The deadlift is one of those movements that you really can’t mess up. I mean, you can…you can mess it up really badly, but the stakes are too high to take even a minute risk of doing so. In fact, it’s so risky that even one small flaw in your form could render you into a wheelchair-ridden state.
The scariest part is that it’s not hard to mess up this movement either. Just the smallest jerking movement in the wrong way or overexerting yourself with improper form or too much weight could send you to the hospital. Not only that, but many deadlifting injuries do not show any signs until weeks or months down the road.
Because of the many risks involved, some fitness centers have banned the exercise altogether. The truth is that there are many benefits to deadlifting if it is done right. In fact, it’s the biggest builder of the back muscles and does great things for posture. It’s also one of the best compound movements.
<h3>What are some easy ways to minimize the risks of a deadlifting injury?</h4>
Injuries can occur <i>even</i> in those that have perfect form. There are still a few precautions that you can make to minimize the risks. Here are a few suggestions:
– Perform deadlifts no more than twice a week. For best results, alternate between a heavy and light day.
– Do not perform deadlifts for the purpose of setting or breaking personal records.
– Try to restrict your deadlifts sets to repetitions of six to 12, but no less than four.
– Only perform deadlifts while bulking or maintaining, not while cutting.
– Make sure your diet, pre-workout meals or drinks, and recovery meals or drinks are all in order.
While these are just some basic ideas on how you can lower your risk of injury, the most important thing is making sure you have perfect form. From there, you can treat the deadlift as any other heavy compound exercise and fit it in your program where and when it fits.
A Basic Guide to Perfect Form While Deadlifting
While there is no golden guide to deadlifting, there are many things that you will have to factor in. This short guide will cover some of the most basic tips that will help you with perfecting the form. At the end, I will include some videos that will help you with further understanding how the movement works.
1. At no point should you arch your back or roll it in the opposite direction.
2. Make sure that you are engaging your abs and keeping them tight all throughout the movement and without compromising the straightness in your back.
3. Hold the bar as close to your body as possible. Some will actually roll the bar up their shins till it reaches the knees and then remain close to the thighs until you reach an upright position.
4. Once the bar starts to reach the height of your thighs, make sure to not even think of finishing the movement with your back. Instead, make an inward hip thrust – yes, almost like an air hump.
5. Maintain an upright head and keep your chest out, similar to how you would while performing a traditional back squat. Your body, from feet to neck will enter into a straight line.
6. Make sure that the movement ends at a straight line without allowing the body to overextend back. You may see lifters doing this in professional lifts, where they jerk back, but it is very dangerous.
7. Make sure to touch the ground at the end of the movement so the muscles disengage, but do not bounce it off the ground. You should have at least a second where the bar stops dead at the bottom of the lift. Feel free to wait up to three seconds if it is a heavy weight.
These are just some of the basics, but you really have to see the movement in action to get a good understanding on how the exercise works. You don’t want to leave anything out and want to make sure that you know how the entire movement works, from start to finish, to reap the full benefits.
Check this page out to learn how to perfect the deadlift!