This has got to be one of my favorite exercises.
I know the name scares a few people, but once you get used to the exercise, it is a fantastic way for you to develop and tone your body while increasing your overall strength.
As you know from reading my book “The Rockstar Diet” (which you can download for free), I like basic exercises that use many different muscle groups during the lift.
This helps you get the maximum amount of muscle building in the least amount of time. And we want to increase the amount of muscle we have because having more muscle will help us burn more fat. (And no, you won’t look all muscle-bound and gross from doing these exercises.)
So let’s look into how to do this awesome exercise.
First of all, the exercise is done having a barbell with plates (on either end) laying on the floor.
Remember, you ALWAYS want to start out with either no weight at all, or very little weight on the bar when you are starting out.
You can add more weight later, but when you are starting out you need to get used to the movement first.
Walk over to the bar so that you are standing in the middle of the bar with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider.
Now, bend down and put your hands on the bar so that your hands are wider than shoulder width apart and outside of your legs as you bend at the knees.
Grip the bar with an alternating grip. This is where one palm faces forward and the other palm faces back. It does not matter whether your left hand or right hand is forward or backwards. So long as they alternate. Do whatever feels natural.
Alternating your grip will keep the bar from rolling out of your hands.
So, with your hands gripping the bar, keep your back straight in line or arch it backward (never arch or round your back forward), bend your knees and keep your head looking up.
Once you are ready, tighten your muscles (particularly your back) and stand up. You want to push with your legs to get the weight off the ground and then finish the last half of the lift using your back to stand up straight once your legs have been straightened.
Once you are standing up, reverse the movement to place the bar back on the ground.
Fantastic! You have just completed 1 rep of a deadlift. With a little more practice, this movement will become much easier and more natural to do.
Here are a few tips:
- -keep the bar close to your body and near your shins as you lift. The farther away from your body the weight is, the harder it will be to lift.
- -never let your back be rounded forward. Keep your shoulders pulled back when you setup for the lift and make sure you keep the natural curve of your back in place when starting the lift.
- -push with your legs through your heels and lean back once you have the bar about halfway (at or slightly above knee level) until you are standing straight.
- -once you are standing straight up, don’t lean backwards. Straight is good.
By adding deadlifts to your workout, you are going to notice a big difference in your overall strength and body shape. Especially once you start adding more weight.
Remember to stick with your program! Don’t change it every few weeks.
Even though excercises like deadlifts, squats or bench presses can be difficult or awkward when you start, they are the foundation of your weight loss program and will give you the best results if you keep doing them as they will build muscle and burn fat at the same time!