Deadlifts can definitely be viewed as a bit of a problem child in the weights room. But honestly, it’s not actually the deadlift’s fault.
More often than not they aren’t given the respect they deserve.
And it is actually easy to see why.
When you look at them, there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on right?
You grab the bar and stand up.
So why do so many injuries occur with this movement?
Ego and ignorance are the biggest contributors to the deadlift’s shady reputation.
People try to lift heavier than they should.
And because it seems so simple to do, people don’t ask questions or check their form.
It can definitely be a feel-good movement.
It’s going to be your heaviest lift and when you start getting stronger you want to push it further.
But the problem with this thinking is, that the heavier it gets the less concerned about form we get.
We just want to get the bar off the ground by any means necessary so we can look around the gym with our chests puffed out.
Which is going to be hard to do when you’ve slipped a disk and can’t stand straight.
Ignorance and ego are a terrible combination.
Especially when you start lifting more than your body weight.
Most people would consider poor form the problem, but you only end up poor form, from either ego or ignorance.
But when you spend the time working on your form and making sure you are doing them correctly then that is a perfectly safe movement.
So I’ve put a few photos in to show you how your form should look.
You always want to keep your back straight and your chest high.
And another thing to remember is that your arms are just hooks, you are lifting with your legs.
You also never want any curve in your spine and a simple way to ensure this is by rolling your shoulders back and keeping your chest proud.
And always warm up with lighter weights first.
You should never go straight into a heavy deadlift.
Spend the time and warm up properly and then once you start getting heavy just a few reps per set is fine.
Deadlifts use a lot of muscles and burn a lot of calories so they will fatigue you fast.
Low reps are always a good idea with deadlifts, but only once you have your form spot on.
This is where mirrors in the gym are great. Stand side onto the mirror and check your form before lifting.
The mirror should be for checking your form, not for looking at your pump while doing bicep curls in the squat rack.
What Muscles Do Deadlifts Work?
As I mentioned before, deadlifts work a lot of muscles!
They are a great movement for burning calories and for building some mass!
Even though they can be viewed as a bit dangerous I really rate deadlifts.
So what muscles do they work?
- Inner thigh
As you can see, a lot of muscles!
And more importantly a lot of big muscle groups! So if weight loss is your goal deadlifts burn a lot of calories.
But If weight gain is your goal, deadlifts target a lot of big muscle groups.
So you’re going to be working a lot of muscles in one movement.
Deadlifts are one of my all-time favorites, And now that the majority of my training is bodyweight or minimal equipment I’m finding more clever ways to do them.
One of these is with resistance bands.
To see more on resistance band training check out my Ebook Train wherever the f*ck you want. You can get your FREE copy right here.
Benefits Of Deadlift
When done correctly deadlifts have a lot of great benefits, so let’s have a look at the main benefits of deadlifts.
They aid in fat lose
As I mentioned before, deadlifts are a great movement for putting your body into a calorie deficit.
So when you put them in an exercise routine paired up with the right diet you will be shedding belly fat in no time!
Being in a calorie deficit is how you lose weight, your body needs to be burning more fuel than you are giving it.
So adding deadlifts into your routine is a great way to do that.
Great for building strength and size
So now if you pair deadlifts up with a calorie surplus you are on track for building muscle.
Just like being in a deficit is how you lose weight, you gain weight by being in a surplus.
Because deadlifts target so many muscles you will be building muscle in more places!
So it makes sense if you have them in a routine that’s paired with a high protein, calorie surplus diet you will pack on some serious mass!
They help improve core strength and stability
I say it in my articles a lot, compound movements are great for your core as well as all their other benefits.
And deadlifts definitely follow that rule also.
Because of how your body is set over the bar before you start the pull you need to have your core braced and firm.
And your core is doing a lot more than you realize during this movement as well.
And a strong and stable core is doing wonders for your lower back as well.
I’ve had a lot of clients’ lower back pain clear up because we added a lot more deadlifts in their routines.
Is It Ok To Deadlift Everyday
Because deadlifts can be such a taxing movement it’s not recommended to do them every day.
Remember that your muscles need to recover, and by putting them through a tough workout day after day you risk serious injury.
On top of that, deadlifts have a reputation for causing injury so it’s not something you want to do when you’re feeling weak and fatigued.
Every second day is a safer idea but even then you could be running the gauntlet.
I typically do deadlifts once or twice a week and find that works fine for me.
People often don’t take into account recovery, they get excited because they’ll start to feel stronger and want to get another session in.
It’s hard when you get a bit of momentum, you don’t want to take your foot off the gas.
But your muscles need to recover so that they can grow back bigger and stronger.
Rest is important, especially after doing a movement like deadlifts that uses so many muscles.