The Big Three-Part III: Deadlifts

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The Big Three-Part III: Deadlifts

The Third Belief:

The third belief I have in the weight lifting world is the deadlift. I believe that throwing the deadlift in to your basic muscle building routine will help you build the strength you need to achieve the body you are looking for-mass and lean.

Like the squat, it is a full body exercise-but also does focus on the hamstrings and back of the body. Done incorrectly with a lot of weight-you can really do some damage to your body. Better to go light and work your way up the ladder. Like everything else in life-there are some people who can do three plates their first day on the dead-lift. They have strong legs and the other key ingredient: long arms. Long arms really help the deadlift. As with the squat-there is no need to do this three times a week. It is also so powerful-even every other week might be okay for recovery sake. You will have to play with that and see how your body responds.

The Two Common Dead-lifts:

There are two basic and most common deadlifts that most people will do in their life times; with some significant variations as well. These  are conventional and sumo deadlifts.


  • Conventional:

This lift is the most common and the one most people do:

dead lift conventional 9155B6A9-155D-0217-060B7950DEC52058.png.pagespeed.ce.B91Gvx2pN3

To perform:

Step up behind the bar with it touching or nearly touching you shins.

Begin by hinging you body at at the hips and knees, and have your weight centered into the heels of your feet.

Keep you spine long and straight as your hips hinge back away from the bar. Take care not to allow knees to track over the toes in your feet.

Grip the bar either between the outside or the legs, depress your shoulders away from the ears and place the load on the lats;  this generates the force through your erectors.

Keep your muscles in your back contracted tightly: this helps keep a safe posture throughout the motion.

Drive up and forward with the hips and legs to move the bar up and and to stand up straight simultaneously. Breath deep and hold it in during the move.

Then drop the weight down in a reverse move while breathing out. That is all there is to it.

  • Sumo:

The sumo is a variation of the regular deadlift-except the legs are in a wider stance and the grip is closer to the center of the bar. Instead of writing a lot of word on this -T-Nation has an extensive page on this-all credit to them:



The deadlift is a great strength building exercise that should be a regular part of your routine. You don’t have to do it all the time-but you should be doing it at least every other week. There are two main styles-conventional and sumo-both have their advantages and disadvantages. Try them both see which one works best for you and have at it.



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