The Deadlift: An essential whole-body movement

The Deadlift: An essential whole-body movement

The deadlift is an extremely valuable exercise that should be central to any strength and conditioning program. The deadlift is a compound lift meaning it involves multi joints movements, involving movement at the hips & the knees. It is an extremely high value exercise because it simulates a movement which is done countless times daily whether it is picking up a child off the ground or lifting heavy machinery or tools at work. Improving our over strength and conditioning is an important aspect of management by our Physiotherapists & Chiropractors at Perth Allied Health Clinic, below are some of the benefits of deadlifting.

Benefits

  • Builds a strong posterior chain (including glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors, traps)
  • Decreased injury risk (builds a stronger more robust spine which can handle daily activities)
  • Increased grip strength
  • Improves posture (builds your upper back but also aids to keep a rigid & straight spine whilst under load)
  • Time Efficient (utilises so many muscles)
  • Improved core stability (in order to lift the weight you must be able to brace effectively)

Another great aspect of deadlifts is that there are many ways to make subtle variations to the exercise to work different muscles and make the exercises easier or more challenging.

Variations

  • Sumo Deadlift (wide stance)
  • Hex Bar/Trap Bar Deadlift (using a hex bar)
  • Romanian Deadlifts (straight leg: hamstring focus)
  • Deficit deadlifts (standing on blocks)
  • Rack Deadlifts (partial range of motion)

Deadlifting often has a bad reputation from many health professionals stating, “it is bad for your back”. If done correctly deadlifting is probably one of the best movements you can do to build strength and make your spine strong and able to deal with the challenges and load it takes every day.

Common mistakes – What to avoid.

  • Not warming up correctly (increase the core body temp, mobilise the hips and ankles, and use low weights to start)
  • Poor starting position (rounding of the low back, feet too far apart, weight on toes instead of heels)
  • Not taking the slack out of the bar (engage the lats, and take slack out of the bar before lifting it off the ground)
  • Not bracing the core (big breath in, brace the core, stables the spine, then move the weight)

Overall, if done correctly, you have a low chance of injuring yourself and everything to gain from this compound movements. As with anything if you are in pain or have had issues with deadlifting in the past, make sure you get assessed by one of our Chiropractors or Physiotherapists at Perth Allied Health Clinic before jumping into a heavy gym program! The risks are minimal, and the benefits, many! Provided you use the proper form and build a foundation of strength over time you will get a lot from this movement. No matter your goal, whether it is weight loss, improved strength or just general health, the deadlift movement can benefit you and should be implemented as part of a well-rounded gym program.

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