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Deadlifting for Beginners: What You Need to Know

March 12, 2023 4 min read

Deadlifting for Beginners: What You Need to Know

Introduction to Deadlifting

Deadlifting is one of the oldest and most fundamental exercises in strength training. It has been around for centuries, with variations that have been used to develop strength, power, and functional fitness in athletes of all levels. In recent years, deadlifting has become a popular exercise for both bodybuilders and general fitness enthusiasts alike.

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The deadlift is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, erector spinae, and core muscles. It is an extremely effective way to build strength and size, as well as improve overall athleticism. While it can be intimidating to get started, learning proper form and technique is essential for maximizing your results and avoiding injury.

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Benefits of Deadlifting

Deadlifting offers numerous benefits for those looking to improve their strength and fitness level. Here are just a few:

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  • Builds overall muscle mass and strength
  • Improves posture and balance
  • Increases core stability
  • Enhances muscular endurance
  • Improves athletic performance

In addition to the physical benefits, deadlifting also helps improve mental focus and discipline. It requires concentration and control during the entire movement, which can help increase concentration in other areas of life.

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Common Deadlifting Mistakes

Despite the many benefits of deadlifting, there are some common mistakes that can lead to poor performance or even injury. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when deadlifting:

  • Using too much weight - When starting out, it's important to use a weight that you can handle. Trying to lift too much weight can lead to form breakdown and potential injury.
  • Not maintaining a neutral spine - During the deadlift, it's important to maintain a neutral spine position. This means keeping your back flat and chest up throughout the entire movement.
  • Rounding your back - Rounding your back at any point during the deadlift can put undue stress on your spine, potentially leading to injury. Keep your chest up and shoulder blades engaged throughout the lift.
  • Not engaging your legs - The deadlift is a full-body exercise, so it's important to engage your entire body. Driving through your heels and pushing your knees outward will help to maximize the effectiveness of the lift.
  • Bouncing the bar off the floor - Bouncing the weight off the ground can cause momentum to take over, taking away from the effectiveness of the lift. Instead, make sure to lower the weight under control and reset yourself before each rep.

Proper Form and Technique

To ensure you get the most out of your deadlift and stay safe while doing it, it's important to learn the proper form and technique. Here are the steps to follow when performing the deadlift:

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
  2. Take a grip that is just outside of your shins.
  3. Engage your core and keep your chest up. Make sure your back remains flat throughout the lift.
  4. Push your hips back and bend your knees until your shins touch the bar.
  5. Take a deep breath in and hold it while you stand up. Drive through your heels and press your knees outward.
  6. At the top of the lift, squeeze your glutes and lock your hips.
  7. Lower the weight under control and reset your body before beginning the next rep.

Safety Considerations

When done correctly, deadlifting can be a safe and effective exercise. It’s important to keep in mind a few safety considerations to help avoid injury:

  • Always warm up before lifting, especially if you’re new to the exercise.
  • Make sure you’re using good form and technique. If you’re unsure, seek guidance from a qualified fitness professional.
  • Choose a weight that is appropriate for your level of experience and fitness level.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you feel pain or discomfort.

Programming Considerations

When programming deadlifts into your workout routine, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s important to not overtrain. As with any exercise, it’s important to give your body time to rest and recover. You should also vary the intensity, frequency, and volume of your workouts to ensure you’re getting the most out of them.

It’s also important to note that deadlifts should not be performed every day. Doing so can lead to overtraining and potential injury. Instead, aim to do them two to three times per week, with at least 48 hours between sessions.

Finally, when it comes to reps and sets, it’s important to find a balance between pushing yourself and staying safe. Aim for sets of five to eight reps, but don’t be afraid to push yourself and go heavier if you can do so safely.

Deadlifting is an incredibly effective exercise for building strength, improving athleticism, and enhancing overall fitness. While it can be intimidating to get started, following the right form and technique is essential for maximizing your results and avoiding injury. When done correctly, deadlifts can be a safe and effective way to build strength and size.