One morning a few years ago while taking a morning shower (I promise this is PG), I simply reached for the shampoo and threw out my back!
For those of you who have experienced this atrocity, you understand how painful it is and how an injured back wreaks havoc on everything you try to do.
After a few chiropractic appointments and some light moving, I decided it was time to strengthen my back to help ensure this would not happen again.
As I was struggling to recover from my injury, I realized this fact: deadlifts are the most functional exercise you can perform. It’s a movement you do multiple times a day, from shoveling snow, to helping your neighbor move, to lifting your kiddos, pets, groceries – the list is never-ending.
The problem is almost all of us take it for granted and perform the movement awkwardly or incorrectly often leading to injury. And although the deadlift is performed more often in our everyday life than any other exercise, there are myths that surround it. Some people believe deadlifts are too dangerous, they cause injuries, or exacerbate old injuries. I’ve heard every excuse!
The truth is heavy deadlifts have a lot of benefits. They should be performed in a safe and controlled setting with a coach and must be included in your fitness routine so you can correctly perform them in your everyday life.
Below, is just a short list of the benefits you will experience when you include heavy deadlifts in your routine.
#1 – IMPROVED FULL BODY STRENGTH
The primary muscle movers for the deadlift are located in the glutes, hamstrings and back. However, many don’t realize the deadlift also taxes the forearms, shoulders, and abs, making it a perfect exercise for strengthening the whole body in one lift!
On top of that, performing heavy deadlifts also releases naturally occurring hormones that increase strength and build muscle making it a necessity for anyone looking to get stronger!
#2 – INJURY PREVENTION
During a heavy deadlift, the entire body is required to work together to stabilize and pull heavy weight off the floor. When we do this it helps build a neurological connection between the glutes, hamstrings, back, abs, shoulders and forearms to move through the lift with safe technique.
Building a neurological connection simply means training the body to activate specific muscles during an exercise. In doing so, your body will be able to increase the number of muscle fibers recruited during each contraction. This not only helps increase strength, but is important to improve automated muscular activation outside of the gym while performing daily activities. This is highly beneficial for injury prevention.
Also, with many of our new clients who complain of back pain or have previous back injuries, they often experience improvement from these chronic issues in a matter of weeks after applying efficient and proper technique.
#3 – STRONGER CORE
During the performance of a heavy deadlift, your abs, glutes, hamstrings and back have to work in overdrive to stabilize the weight you’re lifting to safely maintain proper form and technique.
In terms of building your six-pack abs, heavy deadlifts are a necessity!
#4 – IMPROVED CONDITIONING
Because deadlifts utilize the whole body, they’re highly beneficial for increasing conditioning.
Performing full body exercises is a critical piece of increasing work capacity. Being able to perform more work in a short amount of time and having stronger glutes and hamstrings will translate over to being able to attack hills better while running long distances, result in faster sprints and improve functional performance.
#5 – BURN FAT
As you improve strength and conditioning, your body adds lean muscle. As a result, the body holds onto lean body mass better, increasing your resting metabolic rate, burning more fat, and increasing lean body composition.
Increased lean body mass is the KEY that results in an aesthetically toned and athletic body!
When performed correctly, heavy deadlifts are much more than just another exercise, it’s a necessity for a healthier, stronger and leaner body. From strengthening your whole body, to injury prevention and improved conditioning, the health benefits are beyond comprehension, so get out there, hire a coach and start lifting that barbell!
Set up a free consultation with a Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness Coach HERE and see how we can help you reach your goals!
COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness
Precision Nutrition L1 Coach
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
3x CrossFit Games Qualifier