below to learn how to stretch your hamstrings and quads.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch
Not knowing how to hip hinge
The hip hinge represents the movement pattern behind the deadlift.
Teaching your brain how to coordinate all the muscles involved in this movement is essential to keeping good form and protecting the lower back.
Check out the video down below, grab yourself a broomstick and get practicing.
And to put it all together, here is a video on how to set up and perform a proper deadlift.
Deadlifting is a safe exercise, as long as you do it with good form.
It builds amazing strength and can help prevent unpleasant back pain, build muscle and keep your bones healthy, all of which are essential to living a healthy and active life.
Article written by Razvan Dan Ene, MD. Razvan writes at Strength Therapy, where he helps people develop a healthy mind and body with a step by step approach. When you feel ready to take action, get his free special report.
THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.