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The Deadlift: What is it and Why Should I Do it? 

When you come to PPC, you have likely done or seen somebody do a deadlift. It was probably performed with a kettlebell and may or may not have been elevated on a blue or green box. You might wonder why we use that exercise so often in rehabilitation and strength training, so we wanted to give a brief explanation.

The short answer is that it is effective in making your whole body stronger, but let’s dive into the long answer. 


First let’s start with what a deadlift is.

Debbie Luna from inspireusafoundation.org explains that “A deadlift is a weight lifting exercise wherein a [weight] is lifted off the ground until the trunk is upright and perpendicular to the ground, weight held at the hip level, before being placed back on the ground.” This weight can be a kettlebell, dumbbell/s, barbell, hexagonal bar, or other weighted tool like a sandbag.


Put plainly, the deadlift is an extremely effective compound, multiple-joint movement for increasing total-body strength and power. It’s a simple movement, but requires many parts of your body to work together in order to complete it. There are several variations of the movement that we won’t talk about now, but may have different benefits depending on use. Regardless of variation, the deadlift is used for enhancing the muscles of the posterior chain (e.g., back, hips, and posterior thighs).

Determining which deadlift variation to incorporate into a fitness program will depend on the goals, body type, and personal preference of the individual. We are here to coach those movements based on what each of you need. 


With that background we now know that the deadlift is a great tool. Next we’ll look at some real world applications of the movement.

In addition to its use in competitive athletics and recreational training, the deadlift is a valuable tool used in postoperative and nonsurgical rehabilitation protocols. Here are some benefits that some may experience as a result of using the deadlift:


  • ACL injury risk reduction
  • Low back pain reduction
  • Knee injury rehabilitation
  • Increased strength and stability in posterior chain
  • Fall risk prevention

How does one movement have all of these benefits?

Great question! As a whole, the deadlift generates moderate to high co‒contraction of the quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and gastrocnemius (calves), making it an ideal exercise for knee strength and rehabilitation. It may also increase or prevent a decline in bone mineral density. The deadlift is a great tool with many uses and we love to have it in our toolkit.


A good way to summarize what a deadlift does and why we use it comes from author Greg Glassman of the Crossfit Journal Articles:


“Regardless of whether your fitness goals are to “rev up” your metabolism, increase strength or lean body mass, decrease body fat, rehabilitate your back, improve athletic performance, or maintain functional independence as a senior, the deadlift is a marked [means] to that end.”



If you’re interested in learning how to safely perform a deadlift so that you can add this helpful exercise to your life, we’d love to help! There are some common myths and misconceptions that we can clear up, as well as some common form pitfalls that we can address to ensure you’re on the right track. Get in touch with us to learn more!

TIPS & TRICKS

“Regardless of whether your fitness goals are to “rev up” your metabolism, increase strength or lean body mass, decrease body fat, rehabilitate your back, improve athletic performance, or maintain functional independence as a senior, the deadlift is a marked [means] to that end.”

Peak Performance Care

in Sonora CA

13949 Mono Way

PO Box 4143

Sonora, CA 95370

info@peakperformacecare.com

(209) 532 1288

Fax: (209) 230 9529

Monday/Wednesday: 8am-5:30pm

Tuesday/Thursday: 6am-5pm

Friday: 6am-2pm

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