The deadlift is one of the simplest weight training moves you can do in the gym – but so many people have never tried it for fear of getting it wrong.
The weights room in the gym can be a daunting place. There’s a whole lot of testosterone flying around – but don’t let the grunting and sweating put you off.
There are loads of simple moves you can do with weights that will improve the quality of your workout and help you build muscle, strength, stability and endurance.
Deadlifts are a great place to start. The quintessential weightlifting exercise targets every one of your major muscle groups. The compound move helps you develop overall strength while focusing on your core stability and functional movement.
Simply put, this is really practical exercise that will help your body function more efficiently and with more power.
But deadlifts are intense. And to get the full range of benefits you really need to be doing them correctly. The wrong posture or body position can pose a real risk of injury to your back – which could put you out of action for weeks.
Luckily – our fitness expert Melissa Weldon, master trainer at Sweat It London, is on hand to show us exactly how to do perfect deadlifts.
How to do deadlifts
Find a barbell in the gym – with a weight on either end. Start with a small weight and then build up once you have nailed your form.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, right up against the bar, so your shins are almost touching the bar.
Squat down, with your back straight and head up. Grab on to the bar outside each of your legs.
Once you have a secure grip, drive your feet almost through the floor and lift your chest and your butt at the same time – until you’re in a standing position. Keeping your arms straight, the bar should rest just below your groin.
Then you simply reverse the move back down in to a squat position.
To avoid injury, keep your back straight as you lift, and push with your thighs. Make sure you warm up thoroughly before attempting this move.
What are the benefits of deadlifts?
Cardio: Doing 10 repetitions of Deadlifts will definitely increase your cardiovascular ability. This move isn’t just about your muscles, it’s also about your heart.
Grip strength: Your forearms and fingers are working really hard when you deadlift, and they are probably muscles you don’t use very often – so progress will be swift and noticeable.
Posture: Deadlifting increases your core strength and adds to core stability – so don’t be surprised if you notice yourself sitting straighter at your desk next time you’re in the office.
Functionality: Building the weight that you can lift in this position is genuinely useful for your real life. Think about heavy bags of shopping or boxes of books next time you move house – this is definitely a transferable skill.
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