Deadlifting my one rep max

Filed in Fitness by on September 13, 2013 0 Comments

I LOVE to deadlift.  I love knowing that I can grab a few hundred pounds and stand up with them.  If a car ever falls on someone that I love, I feel comforted in the knowledge that everything will be just fine.  Aside from the gains in functional strength that this exercise induces, deadlifts are superb  at building core strength and the muscle gain that you will experience can be massive.

Hamstrings, quads, lats, traps, erectors and forearms are all worked when performing this exercise.  There is no other manoeuvre that will train muscles as efficiently as the deadlift.  Because this compound movement begins from a dead stop, it really helps you develop explosive power.

For those of us who sit (and keyboard), all day, for a living, this exercise can provide a powerful tonic, helping to activate glutes, strengthening the lower back and lumbar region, building a stronger core and strengthening your grip.

Always warm up your legs (quads and hamstrings) as well as your thoracic spine before starting this exercise.  I usually start with, leg swings (front to back and lateral), internal/external hip rotation and front foot elevated split squats.  I then do t-spine flexions to get my back moving more freely.

When deadlifting, be sure to keep the bar close to you.  You should be “scraping” your shins at both ends of the movement.  Keep your core tight at all times.  Do NOT try to watch yourself in the mirror.  You are only seeing the movement in one plane in a front view… and it’s not even the most important plane.  Consider getting a partner to film you in motion from the side.  This will give you the most insight into your form.  

Stand with the bar aligned to the middle of your feet (which should be shoulder width apart).  Grab the bar overhand (or mixed grip), keeping your arms aligned vertically.  Bend at the knees.  Set your shoulders back.  Keep your head up and look forward.  Stand up with the weight, keeping it close to your body.  Lock out at the top of the movement.  To begin the weight’s descent back to the floor, begin to hinge at the hips before bending at the knee.  Keep your head up and your core tight.

This is an exercise that you should feel in your glutes – not in your lower back.  Make sure that you are comfortable in the movement before adding weight.  

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