Some argue that the deadlift is the king of all exercises, when it comes to working the most amount of muscle groups in the body, the deadlift is second to none.
The deadlift is the only exercise that stimulates both the lower and upper body. The same cannot be said of squats. The deadlift is also probably the greatest mass gainer of all the exercises, so if you are looking to pack on muscle mass you should be incorporating deadlifts into your routine.
The deadlift requires a great amount of technique to execute successfully and safely, if you’re not sure how to deadlift properly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Bad technique can result in serious injury, the lower back is particularly vulnerable.
As well as covering deadlift form, it is also important to learn about the different deadlift variations out there. There are two main variations, the sumo and conventional deadlift. We personally recommend the conventional deadlift, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with adopting the sumo technique.
In fact switching between the two helps exercise different muscle groups and can improve your overall deadlift.
1. You should begin by standing with your feet set very wide, towards the end of the bar near the collars. Bend at the hips to grip the bar. Your arms should be directly below the shoulders, inside your legs, and you can use a pronated grip, a mixed grip, or hook grip. We recommend using the mixed grip. Once again if you are lifting very heavy weights consider using straps.
2. Take a big breath, and then lower your hips, looking forward with your head with your chest up. It is very important to focus on keeping your chest up as this forces you to keep your back straight and your form in check. To further help keep your form in check we recommend using a weight belt, this will also help to protect your back.
3. Drive through the floor, with your weight on the back half of your feet and extend through the hips and knees. Focus on keeping your core tight as this helps keep your spine neutral.
4. As the bar passes through the knees, lean back and drive the hips into the bar, pulling your shoulder blades together.
5. Hold the weight for a second at the top, then return the weight to the floor.
There is no right or wrong technique, there are some very obvious similarities between the two lifts, however when it comes down to it they are in fact two very different exercises.
We recommend giving both techniques a try and then adopting the technique that feels most natural to you.
When performing the various techniques, you will notice that sumo deadlifts provide your quadriceps with a more serious workout and require more movement from your knees and work from your hips, whereas the conventional deadlift technique relies far more heavily on overall upper-body strength, and places much greater strain on your spinal erectors off the floor.
Are you spending hours in the gym having carefully crafted the perfect routine but still not seeing muscle definition? Getting super shredded takes time, effort and commitment, and it is very common for the vast majority of people to hit some sort of plateau in the quest for an aesthetic lean physique. Below we have listed three very common mistakes that could be letting you down.