The deadlift is one of the advanced strength training exercises that should be included in your workout routine throughout the week. The primary goal of a deadlift is to strengthen the posterior chain and thigh muscles.
Unfortunately, deadlifting has a reputation for being an aggressive exercise suitable only for the strongest of people or individuals who are already fit and lead an active lifestyle. However, this claim is false. Just like any other strength training technique, the deadlift has many variations that make it appropriate for all people irrespective of their age, gender, fitness level, and injury history.
The deadlift has a massive role in strengthening your spine, lower back, and legs. The movement pattern of this exercise is neither knee dominant nor hip dominant, allowing you to strike a balance and train the hip, glute, and knee muscles equally without going to any extreme.
This article highlights the amazing benefits of deadlifts and aims to help you overcome your fear of deadlifts, so you can use this efficient exercise to achieve your fitness goals.
Why Are Deadlifts Considered Dangerous?
The deadlift is a strengthening exercise that involves lifting weight from the ground by bending at your hips and standing back up again.
In real-life weight-lifting situations, people hurt their backs severely by performing this similar movement and that is why deadlifts are considered dangerous.
However, deadlifts are not inherently dangerous. Lack of experience, poor posture, incorrect technique, and lifting excessive weight are some of the factors that increase the risk of injury. With proper training and practice, you can safely perform deadlifts and enjoy greater strength and endurance.
Research by Harvard Medical School also confirms that deadlifts make everyday movements and actions easier and safer.
Top 10 Benefits of Deadlifts
Most compound strength exercises target different muscle groups. The deadlift is the only compound strength exercise that trains multiple muscle groups at once.
Due to this characteristic, deadlift offers the following benefits:
1. Deadlift Strengthens the Spine Muscles
According to a study published by PubMed Central, deadlifts and its variations help to strengthen erector spinae or spinal muscles. The heavier you train, the lower the risk of damaging your back by lifting things up from the ground or performing other mundane tasks.
If you don’t like to perform separate workouts in the gym to train different muscle groups, then you should start deadlifts. The deadlift strengthens the hamstrings, knees, hip muscles, biceps, shoulders, abs, quadriceps, core, calves, and pelvic muscles collectively. In addition, you also don’t have to perform deadlifts daily for optimal athletic performance. A few sets twice a week is all you need to activate different muscle groups.
3. Improves Mood, Confidence, and Mental Health
Unlike other exercises, the deadlift is quantifiable, allowing you to measure your progress. If you could lift 50 lbs last month and can lift 70 lbs this month, it is a clear indicator of progress.
Knowing that you are becoming stronger gives you a confidence boost and also improves your mood. Moreover, the deadlift triggers the release of endorphins that also contribute to less stress and improved mental health.
4. Improved Posture
Most of us lead sedentary lives. With our backs hunched over our workstations all day, we end up developing a terrible posture. The deadlift helps to strengthen our core and straighten our backs. Not only does this improve our posture, but also relieves back pain.
5. Deadlift Is for Everyone
As mentioned before, deadlift does not discriminate between age, gender, and fitness levels. Deadlifts are for everyone; people of all ages can develop endurance and injury resistance through deadlifts. Deadlifts trigger the production of growth and anabolic hormones like testosterone in men, helping them develop muscle and achieve their fitness goals.
However, deadlifts do not trigger the release of anabolic hormones in women; therefore, they are not at risk of developing muscle bulk.
6. Makes Other Exercises Easier
Deadlifts also help you with other exercises, including squats, lunges, glute bridges, and leg lifts. The deadlift develops all the muscle groups engaged in these exercises, making it easier for you to perform the movements.
7. Reversing Bone Loss
According to research studies, strength training exercises help reverse the loss of bone mineral density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This in turn prevents potential fractures due to weak bones.
8. Increased Grip Strength
One of the most neglected benefits of deadlift is increased grip strength. The deadlifts also train your hand and wrist muscles, increasing your grip strength. Your strong grip will also help you with other exercises, including chin-ups, pull-ups, and everyday pulling movement outside the gym. Plus, you can sport a strong handshake.
9. Increased Cardiovascular Health
Lifting heavy weights during deadlift workout also helps improve your cardiovascular health. The deadlift develops lean muscle which increases your body’s oxygen carrying capacity. Hence your cardiovascular system does not have to work hard to pump blood efficiently. The reduced stress on heart and arteries alleviates the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
10. Fat Burning
To perform strength training exercises like deadlifts, your body requires energy that it produces by burning fat. The stored fat released into the blood is utilized by the muscle, causing the fat string cells to reduce in size.
A combination of deadlifts and HIIT exercises boost metabolism and increase calorie burn helping you lose more weight, fast.
How to Start a Deadlift as a Beginner?
As a beginner who has never performed a deadlift before, it is best to start with an empty barbell. When starting deadlifts, getting the posture, movement, and technique right is more important than lifting the weight. Once you have mastered the mechanics of this simple exercise and become comfortable with the barbell, add 10 lbs weights on either side and build yourself up gradually.
When learning a new exercise, especially a deadlift, focus on learning the technique instead of the number of sets and reps.
The Easiest Deadlift Variation for Beginners
An empty barbell weighs around 45 lbs/ 20 kg. If your body is weak and lifting an empty barbell seems challenging, then start with lifting a kettlebell from a block.
The average weight of a kettlebell ranges from 5 lbs/ 2.2 kg to 50 lbs/ 22 kg.
Once you become comfortable with the movement pattern, remove the block and lift the kettlebell from the ground. Keep the weight low at the beginning and slowly increase it to develop muscle and strength.
Seemingly dangerous, deadlift is a highly effective, simple, and safe exercise. When it comes to strengthening your back and core muscles, nothing is more up to task than deadlift. Through deadlifts, you develop the natural movement pattern that involves bending down and standing back up with additional weight.
Before starting deadlifts, gym enthusiasts should learn the technique and posture from a competent coach to prevent injury.
If you want to maximize the benefits of your daily gym routine and reap the multitude of benefits of deadlifts, make sure to incorporate this time-efficient exercise into your workouts at least twice a week.