What’s up gym fans?
Today, we’re going to look at one of the most popular exercises in existence – the deadlift.
To be more precise, we’ll be looking at the many different benefits of deadlifts for you to really sink your teeth into.
- 1 A Brief History Of The Deadlift:
- 2 What Is A Deadlift?
- 3 So, What Are The Benefits Of Deadlifts?
- 3.1 1. Burn Fat
- 3.2 2. Strengthen Your Back
- 3.3 3. Stronger Hamstrings
- 3.4 4. Different Options To Choose From
- 3.5 5. Can Be Done With Bars Or Dumbbells
- 3.6 6. Build A Muscular Back
- 3.7 7. Improve Your Other Lifts
- 3.8 8. Produce More Anabolic Hormones
- 3.9 9. Deadlifts Are Safe
- 3.10 10. Deadlifts Can Boost Your Confidence
- 3.11 11. Improve Your Physique
- 3.12 12. Deadlifts Are Affordable
- 3.13 13. Meet Likeminded People
- 3.14 14. Improved Cardiovascular Health
- 3.15 15. The Deadlift Is A Functional Movement
- 3.16 16. Deadlifts Improve Your Grip
- 3.17 17. Deadlifts Help To Break Plateaus
- 3.18 18. Deadlifts Will Improve Your Glutes
- 3.19 19. Improved Posture
- 3.20 20. Injury Prevention
- 3.21 21. Improved Athletic Performance
- 3.22 22. Stronger Shoulders
- 3.23 23. Stronger Core
- 3.24 24. Bragging Rights
- 3.25 25. Full Body Workout
- 4 How To Improve Your Deadlift?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 6 Final Thoughts:
A Brief History Of The Deadlift:
In terms of all-around strength and power, the deadlift is arguably the ultimate strength-building exercise as it requires a huge amount of grip and core strength, along with explosive and controlled power to get the weight up off the ground and locked out.
Ever since UK powerlifter Andy Bolton deadlifted 1000lbs for the very first time in human history, men from all across the globe have stepped up and have performed some truly amazing feats of strength in a bid to become the best in the world.
Eddie ‘The Beast’ Hall became the first man in history to deadlift 500kg, and the current world record holder is his rival Thor Bjornsson of Iceland, with a 501kg deadlift.
Most human beings will not ever get close to those kinds of weight, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t heaps of benefits to be enjoyed.
Here is your ultimate guide to deadlifts.
What Is A Deadlift?
We’ll get to the benefits in just a moment, but first, let’s make sure we’re all clear in terms of what a deadlift actually is.
Deadlifts are a full-body compound movement that requires an individual to grip a barbell and pick it up off the ground until it reaches around thigh height, before locking out their hips, lowering the bar, and repeating if necessary.
It sounds simple but it isn’t simply a case of picking up a barbell from the ground, due largely to the fact that you must make sure you execute the exercise with proper form.
If you don’t and you round your back, you run the risk of a very painful and very serious back injury.
Eddie Hall best described deadlifts as being an A to B exercise.
A is the starting position on the ground, and B is the end position when you lock your hips if you’re able to successfully lift the bar from the ground.
So, What Are The Benefits Of Deadlifts?
So, now that we’ve looked at what deadlifts are and have looked at what you can do to improve yours, let us now take a look at several of the many benefits that are available for us to enjoy.
The key benefits include the following:
1. Burn Fat
Thought that the only way to burn fat was to do cardio on a treadmill or exercise bike?
Because deadlifts are such difficult compound exercises, they require you to work very hard and as a result, you’re burning more calories to generate the energy needed to execute the lift.
If you want to get shredded, you could do far worse than incorporate deadlifts into your routine.
2. Strengthen Your Back
Deadlifts are great when it comes to strengthening your back because they work so many muscles in the back.
In particular, you’ll find that your lower back muscles get one heck of a workout when deadlifting, though during the pulling movement of the exercise your middle and upper lats will also get quite the workout.
3. Stronger Hamstrings
When you perform deadlifts, if your form is correct, as you lift the weight from the floor you will likely notice it pulling at your hamstrings.
Deadlifts are great for strengthening the hamstrings and furthermore if you perform exercises such as stiff-legged deadlifts you can isolate the legs as opposed to your back.
4. Different Options To Choose From
Another reason why people find themselves falling in love with deadlifts in the gym is because of the fact that the exercise itself is so versatile.
There are numerous different types of deadlifts to perform, with each one working different muscle groups and offering slightly different benefits.
Popular deadlift variants include:
- Standard deadlift
- Stiff legged deadlift
- Deficit deadlifts
- Romanian deadlift
- Snatch grip deadlift
- Sumo deadlift
5. Can Be Done With Bars Or Dumbbells
Not only are there a number of different deadlift variants available for you to choose from, but you’ll also find that deadlifts can be done using barbells, dumbbells, or other bars as well.
This is great because each one offers something slightly different and unique, plus it also enables you to switch up your training so that it doesn’t become stale and boring.
6. Build A Muscular Back
If you want a big and muscular back, you simply must ensure you do deadlifts on a regular basis, it really is that simple.
Deadlifts work multiple muscles in the body, yet many of them are located in the back and as a result of that, the more deadlifts you perform, the more muscular and powerful your back will look.
7. Improve Your Other Lifts
In terms of the benefits, another key benefit we can’t overlook is the fact that deadlifts will help to improve your other lifts as well.
Because they work so many different muscles and because they’re so physically demanding, you’ll find that your overall strength levels increase noticeably, which will help you to improve your other lifts as well.
8. Produce More Anabolic Hormones
This may sound like bro-science, but trust us, it’s backed up by real science.
If you’re looking to increase your strength and size, deadlifts are ideal because heavy compounds such as deadlifts will promote the production and secretion of anabolic hormones in the body.
Deadlifts can help to promote an increase in the production of testosterone and growth hormone, which both play key roles in muscle growth, performance, and recovery.
9. Deadlifts Are Safe
Okay, some would argue that no compound exercises are truly safe as there is always the risk of injury.
That is true, but by the same logic, cars are not safe because there’s always the risk of an accident.
If you drive a car carefully and do as you’re supposed to do, you’ll be less likely to get into an accident while driving and the same principle can be applied to deadlifts.
If you master your form and perform the exercise carefully, deadlifts are safe and can actually help prevent injury as they strengthen your muscles.
10. Deadlifts Can Boost Your Confidence
While strength certainly doesn’t generally define us, it is pretty awesome to be strong and to have people complimenting you on your strength levels as a result.
The more deadlifts you do, the stronger you’ll get, and the bigger you’ll get.
This, in turn, will help boost your self-confidence no end.
11. Improve Your Physique
Not only will deadlifts improve your back and your legs, but they’ll also improve your physique in general.
To begin with, as they’re a great compound exercise that works your entire body, all major muscle groups will be worked.
Not only that but as you get stronger, you’ll be able to train harder when performing other exercises too.
12. Deadlifts Are Affordable
Another of the many benefits that people often overlook is the fact that deadlifts are so cheap and affordable.
To do deadlifts, all you need is a barbell or dumbbells, along with the weights, and a firm, flat, even surface.
That means you can get a barbell and weight set and do deadlifts at home in your garage or backyard, rather than signing up to an expensive gym.
13. Meet Likeminded People
If you do decide to train at a powerlifting gym, a regular gym, or a CrossFit box, if you do deadlifts you’ll almost certainly have something in common with the other members.
Deadlifts are a universal language understood across the globe.
Strongmen and women from all over the world perform deadlifts, and while language barriers may be an issue, everybody understands the language of the iron.
14. Improved Cardiovascular Health
When it comes to cardiovascular health, it isn’t just cardio exercise on treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, arc trainers, and suchlike, that we should be performing.
Deadlifts provide numerous cardiovascular health benefits as they help elevate heart rate, strengthen the heart, reduce blood pressure, and a whole heap load more besides.
15. The Deadlift Is A Functional Movement
Another great reason to perform more deadlifts in your regular training regime is because of the fact that the deadlift is a functional movement.
By this, we mean that deadlifts can mimic movements that you will do in everyday life.
Let’s face it, we all have to pick something up from the floor every so often, and if it happens to be a heavy object, deadlifts will help to prevent an injury while doing so.
16. Deadlifts Improve Your Grip
When you do deadlifts on a regular basis, you will find that they improve your grip quite noticeably.
Grip strength and forearm strength are synonymous with one another, and both are improved when you grasp a heavy barbell and attempt to deadlift it from the ground.
When you lift the bar, you grip it tight so that it doesn’t fall, which is why deadlifts are ideal for those who are looking to improve their grip.
17. Deadlifts Help To Break Plateaus
Okay, so you’ve been trying to break through a training plateau for a number of weeks now, and despite switching up your rep ranges and your training routine, you still find yourself stuck.
What can you do?
Well, you could try deadlifting.
As mentioned, deadlifts will help promote strength in other areas and will help you to lift more weight when doing different exercises.
18. Deadlifts Will Improve Your Glutes
Okay, deadlifts won’t isolate like your glutes as squats or glute raises, but if you want to strengthen your glutes and get a more shapely booty, deadlifts can certainly help.
19. Improved Posture
With more and more people spending hours each day hunched over at a desk looking down at a computer screen, or with their heads hanging as they stare at their smartphones, poor posture issues are now more common than ever.
If you suffer from bad posture, deadlifts are ideal as they help promote flexibility and mobility and work on parts of the anatomy such as your spinal erectors and your core, which both help promote healthy posture.
20. Injury Prevention
When exercising, there’s always the risk of injury, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things we can do to minimize the risk.
One such thing is to do more deadlifts.
Deadlifts strengthen weaker muscles more vulnerable to injury, such as the hamstrings, and can therefore help you to stay injury-free.
21. Improved Athletic Performance
Deadlifts aren’t just beneficial for people involved in lifting sports and activities.
Deadlifts can also carry over to other sports as well.
Deadlifts help to boost strength and power for example, which can help people involved in contact sports such as football or soccer.
Golfers also benefit from deadlifts, and if you don’t believe us, just ask pro golfer Rory McIlroy, who is a big fan of deadlifting.
22. Stronger Shoulders
Another awesome deadlift that people often overlook is the fact that deadlifts are great for strengthening the shoulders.
As you execute a deadlift your shoulders, particularly your rotator cuffs will act as stabilizers, and the more you perform, the stronger they will become.
23. Stronger Core
If you want a strong and powerful core, you needn’t focus solely on stomach sit-ups and leg raises.
Performing deadlifts will result in core stabilizer muscles being recruited as you carry out the lift, and just like your shoulders get stronger when deadlifting, so too will your core as you incorporate more deads into your training routine.
24. Bragging Rights
It’s all well and good having a strong bench and an impressive squat, but in terms of all-around strength and power, the humble deadlift is the daddy of them all.
If you have got a strong deadlift, you are well within your right to brag, and why not?
Take those videos, upload them to Instagram, and bask in the glory of your superior strength and power.
25. Full Body Workout
The deadlift is probably the best example of a compound exercise you could wish for.
A compound exercise is one that works for several different muscle groups at the same time, and deadlifts most certainly do that.
Deadlifts work your core, your shoulders, your back, your legs, and your arms, which essentially gives you a full-body workout with just one exercise.
How To Improve Your Deadlift?
After having a look at the benefits, now, we’re going to take a quick look at 5 tips for improving your deadlift.
One of the best things you can do if you’re looking to improve your deadlift is the leg press.
A leg press machine is an awesome machine for accessory work on deadlifts as the movement itself is actually very similar.
If your deadlift is lacking, incorporate more leg presses into your routine and you should begin to notice a difference in no time at all.
Work On Your Grip:
When deadlifting, a lot of people find that it isn’t their strength that lets them down at all, but rather, their grip.
If you’ve got a lot of weight on the bar you may find that your grip gives out which is why you should work on it whenever possible.
Try exercises such as dumbbell holds and barbell underhand shrugs, as well as pull-ups and you’ll find that your grip improves noticeably.
The good thing about deadlifting nowadays is that you can use straps that are ideal for those of you who don’t have the best grip in the world.
In Powerlifting, straps are not permitted, but in strongman, they are actually allowed so go ahead and invest in some of your grips that still suck.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
You practice, and the same applies to those of you looking for a big deadlift.
If your deadlift is lacking, one of the best things you can do is practice.
Work on your form, experiment with lighter weights and different rep ranges, and make sure you’re doing them regularly.
Pause On The Floor:
Finally, if you find that you aren’t making the progress you might have hoped for, another awesome thing you can do when deadlifting is a pause on the floor.
When you perform a deadlift and set it down, don’t bounce it off the ground and immediately perform the next rep.
Instead, pause, let the barbell settle, and pull again.
This will work on your hamstrings and your pulling power and will really engage your lats and help you start pulling heavier numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Deadlift Vs RDL – Which Is Better?
Deadlifts are a great exercise for building muscle mass and strength. You can use them to build power, endurance, and speed. Deadlifting is a complex movement that requires coordination between the legs, back, arms, and core muscles. In order to perform a proper deadlift, you need to have strong hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. If these muscles aren’t strong enough, then you won’t be able to lift heavy weights without risking injury.
The Romanian deadlift is a variation of the traditional deadlift where you start out standing straight instead of bent over. When performing a Romanian deadlift, you’ll want to keep your chest up and shoulders back. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and pointed forward. To begin the lift, bend at the hips and knees until your torso is parallel to the floor. Then drive your heels toward the ceiling and stand tall again. Keep your weight evenly distributed throughout your body and focus on keeping your back flat. As you pull the barbell upward, make sure to keep your elbows tucked close to your sides and don’t allow your upper arms to flare outward. Once you’ve pulled the barbell above your head, slowly lower it back down to the starting position.
Are Deadlifts For Back Day Or Legs Day?
Deadlifts are a great exercise for back day. You should perform deadlifts at least once per week if not twice. If you don’t have access to a gym, then you can do them anywhere. I recommend doing them outside. The best time to do them would be after a workout. That way, you’ll get the maximum benefit out of them.
How Many Deadlifts Should I Do?
The number of deadlifts you perform per week is dependent upon several factors including your current training status, goals, and body weight. In general, if you’re looking to gain muscle mass, you’ll want to increase the amount of weight you lift each workout. If you’re trying to lose fat, then you’ll want fewer reps and heavier weights.
As you can see, there are heaps of benefits of deadlifts to be enjoyed, and in all honesty, we haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to just how beneficial they are.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to be the next Eddie Hall, or if you simply want to build a stronger back, deadlifts are the ultimate compound exercise and everybody that lifts should be doing them as far as we’re concerned.