When talking about the All-Star exercises out there in the history of treadmills and dumbbells, the Dead Lift is arguably the best exercise you can do when working out. Out of any exercise or weight lifting technique that you or anyone else knows, the Dead Lift works more muscle per movement than any other exercise - including the beloved squat! From an athlete trying to gain an advantage on the court or field, to someone who just wants to be healthier, the dead lift should not be ignored by anyone. However, with an exercise called the ‘DEAD’ lift, the name is not the most daunting aspect of this exercise. This is one exercise you SHOULD NOT do unless properly ready.
PROPER FORM IS KEY IN BUILDING STRENGTH AND AVOIDING SERIOUS INJURY WHEN DEAD LIFTING!
Here are the steps to performing a proper Dead Lift:
(Before using weight, it is advisable to get the form and movement down first.)
Step 1: Stand over the bar with the bar resting on the floor and center your feet over the bar. Your feet should be a little closer in than shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Bend to grab the bar with both hands so that your arms are vertical or perpendicular to the floor. *VERY IMPORTANT!* While bending, the first movement should not be through the lower back or the knees but rather through the hips. Drop your hips first by moving them backwards and then the bending in your knees will come more naturally and stably. To avoid using too much of your lower back, keep your chest up facing forward not down. (Good hip flexibility is key for this step)
Chest Up, Eyes Up
Step 3: Lift your chest (while keeping it facing forward) but do not squeeze your shoulder blades like you would on a squat. Simply, keep your shoulders at good posture (pulled back and down) and your neck inline with your torso.
Step 4: As your chest rises begin to pull the bar up, pushing through the heels of your feet. Keep the bar close to your body. (Sometimes I get scrapes on my knees and thighs because I keep the bar so close-Hey no pain no gain right?!)
Knees and Hips Locked
Step 5: Push your hips forward so that your knees and hips are locked out and you are standing upright. Do not lean back at the top of each lift because this will put a lot of strain on the lower back and shoulders.
Step 6: Keeping the bar close to your body, move through your hips by pushing them backward and lower the bar to the floor by bending the knees. Do not bounce the bar on the floor but rather tap it gently.
And that is one rep! Tired already? Yea, I know this is one hell of a work out! GET LIFTING!