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The reason why everyone (young and old) should do this lift

This guy looks familiar
This guy looks familiar

For everyone that wishes to maintain a healthy lifestyle (that would include 100% of the world's population), the deadlift, or some form of it, should be included in your workout routine; after all, in everyday life, there will eventually be a moment when you need to squat down and pick up something from the ground, engage in a shoveling activity (snow, dirt), haul luggage around an airport, carry groceries into the house.  Those are only part of a long list of chores in which you use core strength (pertaining to the central muscles of the body).  Therefore, it makes perfectly good sense to strengthen the muscles of your body that perform those functions.  

Many experts agree that the single best exercise that targets all major muscle groups responsible for improving posture and core strength is the deadlift, which works more muscles simultaneously than any other movement.  And it will be difficult for a strongman to be a strongman without engaging in a deadlift movement.  The deadlift helps establish a strength foundation by promoting strong bones on account of the axial loading, strength from the overall weight lifted, and development of key structural muscles such as the lower back, glutes, and abdominal region. 


It is easy to convince yourself that you may injure your lower back, rupture a disk, or pull a muscle while attempting this lift.  And you do run that risk if your form (below) is bad or you haven't warmed up thoroughly; however, it is also possible that by the avoidance of this or other structural exercises, you can succumb to deconditioning that results in the deterioration of your joint structures. 

Feeling of well being:

By deadlifting once every two weeks, you will be surprised how much stronger and energetic you will become.  Sure, other back exercises such as chin ups, t-bar rows, dumbbell rows, seated cable rows, hamstring curls, add girth to your legs and back; however, structural exercises, such as the deadlift, help establish a strong foundation similar to that of a building's foundation; after all, you wouldn't want great framework on a poorly structured base.  With deadlifts added to your workout routine, you will notice an increasing benefit in strength in approximately two months.

Traditional deadlift form:

  • Walk to the barbell with with your shins about an inch away from the bar and place your feet about shoulder width. 
  • While keeping your head up and back flat, bend at the knees and hips to grasp the bar with an alternate grip; in other words, one hand over (usually dominant hand) and the other hand under. 
  • Keep your elbows locked at the start and throughout the exercise.
  • Focus your eyes upward to keep your head up, which will keep your back flat.
  • Simply stand up with the weight pushing hard with your heels on the floor.
  • It is important to keep the barbell as close to your body as possible throughout the exercise; as a matter of fact, rubbing the bar over your chins and thighs is recommended.  Compression forces are not excessive when the lumbar spine is flexed and the weight is held close to the body [Flech & Falkel 1986)]. 

And remember,  warm up thoroughly by starting with a light weight keeping proper form as you increase weight.  As the weight becomes increasingly heavy, you can use a weight belt; however, by maintaining good posture throughout the lift, your abdomen wall will also become strengthened; total dependency on a belt fails to develop your core strength at an optimum level.