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THE DEADLIFT: WHY YOU NEED THEM!

If you want a nice booty, rock hard abs and all-round bangin body, then you should be including deadlifts in your program.
I don’t care if your goal is fat loss, muscle gain, strength, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance or balance – almost every person will benefit from some variation of deadlifting.

The deadlift is an exercise that basically involves picking a barbell up off the ground and setting it back down, and whilst proper technique may be a little more complex than the above, the deadlift is one of the useful strength exercises in the gym. Nothing is more natural to the human body than the task of lifting something from the ground, think about it – we have to lift things every day whether we want to or not.

The deadlift is one of the basic barbell exercises because it trains the whole body. The term “kinetic chain” refers to the musculoskeletal components involved in an exercise between the base of support and the load being moved. In a deadlift, the base of support is your feet on the ground, the load is in your hands, and everything in between is doing its anatomically-predetermined share of the work. Your legs, hips, back, lats, arms and grip are all worked at the same time, hence why the deadlift is considered one of the best compound exercises you can do.

It seems in some fitness circles the deadlift has been given a reputation of being a dangerous exercise. Wrong. The barbell deadlift is safer than picking up a filing cabinet, because the mass of the barbell can be placed directly over the body’s center of balance – the middle of the feet. This fact, and the ability of the lifter to keep the barbell centered over the mid-foot as it travels from the floor up to the lockout position, enables very heavy weights to be handled by a strong lifter. I’ve seen men lift over 400kgs and women lift way over 200kg – and those guys are just fine wink emoticon

The ability to load the weight on a 1.25-inch bar (it fits nicely in the hands) centered directly over the natural balance point of the foot means that the deadlift is a mechanically efficient way to lift a weight. This is because the correct deadlift keeps the back in extension as well as the bar over the middle of the feet. An “extended” back is held in normal anatomical position by the back muscles working together with the abdominals and all the deep muscles between the pelvis and the ribcage –the core. The job of these muscles is to stabilize the spine while moving the weight on the bar.

The truth is everyone should be doing some form of deadlift because they will produce an array of benefits including:

• Strengthens everything from your handgrip to your calves.
• Train your posterior chain for a healthier back and hips.
• Builds bone and muscle for health and longevity.
• Strengthens the core and abs.
• Improve speed, power, and athleticism.

So find yourself a coach and learn to deadlift – you might not be interested in deadlifting 200kg but I’m sure you would be interested in one of the above points.


References:
Mark Rippetoe/Poliquin

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