How To Start Deadlifting, The Benefits of It, and What Weights to Use

How To Start Deadlifting

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Today's Topics Cover:

  • What is a Deadlift and How to Do Them?

  • What Is the Best Way to Start?

  • What Do Muscles Do They Work and Other Benefits?

What is a Deadlift? What's Good Form?

Simple - picking something heavy up off the floor (or blocks) in a safe way.

Deadlifts are all about angles. Starting with the weight in front of you (either between your legs for a kettlebell or across your shins for a barbell), squat down and get a closed grip on the weight with both hands. Bring your butt down below your knees, and with a neutral spine show the world the great logo on your shirt. Straighten your arms, take a breath, and brace your core.

Keeping that great neutral spine, squeeze your butt and drive your heels into the floor while curling your toes like bear claws. Making sure your shoulders and hips rise together (no butts in the air!), come to a standing position. At the top, tuck your tail under by squeezing your butt and exhaling. When every joint is locked - straight knees, hips, shoulders - you're there. To go back down, bend the knees (not your back) and sit into your heels under control.

I'd suggest 3-4 sets of 10 reps for beginners, every other day.

Here's a video explanation with dumbbells

What Types of Weight Should You Use? How Do You Know What Weight to Lift?

I like to start with kettlebells - a single between your ankles initially, and then doubles to the sides. After that, I'm a big fan of a trap bar. For weight, the easiest method is to use the heaviest weight you can lift 8x in good form, but if you can get to 12 reps, you're ready for a bit more.

Here's a video demonstration on how to do a deadlift with kettlebells

What Muscles Do Deadlifts Work? What Are Other Benefits of Doing Deadlifts?

The main movers are the glutes and hamstrings. If you're getting it in the lower back, check your form - chances are, your hips are raising faster than your shoulders.

They're a great stability exercise and really have some good core strength benefits.

How Can You Modify the Deadlift to Be Easier or More Challenging?

Easier is typically lighter weight or bring the weight up from the ground a bit. More challenging is from bigger weight, standing on blocks to lift from a deficit, or slowing the tempo

Helpful Resources:

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