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The Deadlift – Part 1

Deadlift Part 2 - Deadlift Set Up - PerformancePro

In Part 1 of the PerformancePro Deadlift series, we cut through the complexity of deadlift definition and schools of thought.

If the squat is lauded as the King of exercises then surely the deadlift is the Crown Prince. With many variants in its portfolio, the deadlift can offer an all over body work out as well as being a linchpin in the sports of Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting.

Types of deadlift

The deadlift is one of few movements that works all major muscle groups in the body. Like many exercises, there is more than one type and variation. There are five generally acknowledged types of deadlift:

  1. Sumo
  2. Hex or Trap Bar
  3. Snatch Grip D
  4. Deficit / Rack Pulls
  5. Conventional

The debate on what constitutes a deadlift or rather what constitutes a ‘good’ deadlift will always be contentious. There are various schools ranging from Louis Simmonds and the West Side Barbell gang to the more old school purists from the Olympic Lifting School

The deadlift – where to start

So where do you start? Well, as with all things PerformancePro, we start with you!

We cut through the noise, latest fitness fads and use our knowledge of sports science and years of strength and conditioning training to assess what will work best to meet your personal fitness goals and your body type. From there, we ensure we build an effective lift component into your personal training programme.

Here are the basics, regardless of your starting point. We suggest the following apply to all styles of lifting:

  1. Lats engaged and shoulders down with trunk braced is going to ensure a strong spinal position and give the entire back a solid hit, especially if your lifting heavy
  2. Keeping the bar as close to your body as possible is going to help decrease unnecessary lumbar sheer forces
  3. Whether you start with high hips or low if you follow 1 and 2 on the way up and on the way down you’ll have executed a good lift. You may just have increased and decreased the percentage input from various muscle groups

The start position of the individual and indeed start position of the bar can all be adjusted to change the influence and percentage input of various muscle groups. For example, if we start with high hips i.e. more of a stiff legged deadlift then we get a reduction in the input from the anterior chain, in this instance the quads. However, we’ll be smashing the posterior chain i.e. hamstrings and glutes whilst forcing the trunk to handle much larger sheer forces. If you get down and start low, arse to grass and knees by your ears, then quads are going to get blasted!

No one with half a sports science mind is going to deny that the deadlift can provide a very powerful stimulus. For many of us, if we only had the choice of one exercise to do, it would be the deadlift.

In Part 2 of this PerformancePro fitness series we look at how different body types affect your lift set up.

Contact PerformancePro to discuss your strength and fitness >> 



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