Do you shy away from the deadlift because you think it’s too hard or dangerous? You’re not alone. Many women are hesitant to do deadlifts because they’re unsure how to do them properly and are afraid of getting injured. But there are many benefits of deadlifts, and learning how to do them correctly is well worth your time. In this post, you’ll learn what a deadlift is, why it’s such an important exercise, and how to do a deadlift safely and effectively. So read on to find out everything you need to know about this powerful muscle-building move!
What is a Deadlift?
The deadlift gets its name because the move requires you to lift “dead weight,” or weight without momentum. This weight-lifting exercise engages several significant muscle groups and is one of the best ways to tone your glutes, lower back, and hamstring muscles. It is also one of the top exercises people do incorrectly. Learning how to do a deadlift the right way is essential to seeing the amazing results of this exercise and not getting hurt in the process.
How to Do a Deadlift with Proper Form
The benefits of deadlifts only come when you perform the exercise correctly. So, let’s get started. Here’s how to properly do a deadlift step by step.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Slightly bend your knees. This is your foundational position.
- Slowly hinge at your hips and put weight in your heels as you bend down at the hips. Keep your arms straight and in front of your legs. Push your booty back, and keep your core engaged to maintain a neutral spine.
- Keep your head and spine neutral. Avoid lumbar flexion (rounding of the spine and neck) by engaging your lat muscles, keeping your shoulders back, and lengthening your spine. And avoid lumbar extension (arched spine and neck) by not looking at yourself in the mirror during the exercise and keeping your neck in line with your spine.
- Engage your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back to return to a standing position. Pause in the upright position and squeeze your glutes to extend your hip flexors without arching your lower back.
The most important part of doing a deadlift the right way is keeping your neck and spine in a neutral position. There are four ways to ensure you do this:
- Tuck your chin
- Push your hips back
- Brace your core
- Lengthen your spine by pulling your shoulders back and down
Check out my video example of how to do a deadlift with proper form HERE!
4 Benefits of Deadlifts: What Deadlifts Do for Your Body
Now that you know how to do a deadlift let’s talk about why you should do them. Here are four benefits of deadlifts that make these a go-to exercise for women who want to tone and strengthen their lower body muscles.
1. Deadlifts Strengthen Your Legs (and Grow Your Booty)
Deadlifts primarily engage your glutes and hamstrings. Your glutes are your booty muscles, and your hamstrings run down the back of your legs. Deadlifts also work your hip flexor muscles near the top of your thighs, making it one of the best exercises to tone your backside.
2. Deadlifts are Easy on the Knees
If you struggle with bad knees, you likely find it hard to do lower body workouts that don’t aggravate your knees and cause a lot of pain. Fortunately, the deadlift is a lower-body exercise that strengthens your leg muscles without putting significant strain on your knees.
3. Deadlifts Engage Your Core
When you do a deadlift the right way, your lower back muscles are engaged the entire time. Having a strong lower back is essential, especially as we get older. As a critical part of the “core” muscle group, your back muscles play a role in stability and balance, as well as preventing injury during other exercises.
4. Deadlifts Secretly Work Your Upper Body, Too
Although your legs will likely feel the sorest after incorporating deadlifts into your workout routine, the exercise secretly works other muscles as well. When you maintain proper form and grip the weights in your hands, your upper back and shoulders get a workout too.
How Do Beginners Start Deadlifts?
If you look up images or videos of someone doing a deadlift, you will see multiple variations of this exercise. Deadlifts are actually one of the top powerlifting exercises. Recently, powerlifter Alexis Maher hit a new deadlift world record by lifting a 725-pound barbell! While it is traditionally a powerlifting exercise done with heavy barbells, you can modify the exercise to meet your needs.
Before using any weights at all, it’s a good idea to get comfortable with proper deadlift form by practicing the movement weight-free. Then, choose two light-weight dumbbells, one for each hand. You might not feel like the exercise is very difficult while you’re doing it. But trust me, you will be sore the next day, so start slowly. The more weight you use, the more difficult it will be to maintain a neutral spine, so work your way up to heavier weights. You’ll get more out of the exercise by doing it right than doing it with heavy weights but incorrectly.
Incorporate Deadlifts into Your Workout Routine with the #ALFitCrew
Deadlifts are a great exercise that will help you build muscle, burn fat, and improve your health. As with any new workout routine or exercise movement, it is important to learn proper form first before trying this one on your own. If you have any questions about how to do a deadlift, please reach out to me! Once you’re ready to incorporate deadlifts into your workout routine and take your fitness to a new level, try an #ALFitCrew Workout. If this is your FIRST TIME working out with the #ALFitCrew, use the code “FREE” at checkout–we’re so glad you’re joining us!