One of the very best exercises anyone can do is the deadlift. Yes, the deadlift. Read on for a few of the reasons that I love the deadlift.
It’s a compound movement, involving a ton of joints and muscle groups. Done properly, you feel every rep in your quads, glutes, core (including lower back, middle back, and abs), and the grip. There is a ton of bang for the buck in this exercise. This one lift will make you stronger in practically every muscle between your knees and your chest.
Core work is undervalued. People – especially guys – don’t appreciate core work nearly enough. But a strong core is essential for keeping your torso upright and aligned properly (what your core was designed to do in the first place, not for crunches, squeezing your body in half like a taco), but it’s also important to have a strong core to prevent injury. You can have strong legs, but if your back gets torqued lifting something overhead because you don’t have the core muscles to remain stable, your out of commission.
Oh, and if you want further evidence that your lower back – as a part of the core – is really important, try running after you’ve done heavy deadlifts. It’s pretty comical. Or if you don’t want to do that, just place your hand on the small of your back next time you’re out walking, and feel all that your lower back is doing as you take each step. A strong lower back can even help you walk better, if you can believe that!
Anyway, I did some deadlifts last night and I’m feeling it today. Here was the workout:
Seven rounds, resting about one minute in between rounds:
305# Deadlift – 2 reps.
Pretty basic workout. The actual workout only took about ten minutes, but I was warming up for probably twenty minutes, lifting lightly and moving up to the target weight, stretching and doing some KB swings to loosen up the lower back, glutes and quads. Don’t sell short the warmup, especially on the olympic lifts.
Now, this post isn’t offering instruction on proper deadlift technique, but obviously with a lift like this, form is critical. Poor form will almost certainly lead to injury, so don’t screw around with deadlifts. But neither should you be afraid of deadlifts because they can hurt you. It’s worth learning how to do them properly because of the payoff, and how deadlifts done properly with an appropriate weight can help to rehabilitate a bad back and basically give you a full-body workout with one lift.
Let me know how it goes!