Arguably the best exercise when it comes to strengthening the lower body and trunk (core). Although commonly perceived as a complex and dangerous exercise, it is essentially lifting up a dead weight and putting it back down again. When you think about it, deadlifts are a fundamental movement that we often perform on a daily basis, whether it is picking up a child or pulling out weeds in the garden, you are performing a variation of a deadlift.
So then, why isn't everyone deadlifting at the gym?
Well, the most common reason why people are deterred from adding deadlifts to their programs is due to the stigma associated with (incorrectly performed) deadlifts. If you ask 10 people if they deadlift, it is almost guaranteed that about half will say something along the lines of, "Nah, I don't want to hurt my back." or "No way, it's too dangerous!". The truth is that, yes, it can hurt your back and it can be dangerous, but ONLY if you perform it incorrectly! With every exercise, if you use improper form, you will greatly increase the risk of injury!
Now that that's out of the way, here are the benefits associated with deadlifts when performed properly:
- Increased Strength - You will gain significant strength throughout the entire body. As the deadlift is a holistic movement by nature, it will engage in more muscles than most exercises. Therefore, you will gain increases in lower body, core, upper body and grip strength.
- Core Stability - As the deadlift requires you to perform the movement with a neutral spine, the muscles responsible for core strength and correct posture will be engaged during the movement. Thus strengthening these muscles and improving your core strength and stability, balance and ability to transfer weight.
- Injury Prevention - As mentioned above, you will gain a stronger and more stable core, reducing the amount of compensation required by other muscles which can often result in tightness. You will also be stronger in certain joint movements such as bending your knees and hips, greatly reducing the likelihood of injury when performing these actions.
- Real Life Application - The proper form associated with deadlifting is transferable to almost any real life situation that involves picking something up. You will feel stronger when gardening or picking up a baby, and soon deadlifting will become a habit where you will properly place your feet should. Day to day activities or tasks once seen as cumbersome and painful will become far easier and pain free.
- Reduction in Back Soreness - Yes, you will experience less pain in your back through deadlifting. Through proper technique, your back will take on less load due to the amount of core strength and stability you gain from deadlifting, as well as the efficient activation of supporting trunk muscles such as the glutes.
So if you had any doubts about whether or not it's worth adding the deadlift to your repertoire, hopefully they have all been eradicated and you are now ready to begin enjoying the many benefits of the deadlift. If you're still not convinced or just need to be shown the proper technique please reach out to one of our CFC staff or message me, Ben at email@example.com