The dead lift has many benefits. It forces you to use your full body to lift the weight from the ground, which can greatly improve your overall strength.
It also targets muscles in the lower body such as the hamstrings, glutes, and calves and in the back, the latissimus dorsi and trapezius and the many small muscles surrounding the spine, as well as your core.
Another benefit: it will improve your range of motion, which gets you comfortable while picking up objects from the ground, moving around and bending at the hips.
It can be performed by using kettlebells, dumbbells, or hex barbells.
But if not performed properly, you can injure yourself or strain your lower back.
In these photos I’m using a barbell that weigh 225 pounds. Consider your flexibility and form while performing the exercise, or whether you are lifting a weight that is heavier than what your body is ready for.
It’s important to warm up by doing the dead lift with lighter equipment and then work your way up to your preferred weight.
To ensure proper technique:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Place a barbell in front of you. If using a dumbbell or kettlebell, place it between your feet.
3. Flex forward from your hips and grab the weight with both hands.
4. Make sure your knees don’t go too far forward over your toes to keep tension primarily in the hamstrings and glutes.
5. Sink your hips down, bend your knees and pull the weight off the ground until you are standing up straight.
6. Bend at your hips and slowly lower the weight back down with a straight back while controlling the motion.
Do 3 to 4 sets, with 6 to 12 repetitions each. For more tips or to check out your deadlift form, follow us on Instagram
@movementlabtraining or request a free assessment.
Photos courtesy of Miguel Molina.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.