Updated: Mar 23
When the Deadlift is performed correctly it is:
1. The Most Functional Exercise That You Can Perform
Strength Training in essence is also known as "Weight Lifting' and that is exactly what you are doing when it comes to performing a Deadlift. You are essentially lifting a weight from the floor and using your entire body to do so. How can that not be a benefit to you? If anything, performing this exercise will in-fact protect your spine from injury because you are focusing on developing your stabilising muscles over time in a hip-hinge position. However, at no point in time should your back be rounded during a Deadlift, if this is the case then you are doing it wrong and need to seek advice immediately on how to perform the exercise safely.
2. One Of The Best Posterior Chain Exercises Available
Think about your Lats, Hamstrings and Glutes. 'The Big 3' as some may call them and for good reason too. Contrary to the popular belief that we must all have a six pack for summer, for overall health and function, it is best to look your best when people are watching you leaving a room than when you are walking in. In recent years the posterior chain has become so neglected by many as they don't see the point in developing this aspect of your physique. Fortunately for me though it is keeping me in a job so by all means continue with this trend! Seriously though, if you are an athlete and you want to be able to run faster, jump higher and be more explosive then you need to Deadlift.
3. Better Than Any Amount Of Sit-Up's You Can Even Contemplate Doing
For this point I am including the glutes as part of the global area known as the core. Compare the two movements: in a Sit-Up, you are isolation your abdominals which is fair enough, however, when you are performing a Deadlift you are essentially doing the same exercise but with the added bonus of developing your glutes. Girls love glutes, guy loves glutes, so it is basically a win-win regardless. From a coaching perspective, it is also very easy to progressively overload too which is also important for gains over the longterm.
So Where Do I Start?
Step 1 - Find Out If You Can Hip Hinge First
Next time you are in the gym, grab yourself a dowel or a PVC pipe and give this test a go (click for video) if you find that you are struggling to do this then you will need to start mobilising a number of key areas mainly your hips, thoracic spine and shoulders.
Step 2 - Pick A Variation Suited To Your Ability Not Your Ego
There are tonnes of variations that you can perform based on your current level of movement ability. However, when I am working with clients on a one to one basis, I always like to see if they can start with a Sumo Deadlift first and then work their way to a Romanian Deadlift
Step 3 - Add Weight Over Time
It goes without saying that if you don't add weight to the lift over the course of your training then you indeed wont be optimally growing in strength. Of course you can increase the overall training volume during your week but the best way to see results is by lifting a heavier weight for any given exercise.
In all instances, the best thing you can do is to seek professional advice to diagnose/treat your injury.
Once you have your diagnosis then the next best thing for you to do is follow a specifically tailored and structure rehab plan that will both help you recover in adequate time but also incorporate preventative exercises that will minimise any future risk of injury.