Deadlift: The King of all Exercises!
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Deadlift: The King of all Exercises!
By: Elemental Fitness Ltd Deadlift, personal training, Weight training
The deadlift is the king and one of the best exercises in my option. If you want to build muscle, increase strength, burn fat and improve your athleticism it is one of the best movements that every lifter or athlete must do.
Why you should learn how to deadlift and why is it considered a staple in training? We would argue, especially working with many people over the years, which granted is a small sample in the grand scheme spend their life focusing on the front of the body. By ignoring what is in the rear, because it is not uncommon to only focus on what we can see. Developing our body without balance can lead to a plethora of problems such as:
- Postural/spinal issues
- Weak lower back
- Rounded shoulders
- Decreased range of motion
- Walking around like you lift carpets for a living etc.
Deadlift reintroduces us to our backside - hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae, multifidus essentially anything in the posterior chain and more. Helping us to stand taller and with greater strength.
To prove once again why the Deadlift is considered king, below are not 3, not 5 or even 10 but 12 points on the benefits of the deadlift and why everyone should be doing it.
When we think of burning calories most will assume cardio is the only way, preferably diet should be looked at first but that is another blog for another time (or check this one out once you are done here). However, the deadlift is a compound exercise that recruits multiple muscle groups at once. This takes a lot of effort which means that the body is working very hard, and the harder you work and the more muscles you use the more calories will be burned.
Deadlift is functional
Any functional exercises are those that will benefit you outside the gym. As mentioned, a Deadlift recruits a lot of muscles and mimics correct lifting. Using a heavy weight on a barbell or trap bar will help you implement it in everyday life. The deadlift will help in scenarios that require you to lift whether it be from a piece of paper to a heavy box of shopping.
Here are some scenarios in which you do the deadlift in everyday life:
- Picking up shopping bags, and heavy lifting will allow you to complete this arduous task in one go
- Putting together flat pack furniture, being a complex lift will certainly assist your neural ability, needed when you somehow have an extra nail left over.
- lifting up the kids, as you get older they get larger and still want to play rough and tumble applying the deadlift technique will prevent your back from giving up in those important clutch moments.
Poor posture can cause a bad back (here is a blog on the very common low back pain we all experience at some point in our lives), cause pain and discomfort, can leave you susceptible to injury and can even cause you to lose height! Deadlift helps you engage your core and straighten your spine – simply put – better posture, better life quality.
"Deadlift will not only help you build abs of steel but also help you perform other compound movements such as squats. Also, shredded abs and a great physique!"
Build Core Strength
Having a strong core is essential. If your core is weak, everything else around it will be weak. That’s why athletes focus on strengthening their core so much. After all, the core is where you generate your power and hold your entire body.
Look at it like this, have you ever tried standing on an empty can of pop? When structurally sound it can take a fair amount of weight. As soon as you crumple the can (making its core weak) it will collapse as soon as you stand on it. Not great if you need to move anything ever with weight.
The deadlift will not only help you build abs of steel but also help you perform other compound movements such as squats with even better results. Also, shredded abs and a great physique!
Increase Glute Strength
Most think of squats and lunges as great glute builders, however, the hip thrust movement (more on that soon) needed to perform a deadlift correctly requires immense strength in the bum muscles. The Deadlift is a great exercise that can target the glutes more than the squat or lunges can.
This is due to the ability to lift heavier loads that can be achieved during the exercise. Add the other variants of the deadlift and you have one exercise that can hit all the heads of your glute muscles and never have to squat again (not ideal though, balanced routines work best)
Increase Hip Mobility
Hip mobility is crucial to prevent and reduce injury risks to the lower back as well as stiffness in the hip flexors, a common issue with those that have desk/driving jobs with prolonged hours in a seated position.
As with the previous points, this movement can be transferred to many other important compound exercises to promote better form.
Improve Grip Strength
One of the most useful benefits of performing deadlifts is the fact that doing so will help to greatly enhance your grip strength. Grip strength is very important and one of the elements of resistance training.
As stated above, the deadlift is one of the heaviest exercises you can build on. in the early days of your training, this is important as most lifts (we would argue 90% at least) require you to hold something in your hands. If your grip is poor, you will find that your lift is poor, and you will not get as much from your training. With a good grip, comes great responsibility to see all your other lifts will improve.
Shoulder shrugs are not the only exercise to improve your traps, they are great, but deadlift is greater. With the deadlift, your trapezius muscles are constantly under tension from the moment that the bar is raised a millimetre from the floor until you lock it out and lower it again.
with solid form, you can easily work your traps within one movement and save from repeating shrugs later on. For extra work, at the top of the deadlift, release your traps slightly and throw a couple of shrugs in before resetting the bar. Works for us.
"The reason the deadlift is considered the king of all the exercise is because it is a great indicator of strength"
Develop Back Strength
There is plenty of exercises to work your back, many lifters agree that the deadlift and many of its variants (more on this in a separate blog) is one of the most effective. Along with the previous point on your traps, you can greatly develop your lats too, giving that v-taper body physique many look for.
The Deadlift will also engage all the other muscles in the back, great for hypertrophy, toning and development.
Improve Strength & Rep Work
Most of the time you will see people work on 1 rep max with a deadlift to work on strength, but that does not mean that each time you deadlift you need to lift a ridiculous amount of weight. You can also train the deadlift for reps with a lighter weight. Training for reps helps burn calories, it gets your heart rate up, it burns fat, and it tones the muscles in the legs and back.
Easy to Observe Progress
The reason the deadlift is considered the king of all the exercises is that it is a great indicator of strength. If you can deadlift an impressive weight, there is a good chance that you can handle heavyweight in general, as proven in previous points it works most of your body. To get a knowledge of how strong someone is, most of the time we look at how much they can deadlift.
Think of all those strongmen/women titles that have been won and how most articles focus on the person that lifted a world record. Anytime you have frequented a gym and seen those on the Olympic pads lifting, grunting and slamming weights - other than making a fuss, they are using most of their muscle fibres to lift an extraordinary amount of weight.
Another useful thing about deadlift is the fact that you can adapt it to the individual. With its many variations of stance, grip and use of different equipment the deadlift is something that anyone can do.
The bottom line as you can see, there are plenty of benefits to performing the deadlift and there are plenty more that I haven’t listed such as sport-specific training, plyometric versions, the gateway to Olympic lifts etc.
Click the link below If you are looking for an effective exercise that will build raw strength and power and engage more muscle that you never knew you had.