Work in the office, driving a car and relaxing at home on the couch lead to the fact that our posture is disturbed, muscle mass is lost, the body becomes flabby. And often these unpleasant things are also accompanied by lower back pain. The fastest way to strengthen your body and make it beautiful and fit is to help basic exercises, which are known to everyone who visits gyms and has at least something to do with sports.
There are three basic exercises: deadlift, squats with a barbell and bench press.
But deadlift is considered to be the most important basic exercise, since the largest number of muscles are involved in the performance. And this leads to a comprehensive increase in muscle mass and an increase in strength.
No other exercise and no simulator will allow you to achieve such quick results. In addition, when performing deadlift, muscles are used that straighten our posture by strengthening the spine.
In this article we will analyze what kind of exercise this is, how to perform it correctly, what types of traction are and how to avoid basic mistakes.
Description of exercise and meaning
Deadlift is a multi-joint exercise that involves lifting the bar off the floor. Since during its execution it is necessary to squat and pull, no other exercise at the same time involves so many muscles of our body – as much as 75%! But the load on them varies significantly, which we will discuss in detail a little later.
Since so many muscles are involved in the performance of the deadlift exercises, this allows you to lift more weight, and lifting heavy weights leads to the production of the hormone testosterone. He, in turn, accelerates the synthesis of protein in the muscles, therefore, their growth increases, and you can lift even more weight.
In addition, the classic draft with a barbell connects the back muscles responsible for our posture. So, doing this exercise will help you strengthen your spine and stop slouching.
But achieving a beneficial effect is possible only with proper implementation of programs and requirements on how to properly train when lifting the barbell.
What muscles are involved
When performing traction with a barbell, part of the muscles is activated in the active dynamic mode, and part – in the static. Let’s look in detail what kind of muscles in our body work with this exercise:
- Muscles of the back. This is primarily the flexor muscles that support the spine and form a healthy posture. And also the latissimus dorsi, which is one of the most powerful and hardy in our body. And the trapezius muscle that drives the shoulder blades is responsible for tilting the head and raising the arms.
- Legs and buttocks. The rise of gravity from the floor is associated with the active work of the biceps of the thighs (both the front and back of the thigh), the internal muscles of the thigh, and the gluteus maximus muscle.
- Biceps and forearms of hands, hands. It is impossible to lift a heavy barbell and keep it on weight without the participation of the muscles of our hands.
The above muscles have a direct dynamic load. But lifting the bar gives a static load on other muscles: on the abdominal muscles that support the body, on the calf muscles and on the muscles of the entire upper body.
Benefits of exercise
Deadlift has many advantages.
- Firstly, as we have already found out, it is a basic exercise in which 2/3 of the muscles of our body are involved – the maximum number for one exercise.
- Secondly, its systematic implementation will inevitably lead to muscle growth and weight gain.
- Thirdly, weight lifting exercises will strengthen your back. And with a competent approach, they will even relieve joint pain in the lower back.
- Compliance with the correct exercise technique will have a healing effect and will help with hernias and protrusions of the intervertebral disc.
In everyday life, we inevitably encounter the need to carry heavy loads, rearrange furniture, etc., which for an unprepared person can result in a back injury.
But with regular deadlifts, your back will gain such a strength that no burdens will become a threat to it.
In addition, this exercise is easy to perform not only in the equipped gym, but also at home. It is enough to have a minimum of sports equipment, at least small-sized dumbbells, and a full-fledged workout will become available within the walls of your own apartment.
Exercise in different sports
Deadlift is one of the three main exercises in powerlifting. Powerlifting without it is simply impossible, since traction is part of powerlifting.
In bodybuilding, it is not an obligatory exercise. But all the same, bodybuilders perform cravings, because it allows them to quickly gain muscle mass and weight, and also gives the body of a man muscle relief.
Deadlift is also needed in weightlifting to train the push of the bar. Therefore, it is a basic exercise for lifting weight from the floor.
This exercise will also be very useful for wrestlers to tear the opponent off the floor. Also, deadlift is part of the training of sports rowers, as it strengthens the muscles of the arms, shoulders and back.
Depending on the type of deadlift, you can focus on strengthening different muscle groups. For example, the so-called “dead” traction or traction on straight legs perfectly works the gluteal muscles and muscles of the back of the thigh, but does not load the front of the thigh (quadriceps). Therefore, ideal for female athletes.
But the sumo pull, performed in a rack with legs spread wide, is popular with lifters because it allows you to lift more weight.
Varieties of Deadlift
Deadlift, being a basic exercise, however, includes different versions that vary depending on the muscle groups being worked out, on the sports equipment used, on the level of complexity and preparedness of the athlete.
There are four types of traction:
- “Dead” traction on straight legs;
- traction “sumo”;
- traction with lifting the trap bar.
Suitable for both beginners and experienced athletes. The classic version is performed in the stance, when the legs are spread a little narrower than the shoulders, and the feet are parallel to each other.
A significant portion of the load in this embodiment falls on the back. And the leg muscles work only at the beginning – when the projectile is torn off the floor.
Classical traction is the main discipline in powerlifting and power extreme. It is also included in a set of exercises for bodybuilding and men’s fitness. In addition, this embodiment is ideal for athletes with weak legs and short arms with short fingers.
In addition, in the classical version, the maximum amplitude of movement is achieved, which has a beneficial effect on muscle growth and is useful for bodybuilders.
This technique is considered lift, as it allows you to lift the maximum possible weight. Therefore, the sumo thrust is so in demand among powerlifters, when the separation from the floor of the greatest weight is the key to victory in competitions.
The sumo technique is performed in a rack with legs wide apart. This reduces the load on the back, but significantly increases it on the legs and on the inside of the thighs. Due to the wide distribution of legs, the range of motion is significantly limited. Therefore, this technique is useful not only for powerlifters, but also for athletes with short arms, but with a long torso.
The main difference between this draft and the classic version is that it is performed on straight legs with “soft” knees. When lowering the barbell to the floor, there should be no squats, and the knees should not bend more than in the original stance.
This technique allows you to develop the back of the thigh and gluteal muscles, but it significantly reduces the load on the back muscles and quadriceps. Therefore, it is traditionally believed that Romanian craving is ideally suited to girls who dream of beautiful legs and pumped up priest.
In addition, to comply with the correct technique, you must have a good stretch.
“Dead” traction in no case can not be combined with the lifting of significant weight due to the highest risk of injury. With a breakaway on straight legs loaded with pancakes, a colossal load on the knees goes. Therefore, such a pull is not suitable for powerlifters.
Romanian execution technique includes exercises with both a barbell and dumbbells. In the case of training with dumbbells, they should stay parallel to your feet at the outside of the thigh.
Since traction on straight legs is considered an easier option than the classic one, you can perform it more times. For example, 3-4 sets of 10-12 exercises each.
With trap bar
As the name implies, this deadlift is carried out with special equipment – with a trap bar.
She is distinguished by the fact that her neck is made in the form of a hexagon, inside which the athlete rises. There are handles on the sides of the frame. The exercise is performed with legs wide apart and parallel grip (and not the usual straight).
The trap bar is easier to use, safer than a straight bar. When training with her, the load on the lower back is reduced, which is important for athletes who, due to injuries or diseases, are not able to perform classical traction.
But powerlifters and other “siloviki”, on the contrary, are not suitable for a trap bar. After all, in their competitions, a classic bar with a direct bar is used.
Deadlift: Execution Technique
This article has repeatedly said that errors in the performance of traction can cause injuries. Therefore, it is very important to disassemble the performance technique in the smallest details so as not to endanger your health.
Let’s analyze it using the example of a classic deadlift.
The need for warm-up
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, in any case, before the traction, you need to warm up well and warm up. Before training, you need to do exercises, as well as stretch your lower back and legs.
It is most effective to perform a “mill”, tilts, stretch your wrists, elbows and shoulders. Stretching is a good choice, especially if you prefer traction on straight legs.
Since all of these exercises do not require special equipment and simulators, warm-up can be done at home.
In no case should you immediately take a lot of weight. On the contrary, for starters, you can raise an empty bar several times, the mass of which, as a rule, is 20 kg. And only then increase the weight of the bar by hanging pancakes.
Correct performance of deadlift is impossible without the correct starting position occupied by the athlete.
It is necessary to come close to the bar of the bar so that it touches the lower leg. During the exercise, the bar should barely slide along the legs. If the projectile is placed too close or too far, this will increase the load on the spine and may cause injury.
The feet should be placed parallel to each other at the width of the hips or slightly narrower than the shoulders, depending on in which position it is more convenient for you to distribute the load on the body. The toes of the feet should protrude beyond the bar.
Then you need to sit down, tilting the body by 40-45 degrees, and, taking the pelvis back, take the bar with a direct grip a little wider than the shoulders. The arms should be in a strictly upright position, and the shoulders should be directly above the bar.
Pay attention to the position of the back. It should be straight with a natural deflection in the lower back. In no case should you allow rounding of the spine, since this is a sure way to get injured. When performing the exercise, the neck is a continuation of the spine: you cannot lower or raise your head. The look should be directed strictly ahead.
When performing deadlift, three types of grip are distinguished:
- Straight – this is a classic, widely used grip, in which the weight lifter turns his palms towards his body. The hands are located approximately shoulder width apart. On the one hand, such a grip is optimal for training the strength of the hands and for distributing a uniform load on the muscles of the forearm. On the other hand, if the athlete’s hands are not strong enough, it will be difficult for him to maintain a large weight. In case of involuntary unclenching of the hands, the probability of injury is high. Therefore, to avoid this scenario, sometimes athletes use straps and wrist straps. However, resorting to their help in competitions is prohibited.
- Mixed grip type. In case of “misclosure”, the palms on the bar of the bar are asymmetrical: one palm is turned towards the body of the athlete, the second is in the opposite direction (away from you). This grip allows you to lift and hold more weight and reduces the likelihood of the bar slipping. But still, such a grabbing technique is more dangerous, therefore, as a rule, it is used only by professionals. The reason is the occurrence of a torque that increases the load on the spine. In addition, with the “divergence” you train the strength of the forearms and hands to a much lesser extent, compared to the classical style.
- Grab the “castle.” To reduce the risk of involuntary unclenching of the hands when lifting heavy weights, you can use this grip, otherwise also called “weightlifter.” To do this, the thumb is placed directly on the fingerboard, and while squeezing the palm of the hand, it is pressed on top with the other fingers. But its disadvantage is the pain experienced by the athlete.
Before performing the exercise, you need to take a deep breath, and lift the bar already on the exhale. The rise begins with a smooth straightening of the legs, and only then the back is unbent. Please note that at the initial stage of the exercise, the bar slides along the legs.
When you have already risen to full height with the projectile, you need to bring the shoulder blades together as much as possible. All movements should be smooth. Jerked traction can result in injury.
During the rise, the emphasis should fall on the heels of the feet.
Lowering the bar is necessary in the same smooth movement as when lifting, and always vertically. To do this, first bring the hips back, then bend the knees slightly. Otherwise, your bent knees will prevent the bar from sinking down.
It is impossible to bend your knees strongly, otherwise it will turn out squats.
Squatting should be started only when the barbell has already dropped below your knees, until it touches the pancakes on the floor.
The bar should lower along the legs while lowering.
Without fail, the back should remain straight, and a natural deflection should be present in the lower back. The shoulder blades should still be kept brought together, and the knees and feet parallel to each other.
It must be remembered that deadlift is only useful if you first learn how to do it correctly.
Despite many articles and videos with recommendations on the right technique, athletes still make mistakes. And not only beginners, but even those who have already switched to a lot of weight, and this is all the more fraught with unpleasant consequences.
So, the main errors:
- Performing exercises without prior warm-up and stretching. To avoid injury, you need to spend at least five minutes on this.
- Lifting a lot of weight without a sophisticated technique. Until all movements are brought to automaticity, it is by no means possible to hang a significant weight on the bar.
- Doing traction with a round back. This is one of the most common and dangerous errors. Rounding the spine will inevitably lead to injury, especially if you hang a lot of pancakes on the bar.
- Raising and lowering the bar is not along the legs, but pushing it forward. This is also an erroneous technique that puts your spine in jeopardy.
- Squats along with the bar instead of lowering it smoothly along the legs.
- Tearing the heels off the floor.
- Strong deviation of the hull back when the athlete has straightened upright with the shell. Again, too much backbending of the spine, when it holds the weight of the barbell on weight, is fraught with injury.
How to perform in Smith
Smith’s simulator is a U-shaped structure in which the bar of the bar moves strictly vertically along the guides.
Therefore, the athlete immediately eliminates the need to control the correct movement of the bar up and down, training deadlift is greatly simplified.
In addition, the weight can be lifted from a different level chosen by the athlete on his own. You can fix the bar at any point if you suddenly feel overload or pain.
Smith’s simulator is ideal for beginners, girls or people with a sore back. The technique for performing the exercises in the simulator is no different from the technique for performing the classic deadlift.
However, if you do not have health problems and have a desire to progress, it is better not to abuse Smith and switch to free weight.
We have already talked a lot about the execution technique and different types of traction, but there are still moments to which you should pay attention.
- Do not abuse with traction frequency. The best option is 1 pull per week. Or you can afford 2 traction per week, if the second you do, for example, with dumbbells. But if you lift a lot of weight, then it’s better to stop at one workout for a seven-day period. During the exercise there is a serious load on the lower back, ligaments and muscles. They will need time for a full recovery.
- During training with a barbell, one should not forget about the smoothness of movements and the correct breathing. The rise must be done precisely on exhalation, and lowering – on inhalation. The breath itself must be deep and even. Sudden movements are unacceptable. Your task is to make the muscles work, not tear.
- Do not wear shoes with springy, soft or thick soles for training with a barbell. Work with significant weight literally crushes it. It is better to give preference to sports shoes with a thin uniform sole and a fixed back.
If you lift a lot of weight, you can rub your hands in chalk so that the bar does not slip in sweaty palms.
Tips for Beginners
If you are a beginner and want to start exercises with a barbell, then first, in order to avoid injuries, you need to prepare and strengthen your body. Without preparation, the back will be hard to remain straight, which will lead to an incorrect erroneous execution technique.
Particular attention should be paid to training back muscles. The best assistant here is the hyperextension exercise. First, it should be performed without weighting, 20-25 repetitions. And then work with weights, for example, with a pancake from the bar, pressed to the chest. Perform 10-12 repetitions.
In addition to the back muscles, it is also necessary to strengthen the ligaments and muscle corset.
The most important advice is to learn how to properly perform deadlift. The first few workouts it is advisable to conduct with an instructor who can both teach the technique and choose the starting weight for traction.
In the first trainings, you need to work either with an empty bar or with a small weight. There is nothing shameful in such a small load, because your task is not to prove the strength to others, but to master the equipment perfectly and not harm your health.
At the initial stage, you need to train only in front of the mirror to see the errors in the technique. It makes sense to refuse the prompts of your own reflection only when your movements become honed to automatism.
Novice athletes and girls can also initially perform deadlifts with dumbbells, rather than with a barbell. Dumbbells not only weigh less, but it’s more convenient to distribute the center of gravity with them.
In no case can not chase the increase in the weight of the bar. To add load and hang additional pancakes you need to slowly and gradually. Be sure to keep the correct technique.
Exercises for girls
There is a prejudice that deadlift is not suitable for girls, because it will make their figure too athletic and masculine. However, this is only true if the athlete will take the same load as the guys and do powerlifting.
If the girl does not chase in the number of hung pancakes for strong men, then deadlift will make her body beautiful, slim and fit. To do this, you need to perform an exercise with low weight, but with a large number of repetitions. Such a load will help to effectively get rid of subcutaneous fat, but will not make the waist square like a man.
In addition, you can choose traction on straight legs (Romanian). This version of the exercise with a bar will strengthen and pump up the ass, make it more embossed and elastic. And also tighten the back of the hips, which is often a problem area for many girls.
Do I need insurance and belts
If you do not plan to become a professional powerlifter and compete in power extreme sports, then insurance is hardly useful to you. But if you start to lift serious weight, then the belt will facilitate your task.
It is advisable to use a special belt for athletes who have reason to worry about their spine. It will fix the lower back and reduce the likelihood of injury when training with heavy weight.
For exercises with a barbell, there are special straps that are wound around the wrist and neck. And if the fingers unclench involuntarily from the load, the bar will not fall on your feet, but will continue to be held on the straps.
What to do with back pain
Whether back pain is a contraindication to deadlift is a moot point and always relevant. You can definitely say only one thing: at your own peril and risk, it is impossible to start heavy loads with back pain. First you need to consult a doctor. And not with a therapist or a neurologist, namely with a sports doctor.
Provided that the back pain is not caused by any serious pathologies and the load is selected correctly, the deadlift will strengthen your lower back and help get rid of the pain. But the prerequisites are the correct technique and the correct selection of weights. If you decide to conduct tests on your health yourself or seek the help of an unprofessional instructor, this can turn into extremely unpleasant consequences, up to the operation.
If after each workout you will experience back pain (namely articular, not muscle), you need to reduce the load or wear a special protective orthopedic belt. In the absence of positive changes, training should be canceled before consulting with a sports doctor.
The safest workouts for a sore back will be classes in the Smith simulator.
Remember that in no case should you exercise during an exacerbation of the disease or when injured. If you still have a back disease or chronic consequences of a previous injury, the classic version of deadlift is not suitable for you. It is better to use the Romanian traction technique, which gives less load on the spine and joints. And do not forget about a thorough workout before training.
The champions of bodybuilding and powerlifting consider deadlift the best exercise for muscle growth, weight gain and for the physical development of the whole body. Therefore, for many famous athletes, deadlift is included in the category of basic exercises. Only she, among all others, has no substitutes and analogues.
But with improper execution technique, deadlift can cause real harm. Therefore, the main recommendation will always be perfect adherence to the right technique.