Just the name sounds intense. It is the most primal exhibition of brute strength that anyone can perform in the gym. It is also the one exercise that you cannot do without if you are a hunter. Sure… There are other lifts that are very important to your overall fitness and promote increased strength and functionality; but if there was one lift that would benefit your body more than any one lift in the gym, deadlift is it. There are a myriad of benefits from this one lift (increased flexibility, stronger posterior chain, feeling like a beast when you move a bunch of weight, etc.), but here are 3 benefits that make deadlift the best lift in the gym.
3 Benefits of the Deadlift
1. It simultaneously stimulates virtually every muscle group in your body
Due to the nature of the deadlift, isolation of one muscle group in not going to happen. Over the course of the lift’s range of motion, nearly every muscle in your body is engaged to one extent or another. Your legs and back bear the majority of the burden, but your shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, and chest all get in on the action too. This is truly a full-body workout in one move.
2. It places your entire body under the greatest amount of stress… at the same time.
Not only are all of your muscles working in this lift, the vast majority of them are working hard! That is because once you have the form down, you can lift a decent amount of weight. As your muscles work and fatigue, stabilizer muscles work harder as well. This exercise will lay the foundation for training every aspect of your body.
3. It boosts your metabolism
Because of the extent of the muscle recruitment required to complete this lift correctly, your metabolism kicks into overdrive. When you lift, your muscles must recover and rebuild. This rebuilding process causes a boost in your metabolism and hormones in such a way that new muscle is formed and fat is burned throughout the day and night. When nearly every muscle in your body is having to be repaired and rebuilt, your metabolism will go nuts!
Proper Execution of the Lift
If you have not performed deadlifts before, be sure to use a light weight (preferably the bar only) until you have the form down. Then add weight in small increments to reduce the risk of injury. Step 1 – Approach a straight bar (or diamond bar) and squat down until you can grasp the bar with your hands just outside of your legs (If using a straight bar, grip the bar with one hand gripping over the bar and the other hand gripping under the bar, thus holding the bar with alternating grips). Step 2 – With your butt down, chest out, and eyes forward, begin to lift with you legs while keeping your back as straight as possible (Your body will want to straighten your legs first and then straighten your back out, but that is a great way to injure yourself). Step 3 – As your legs begin to straighten, slowly erect your spine, driving your hips forward and your chest up, so that you end up in a standing position. Step 4 – Make sure that your shoulders are back, legs are straight, and posture is good. Step 5 – Slowly lower the weight, keeping your chest out and eyes forward and using your legs to control the movement until the weight is back on the ground. That is one rep
The Benefit for Hunting
Consider the ways you have to exert your energy as a hunter: picking up a heavy pack from the ground, loading boxes and bins into a vehicle when loading and unloading for camp, picking up a deer after field dressing it, loading up an elk quarter onto your back to start packing out your newly harvested bull. These all use the same muscle involvement and basic movement as the deadlift. Training with deadlifts as a staple in your workouts will ensure that your body is protected against injury and will be capable of anything that might happen while out on a hunt. Now get in the gym and do some deadlifts! How do you incorporate deadlifts into your training program? Leave a comment and tell us!