One of the most common questions asked in the fitness industry is “Are deadlifts worth doing?” well truly it depends on your fitness goals but let’s answer the question.
Yes, Deadlifts are worth doing, if performed correctly. A deadlift is a whole-body compound movement, from the back to arms, to forearms to the lower body.
So how can I target specific muscles when performing deadlifts?
Well, this is a skill which is gained over time with your experience with deadlifts. Since deadlift targets mainly the back and glutes, your mind plays a very important role in this. Next time while doing normal deadlifts try going with light weight and focus on the back every rep. Every time you come up squeeze your back and perform 12 reps. You will feel more on your back.
When performing deadlifts your using your every muscle in your body(Upper and lower body muscles). The main muscle group which are used while performing deadlifts are:
- Back muscles
- Core/Lower Back
There are different variations for deadlifts as they will a specific targetting muscle more compared to the other muscle group.
Variations of Deadlifts
|Variation of Deadlifts||What is it?||Main Muscle Focus|
|Clean Deadlifts||Clean deadlifts look very similar to normal deadlifts but some of the differences are that overhand grips are used and most of the power is coming from the legs and back and hip extensors are mainly used for pull||Glutes and Hamstring|
|Pause Deadlifts||Pause deadlifts are very similar to normal deadlifts but are mainly focused on the range of motion where the lifter has to pause. Pause deadlifts are hard so it is recommended to go lightweight and pause it correctly which is right in the middle, right below the knees.|
Also, this workout increases the time under tension and lots of force and power used when performing this workout.
|Glutes and Hamstring|
|Romanian Deadlifts||Romanian Deadlifts are where the lifter starts in a standing position and bring the bar lower to the mid-shin level while keeping the back straight and going back up before touching the floor.|
It’s Recommended to go lighter as in most cases your grip strength will be a limiting factor, plus you will feel more hamstring when performed slowly and correctly.
|Lower back and Hamstrings|
|KettleBell Deadlifts||A kettlebell deadlift is done with a kettlebell which is either holding one kettlebell with both hands or holding one kettlebell in each hand.|
This is a very good workout for warmups and for beginners because your form for the deadlifts will be pretty good with lighter weight.
|Glutes and Back|
|Single Leg Deadlifts||This isolated muscle deadlifts so only one leg is used to perform deadlifts with either a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell or bar. |
This exercise will help with muscular imbalances on each side which will help with balance and coordination. It’s recommended to start with no weight and feel comfortable before introducing weight to the exercise.
|Glutes and Hamstring|
Why Should I deadlift?
- Help with other exercises
- Athletic physique
- Strength lower back and core
- Activate your hip extensors
- Improve jump performance
1). Help with Other exercises
Since deadlift is a compound move, it is very beneficial to train them once a week as they will help your upper and lower body muscles to get strong. This will allow you to go heavy and perform better with other exercises.
For example, my core and lower body were very weak when I first started training. I decided to perform deadlifts twice a week but made sure the weight was light/medium and I was only going for volume and progressive overload. Over time, I developed lots of strength and muscle in my core and lower body. More importantly, I saw a massive improvement in my squats and bench press.
2). Athletic strength
The deadlift is a great exercise when it comes to building core strength and core strength is important for any sport as it helps achieve better mobility and increases durability. Furthermore, it helps strengthen the pelvic hinge which is good for all the sports like football, running, cricket, basketball, etc.
3). Strength lower back and core
Deadlifts are made to strengthen your lower back, core and lower body. Lower back and core will help you perform better in other exercises such as sit-ups, leg raises, bench presses, squats and more. Most people in the fitness industry tend to focus less on lower back and core but they are one of the most important muscle groups.
Deadlifts require huge amount of energy and strength when performing so make sure you start your workouts with deadlifts.
4). Activate your hip extensors
Deadlifts are one of the best exercises to perform for your hip extensors as they will lead to both increases in size and strength.
5). Improve jump performance
Jumping is a skill which is used in many sports and activities also it shows the overall development of your lower body strength.
Research suggests that deadlifts are one of the most effective strength-training exercises when it comes to improving maximal jump performance (Source).
What are the possible injuries from deadlifts?
- Slipped Discs and Back Sprains
- Hip Pain
- Knees injuries
- Bicep Tears
- Pulled Hamstring tenders
How to perform Deadlift?
Deadlifts should be performed correctly; otherwise, it can lead to major injuries. Priorities Form overweights, and this means to focus on your form first and gradually increase your weight on the deadlift. Here is how to perform Deadlift.
STEP 1 :- Have the barbell ready where it’s placed very close to the shin
STEP 2 :- Bend down while keeping straight back and grip the barbell shoulder with apart
STEP 3 :- Keep the knees parallel to each other and ensure it’s inside the forearms.
STEP 4 :- Grip your hand hard on the barbell and take a DEEP breath in.
STEP 5 :- Focus on pushing the ground away.
STEP 6 :- Pull the barbell while keeping the elbows straight.
STEP 7 :- From the starting position move the whole body to stand straight while holding the barbell.
STEP 8 :- Ensure the back is straight throughout the whole deadlift.
STEP 9 :- While in the straight position, take a deep breath out and good back to Starting position.
In Conclusion, deadlifts are great exercises to perform for the overall body. But make sure each rep is performed correctly so injury arises.
It’s recommended as one of the best workouts for the lower body as your glutes, hamstring and even quads. Those muscle groups are engaged which helps increase the strength and mass of the muscle group.