All You Need to Know About Deadlifts
People will either love or hate deadlifts. The common perception is that they look like a perfect way to throw your back or hurt your feet (and this can happen if you have bad form). However, deadlifts are the most practical movements inside and outside the gym.
Carrying out a traditional deadlift entails lifting “dead weight” off the ground and putting it back down. This clearly defines many practical things that we do in our daily lives such as moving heavy furniture or carrying bags of dog food.
Deadlifts Simply Make You Tough
Deadlifts will enable you to improve in sports, move better, have better posture, and build a strong body. If you want inspiration, here is a 495-pound deadlift:
Deadlifts Are Safe as Long as You Do Them Right
It is natural to think that deadlifts are not safe. However, the truth is that they are safer than most movements in the gym. Jon-Erik, a running and strength specialist, notes that the problem takes place when your form is wrong.
The secret lies in the fact that picking things up relies more on bending your hips and less on bending your back. This movement of the hips is called hip hinge. You might confuse this with a squat, but Tony Gentilcore, a strength and conditioning coach at Cressey Performance, explains the difference as:
Hip hinge = maximal hip bend, minimal knee bend
Squat = maximal hip bend, maximal knee bend
To do a hip hinge, push your butt out towards, for instance, a wall behind you. Your back should remain straight and your core should be braced. This keeps your spine from rounding. Your knees should be slightly bent. It should look something like this:
Like all other types of exercise, deadlifts require right form and technique necessary for your safety. Most gym goers can benefit from deadlifts, but not it's not for everyone. Jon-Erik does not recommend deadlifts at all for anyone with back issues.
If deadlifts cause you pain even when your body is in the right form, you should stop doing them. You can use a trap bar or replace deadlifts with hip thrusts, cable pull-throughs, glute bridges, and kettlebell swings.
Sumo Deadlifts or Conventional Deadlifts?
Here are the differences between the sumo and conventional styles:
When choosing a style, you have to think of:
According to Greg Nuckols’ article on this topic, he recommends training on both styles and then choosing the one you feel strongest and most comfortable with.
How to Include Deadlifts in Your Workouts
Deadlifts can be really taxing to include in a program. Omar Isuf, a strength and performance coach, has the following recommendations:
Common Deadlifting Errors and How to Fix Them
Here are some common mistakes that people make:
Do You Need to Master Your Deadlift? Check Out These Resources
Guide to Deadlifts by Mike Robertson (Article)
Enjoy your deadlifts!
As a fitness and Crossfit coach, I get to use deadlifts almost every day. If you have any questions, you may reach me at FitnessCrab.com where I teach people how to achieve perfect form with bodyweight exercises such as yoga and rowing, as well as how to best utilize exercise machines like exercise bikes.