The biggest test of strength and power is the barbell deadlift. With massive weight and enormous pull, this exercise is central to weightlifting competitions and gym workouts, and it’s overall a marker of the highest level of body power.
Big as a House
The barbell deadlift is a weightlifting exercise with a reputation for making muscle-bound fitness fanatics as big as a house. With proper form and focused attention, the barbell deadlift does have the capacity to drastically improve strength.
The barbell deadlift has many variations. Traditionally it involves two hands picking up a barbell off the floor and lifting it off the ground to various heights. However there are multiple variations even involving two hands on the barbell. These include, in part, the Sumo deadlift, the trap bar deadlift, the single leg barbell lift, and the Romanian deadlift. There are also one-handed variations and variations using kettlebells.
Barbell Deadlifts focus on building strength. Specifically, this exercise builds the back, hamstrings, glutes, and biceps.
Note that all of these are massive muscle groups. Building these muscles by doing Barbell Deadlifts is a great way to boost metabolism, in addition to gaining strength.
The only equipment needed for a barbell deadlift is a barbell, however it’s never a bad idea to have a spotter nearby when performing this exercise. That’s particularly true if you’re pushing the weight higher. With the often heavy weights of barbell exercises, safety has to be a priority.
Just Lift It
The basic form of the barbell deadlift is straightforward, however attention to good form is critical for preventing injuries.
The mechanics of this exercise are simple.
- Load the barbell with the desired amount of weight.
- Plant the feet hips’ distance apart.
- Roll the barbell towards you, gently leaning it against your shins.
- Bending at the hips and knees with a flat back, grasp the barbell overhanded and just further than shoulder width.
- Pull your torso towards the ceiling as you push your hips forward and stand with the barbell in your hands.
- Lower the barbell back down to the floor.
That entire sequence constitutes one rep.
Avoid common mistakes associated with the barbell deadlift by keeping the following tips in mind.
- Don’t bounce the plates between repetitions. Allow the bar to come to a total stop before lifting it again.
- Keep the back straight at all times, never hunching. Do this by focusing on keeping the chest up and the eyes forward.
- Feet should be comfortably shoulder width. Many new lifters tend to put their feet too wide.
- Balance the weight over the entire under surface of the foot, not primarily on the toes or heels.
A Century of Deadlifts
The barbell deadlift first became popular around 1910 due to Hermann Goerner, a famous strongman from Germany who pushed his body to limits beyond what had ever been done before. He was famous not only for the regular two-handed barbell deadlift, but also for all the conceivable variations of it. These included the one-handed deadlift and even the one-finger deadlift.
This exercise is rightly known as the “king of lifts”, because for over a century, it’s proven to get the results that bodybuilders were looking for.