The deadlift is the king of all major lifts. The deadlift works every muscle in your body. No other movement takes more to recover from than heavy deadlifts. It’s a lift I take pride in and I’m always trying to improve it. I believe it’s the ultimate test of total body strength.
Why The Deadlift is So Important:
The deadlift is one of the most functional exercises that exists. Not only does it make you strong from head to toe, it also helps with sports performance. Due to the emphasis on powerful hip movement, the deadlift can help an athlete improve their sprint speed and vertical jump.
The deadlift also teaches you how to properly lift things from the ground, assuming you’re using correct form. This will come in handy when you’re helping a friend move their furniture. Deadlifts will also help you improve your posture.
How I Train The Deadlift:
Since the deadlift is so draining, I rarely ever max out. When I do try max out, I make sure to leave feeling like I have a lot left in the tank. The last time I tried a new max, I got 415 but definitely felt like I could do at least 10 more pounds. Also, I don’t try to push my max since I don’t lift with a belt or use alternate grip. When I deadlift, I train mostly in the 90-92% max range. The percentage is based off the max that I set.
For my main deadlift workouts, I’ve been doing 10 sets of 1 in my working sets. I rest one minute in between each sets. So far I really enjoy this rep scheme because it allows me to have focus on the quality of each rep. The total volume is low enough so I can still lift heavy without draining myself. I also do speed deadlifts on other days.
Exercises To increase The Deadlift:
The best way to increase your deadlift is to deadlift. It’s that simple but there are supporting exercises that help. I like to do exercises that compliment each other. Two things I’m currently doing that are helping my deadlift are speed deadlifts and Farmers Walks.
Speed deadlifts are still deadlifts but they’re worth talking about. Improving the speed of your deadlifts allows you to move the weight easier. I noticed that once I added speed deadlifts to my routine, my heavy days felt easier. This gave me the confidence to increase the weight I was using in my workouts. This all comes down to force. When moving something heavy, you have to apply a lot of force from your body. Once I learned how to produce more force, everything changed.
I’ve also seen how Farmers Walks have helped my deadlift. The most obvious benefit is the grip strength gained from farmers walks. Grip strength makes a huge difference in deadlift performance. It’s hard to lift something that keeps slipping out of your hands. Aside from grip strength, the farmers walk builds overall body strength especially in the core. This is the perfect complement to the benefits of speed deadlifts because the stronger your core, the more force you can apply.
Something that has helped me perform better with my deadlifts is stretching my hip flexors. Overtime I’ve learned that stretching your hip flexors allows greater glute activation. This is everything because most of your power comes from your glutes. The more power you can generate the more weight you can move. The hip flexor stretch is the only static stretch I do before lifting.
Another thing that has helped my deadlift performance is squeezing my lats. I’ve notice that the more I engage my lats, the less work my lower back has to do. To take advantage of this, add some lat building exercises to your routine. My Go-to movements are the previously mentioned farmers walk and the weighted chin-up.
Closing Thoughts: Deadlifts are awesome. If you want to maximize your overall strength, you have to deadlift. There are so many types of deadlifts you can do to get stronger. I prefer the conventional method. I hope this post provided some valuable information. Fell free to comment if you want to add anything!
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