The development of the posterior chain is key to athletic ability, spinal health and just general fitness and health. One movement that is very effective at building the hips, hamstrings and trunk stability is the Deadlift. One of the challenges with the deadlift is the bad rap it has received as an injurous exercise. Let’s set the record straight, performed with the right technique, using the correct loads and under the proper programming, the deadlift is extremely effective and is one of the 5 foundational movements to develop strength.
In the video linked below, Mark Rippetoe details the 5 movement criteria and steps to achieve the proper set-up and execution of the deadlift. Starting Strength training provides a “blueprint” of how to perform the back squat, deadlift, shoulder press, bench press and power clean and get the greatest outcome and limit risk by adhering to solid movement.
Any athlete can lift and should lift. Here are the steps to the deadlift movement.
1. Stance with the middle of foot under the bar, 1″ away from the bar with the shin. (Toes out allows a better back angle and opens the hip)
2. Bend over and grip the bar without dropping the hips, shins touch the bar without moving the bar forward
3. Raise the chest without dropping the hips, hips and chest rise at the same time
4. Pull, keep the bar against the leg the entire lift, straight bar path
The goal is to perform the lift with proper stance, stable midline and back, straight bar path and full extension at the top of the lift. The descent of the lift is accomplished by dropping the hips back first and sliding the bar down the legs.
When performed correctly, the deadlift can help increase the back squat, pulling, and power movements such as jumping and explosive athletic capacities.
Remember, the key is having an foundational movement criteria that allows you, the lifter, to follow a progression of strength training, limit risk due to inappropriate form and get STRONG!