The deadlift is a long-time favorite exercise of strength coaches, personal trainers, and fitness enthusiasts alike. And for good reason ― it’s an incredibly powerful exercise!
Below are the three reasons I recommend the deadlift!
1. It engages MULTIPLE muscle groups at one time.
If you ask most fitness coaches why the deadlift is a good exercise, it’s because it engages a multitude of muscles at one time.
And they’re right!
The deadlift primarily engages the muscles of the posterior chain (the muscles on the back of your body) the glutes, hamstrings, deep stabilizers of the spine, as well as the rhomboid and trapezius muscles of the upper back, and even the lats and deltoids to some degree.
Additionally, it also engages muscles on the anterior chain (the muscles on the front of your body), like your biceps, forearms, deltoids, and quadriceps.
It pretty much works EVERY muscle in your body!
Because the deadlift engages so many muscle groups at one time, it’s the perfect exercise when you’re short on time. Think of the deadlift as the perfect multi-tasking exercise!
2. The deadlift has everyday functional applications.
The word “functional” is thrown around a lot in the fitness community. Usually in the context of some stability exercise where a trainer has their client balancing on one leg, on top of a ball, perhaps even extending a weight overhead in one hand!
These types of “functional” exercises are anything but functional as they have ZERO real world application.
The deadlift, on the other hand, has the ability to be used in everyday real life.
In fact, you likely use, or should use, some semblance of a deadlift pattern throughout your day. Whether it’s bending over to pick up a cooler packed with food, a heavy box from the garage, or your child from the floor, all of these situations provide the opportunity to use the deadlift pattern.
Once you realize the deadlift is simply a way of organizing your spine into a neutral and safe position, while hinging at the hips to bend over and pick something up, you will quickly realize it is one the most “functional” exercises you can do.
Many people with “bad backs” are often intimidated by the deadlift. If you have a bad back, learning to deadlift is actually incredibly important! If you’re someone with a bad back I suggest checking out THIS article.
3. The deadlift promotes good posture when done correctly.
Modern lifestyles of regular sitting create a unique situation in which our hips spend long periods of time in the flexed position. Also while sitting, our spine remains rounded, and our shoulders commonly fall into a protracted, or rolled forward, position.
In addition to creating unsightly posture, this position can lead to issues like back pain, neck pain, knee injuries, and headaches.
The deadlift helps you fight against this negative stimulus created from sitting, by tethering together the prime mover of your lower body (your hips), with the prime mover of your upper body (your shoulders), and everything between (your spine), into a fully integrated system that has to work against a load and gravity.
This act of tethering the body strengthens the muscles with postural integrity, and can help ward off the negative consequences of sitting.
Not sure how to do a deadlift? Below is a video to help you learn how to do a deadlift.
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