Benefits of the Deadlift

By Wednesday October 11th 2017

Additionally, since this exercise emphasizes the posterior chain (the muscles on the backside of our body), it can help improve your posture and offset the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.

What if I told you I can help you increase strength, lose fat, gain muscle, improve your posture, and better your overall athleticism? What if I told you learning how to do ONE exercise can do all of that for you? You’d probably say, “There’s no miracle exercise like that!” But there is. It’s called a deadlift.

This exercise is called a deadlift because you are lifting “dead” (not moving) weights off the ground. The deadlift exercise is a full body exercise that recruits many large and small muscle groups. Doing a proper deadlift can recruit the hamstrings, quadriceps muscles, inner thighs, calves, core, back muscles (latissimus dorsi, erector spinae), shoulder muscles, forearm muscles, and the abdominals. I wasn’t kidding when I said this exercise works the entire body! Additionally, since this exercise emphasizes the posterior chain (the muscles on the backside of our body), it can help improve your posture and offset the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.

You might be wondering, “If this exercise is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it?” You’re right. Everyone should be doing a variation of the deadlift, but the reason most people overlook this exercise is because of its complexity and the risk of injury. If you don’t have the proper technique to execute this exercise, it can lead to injury. Still the benefits of a properly executed deadlift outweigh the negatives.

So how do you perform a deadlift? The following video goes step-by-step on how to do a proper conventional deadlift and what to look out for. I say a conventional deadlift because there are many different types of deadlifts, such as sumo deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, trap bar deadlifts, deficit deadlifts, etc.

Conventional Deadlift

Common Mistakes

Practice the deadlift with just the bar until you have the form and technique mastered. Then start adding weight. You will begin to see the changes in your health and well-being. Don’t overdo it, and make sure you are getting plenty of rest and recovery in between exercise days as this exercise taxes the working muscles and the nervous system. If you are not confident about performing this exercise don’t be afraid to consult with a trained and highly experienced personal trainer or physical therapist, preferably one who specializes in powerlifting.


About John Kim

John Kim received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology and his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Illinois-Chicago. John enjoys working with the orthopedic and sports population across all age ranges and prefers a whole body, hands-on manual approach using innovative techniques. John's background in gymnastics and his practice of weightlifting, and circuit and interval training have helped give him insight into the goals and challenges of his patients. John was introduced to React Physical Therapy while completing his final clinical rotation at UIC. He decided to join the React team to accomplish his goal of helping all his patients meet their full physical performance level through education and individual attention.​

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