Corey Grant PT Coach
Shut up and Train

King of All Exercises

I often get asked a lot, “Hey man how do I get bigger?” or “Hey I have been doing a lot of *insert random upperbody exercise* and I still cant gain any weight” too which my next often question is “How much do you Deadlift?” Which then usually leaves them with the calf looking at a new gate expression

I can not count the number of times I see people wasting time and spinning their wheels slaving away at Bench Press, Lat Pulldowns, Bicep curls and tons of other exercises in there never ending effort to get “swoll” When the answer is staring them right in the face. But there is a problem with this answer, its not easy, its hard, its challenging, frightening and can be a down right bitch at times.

If you are not deadlifting you are wasting your time in the pursuit of what ever goal you are working towards. Rather it be powerlifting, bodybuilding, getting in better shape or simply looking good nekkid. I have never seen any negative side effects behind being able to dead lift a good deal of weight.

What is a Deadlift? Well technically speaking a Deadlift is just that, lifting a Dead weight off of the floor, it can not be any more simple more primal form of weight training than the Deadlift. Human beings for thousands of years have lifted things off of the ground and continue to do them till this day. This very simple movement can be the simple key to truly taking your body and fitness goals to the next level.

What muscles does the Deadlift work? An easier question is what muscles do the deadlift not work. This exercise virtually hits every single muscle in the body from the big toe to the eye brow lid no single muscle is left spared. Now the primary movers in the Deadlift are the Hamstrings, glutes, quads and lower lumbars. Yet the entire Spinal erectors get hit as well as the traps and lats to keep the spine neutral during the lift, as well as the Abdominal s in keeping the Torso upright, not to mention the forearms, upper arms and shoulders holding the weight in your hands.

How to execute the deadlift? You may ask, I just grab a bar and lift it off the floor right? Yeah if you want to turn the disc in your spine into mush and flying projectiles be my guest, but the lift is simple yet technical I will break it down for you.

1 The set up: With the bar on the floor, take a comfortable stance, feet roughly shoulder width apart and toes pointing straight. Create a natural arch in your spine by pulling your lats down trying to pull your shoulders into you back pocket. Then descend by sticking your butt back and bending your knees. Grasp the bar in your hand with a comfortable grip. With the grip you can choose a pronated (both hands over) or mixed grip (one hand under one hand over). The mixed grip is best for heaviest loads, and what ever is your dominant hand thats the hand with the under girp, the other hand over. Now pull yourself into a tight position by flattening out your back, keeping your hips up and lifting your chest. If you are doing this in a mirror you should be able to read the writing on your shirt. gently pull upwards on the bar too further set your self, tighten your abs and fill your belly with air and get ready to lift.

2. The lift: when your tightly secure in your bottom position head up, concentrate and tighten every single muscle in your body. Focus you power in your hips. Drive your feet into the floor flexing your quads, Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward, and flex in your hamstrings to upright your torso. Keep your upper back and lats tight and holding the spine in a neutral position. While doing this lift, envision yourself pulling back upon the bar. A good rule of thumb to tell your your sitting back and pulling back against the bar, the bar should glide right along your shins. The initial foot drive will generate the force to lift the bar off the ground to mid shin, then keep flexing those glutes and hamstrings driving your hips forward while and uprighting your torso. When the bar is at mid thigh level, really squeeze those glutes and drive your hips through  the full lock out position. When your finished with the lifts your spine should not be hyper extended, you should be perfectly upright and hips fully locked out

3. The Descent: Begin your descent by sticking your butt out, and letting the bar slide down your legs, keeping tension on the glutes and hamstrings and gently letting them stretch the weight down. Be aware and not let the bar drift away from the body, it should slide down the legs the same way it came up. Keep the upper back muscles tight and the spine neutral all the way until the bar is back on the floor.

Benefits of the deadlift for all types:

Bodybuilder: The deadlift will build slabs of muscle all over your physique and help take the back half of your body to the next level. I can see guys on stage and tell the difference as easy as night a day between the guys who have put their work in the deadlift and those who have opted for machine rows, and hamstring curls.

Powerlifter: This is one of your main lifts and can be the difference between first place and last place, there is a saying “the competition does not start until the bar hits the floor”

Athletes: So many movements in sports require building power from the floor up, there is no other exercise that will build more pure strength for this activity than the deadlift. This is also a wonderful glute and hamstring strengthener which are the primary muscles used for sprinting

Female Fitness Enthusiast: I know no better butt builder and shaper than the deadlift. Get off those machine kick backs and start dead lifting to build the butt of your dreams. The special man in your life will hate to see you go, but love to watch you leave. Also helps strengthens you for general task in your every day life, you wont have to wait for someone to come and pick something up for you, gain some independence and be able to do it for yourself

Male Fitness Enthusiast: Hey guys, women like men with nice butts too, so get on this fill out those jeans and stretch those shirts out a bit. Also this will help you in many daily task as well in lifting and moving things around, plus the extra added muscle mass will get you some more respect and admiration for your physique from your peers.

This is just scratching the surface when it comes to the Deadlift, a brief explanation to what the exercise is and the benefits. In the next article I will show you different variations of the Deadlifts and how to integrate them into your regular fitness routine to help take your body and fitness goals to the next level.

Ignite the Fire

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