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Knowing how to do a deadlift is crucial for strength training days—it’s a hero exercise for your hamstrings, and also helps build strength and stability in your glutes.
And that’s the beauty of this one-move wonder: The deadlift prepares your entire body to run stronger than ever.
'The deadlift is as close as we can get to a full-body exercise,' says Menachem Brodie, C.S.C.S., head coach at Human Vortex Training, USA Cycling expert coach, and USA Triathlon coach. 'It strengthens the posterior chain; develops your core and spine stabilising muscles, and trains the upper, middle, and lower back to work with the glutes and hamstrings.'
All of that adds up to power and stability. 'With all your muscles working together and your legs pushing off a stiff, solid platform, you’ll be able to climb faster and sprint better,” Brodie says.
The postural stability deadlifting gives you also protects against pain and fatigue, Brodie adds. 'Being able to maintain proper posture with your chest lifted and shoulders back helps prevent neck and back pain, especially on long rides.'
But it’s important you know how to do a deadlift before going straight into your workout—or trying any type of variations. Sacrificing form can lead to injury and will make the move ineffective.
If you’re using weight, Kenny Santucci, certified personal trainer and owner of Strong New York recommends a hex bar, especially for beginners. But if you don’t have access, you can use dumbbells. As an alternative, Santucci prefers kettlebells, because the handle is higher off the ground, which makes it easier and teaches you to slide hands down your legs and touch knees, creating the hip-hinge motion, Santucci says. You can even use shopping bags if you’re adding weight to the move at home, as the height of the handles comes up to knee height.
With weight in hand, stand tall with feet hip- to shoulder-width apart, a microbend in knees, shoulders back, and chest proud. Slowly send your hips back to hinge from the hips while keeping your back straight, abs tight, and chest lifted. Engage hamstrings and glutes to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers toward to the floor. Lower as far as you can until you feel a pull along the backs of legs. Push hips forward to come back up to standing. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Once you’ve learned how to do a deadlift the right way, there are plenty of variations you can do to mix up your workouts.
You could reap all these benefits by sticking to the classic barbell or dumbbell deadlift…unless you don’t have a barbell or a gym membership or get bored easily. Then what you need are options. And you’re in luck, because Brodie has lots of options, because variety is good for your mind and your muscles.
Source: Exactly how to do a deadlift - RunnersWorld