The deadlift is the pinnacle of total body maximal strength exercises. This exercise hits all the major muscle groups, and many minor ones too. It is also one of the most functional movements in the world (picking up stuff off the ground).
Additionally, because it uses so many muscles, it makes you very strong in a short amount of time. Deadlifting also allows you to get increasingly stronger without plateauing (when trained correctly). That's why it is my favorite exercise.
There are different types of deadlifts. We will be covering the American Deadlift because you bend your legs and keep your back straight during the exercise. This is a safer variation, especially if you have a history of lower back problems.
Finally, you can perform deadlifts with barbell, dumbbells, or a kettlebell.
How to perform the deadlift with a barbell:
Position a weighted barbell on the floor in front of you.
Step up to the bar, shins almost against it, and plant your feet approximately hip-width apart.
Keeping your spine straight, chest up and shoulders back and down.
Hinge from your hips, and bend your knees as your hips sink low enough to let you grasp the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.
Check your posture: Your spine should be straight and long, chest up and open, shoulders back.
Engage all the muscles of your core to maintain this position as you press your feet into the floor, as if you were trying to push the floor away from you, and lift the bar.
Finish the motion by lifting your chest and engaging your lat muscles to stabilize the bar in front of your hips.
Return the bar to the ground by reversing the motion, pushing your weight back into your hips and softening your knees, letting the bar travel in a controlled path back down to the floor along your body.
Below is a quick tutorial of how to perform the barbell deadlift.
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