For The Love Of The Deadlift
From the outside looking in, the deadlift looks like a lower back injury waiting to happen. There is heavy weight, grunting, pulling, and a lot of negative backlash. We are here to combat that negativity and spread information for the love of the deadlift.
The deadlift is, in a nutshell, a movement that involves lifting weight from the ground, or from a dead position to full hip extension. It is traditionally a powerlifting exercise and one that does not involve both a concentric (lifting) and eccentric (lowering) phase.
When performed correctly, the deadlift has many benefits.
To start, the deadlift is a great core work out. Athletes are often confused when deadlifts are prescribed to combat issues with core control or strength. The reason we like to program this for core is this: before the pull from the ground, our core becomes rigid, the imaginary string from our belly button to our spine tightens, we inhale, and we lift. Learning to control the core muscles is a key component to lifting. When the core goes, the lift goes, and the increase of injury jumps substantially. This is often the reason our backs may round during any lift, not just the deadlift.
Now let’s move down to our hamstrings. The hamstrings are known as the body’s knee brace. Weak or tight hamstrings can cause a multitude of problems in our body, the most common of which being knee and hip pain. As humans, especially in Western cultures, we tend to have weak hamstrings. Sitting in chairs and not standing from the ground often tends to make us very quad-dominant. The deadlift trains the hamstrings through the full range of motion, from the ground, to the knee, to the full extension of the hips. This not only strengthens our hamstrings, but also increases their flexibility.
While also noting that the deadlift strengthens almost every muscle group in the body, the last major component that we will discuss is our hips. Our hips are the powerhouse of the body. We see explosiveness through the hips in Olympic Lifts to transfer power through a vertical plane, we use our hips to sit, to stand, to hinge forward, and to lay down. The deadlift forces us to strengthen our hips by opening them under weight or pressure.
It is important to remember that while lifts that involve compound movements and multiple muscle groups may seem intimidating, increasing the strength in our muscles helps to support our joints, tendons and ligaments, easing the day to day aches and pains we may experience. There is nothing more functional than picking something up from the ground.
Since we now know why the deadlift is important, we will tackle how to properly execute it safely and effiecnently. Taylor Tibbitts, AKA Strongman Stone, will offer a free clinic at 10 AM on July 1st at Humble CrossFit. You do not have to be a member of Skyline or Humble to attend. The clinic and instruction is free for all, followed by a community workout. Taylor is the owner of The Office Gym, a NAS competitor, and a world record holder in several Strongman categories. Stay tuned for more information on the course content!