…. is a common misconception!
The Deadlift is not a Dead Lift
by Mark Philippi
The deadlift is an exercise that has unfairly received a bad reputation with the general population. Very seldom does someone ask you how much you can deadlift. It is rarely taught to clientele in the health club setting and most gyms seldom have a platform area designated for deadlifting. The deadlift has been performed mostly by powerlifters, hard core garage lifters, and bodybuilders looking to venture into the strength arena.
The average public perceives deadlifting with similar false stigmas to that of squatting. Squatting will hurt my knees; deadlifting will hurt my back. Both myths have taken hold due to bad technique and poor form when performing the lifts. There are few poor lifts, only poor lifting technique.
In reality, most everyone who is interested in weight training should perform the deadlift. A weak back makes us more susceptible to injury on a daily basis. How many times do you bend to lift objects during the average day? Most spinal specialists would agree that if you examined the backs of middle aged Americans, you would probably find an accumulation of spinal problems through the course of one’s lifetime. I would also venture to say a large percentage of workman’s compensation claims are filed because of back injuries. Prevention lies in strengthening the back. The deadlift is the best exercise for total back strengthening; its focus is the body’s core – legs, hips, and back. It is also the best test of total body absolute strength, much more than the bench press or squat. The deadlift is also one of the best exercises to add total body mass. Individuals wanting to add mass should seriously consider about adding the deadlift to your workout program. The deadlift “thickens” the body.
There is more to performing the deadlift than walking up to a bar and picking it up. It is not as technically complex as a clean or snatch, and every bit as problematic as the squat. There are two standard styles of deadlifting: conventional – feet narrower than shoulders, and sumo – feet wider than shoulders. The style that fits most people comfortably is the conventional. It also has more carryover to daily activity.
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