The Deadlift and its Benefits

Squats with and without a dumbbell, bench presses and deadlifts are 3 forms of powerlifting. Whether performed for sport or for building muscles, each form has numerous advantages for the human body. Scroll below for a listing of benefits that are provided by the deadlift exercise form.
FitnessVigil Staff
There are many forms and techniques or routines of weightlifting. It's not just picking up a weighted bar and lifting it for a count. Weightlifting is a sport and a form of exercise, that can strengthen and toughen the body's muscles as well as add to their endurance levels. While different techniques focus on different parts of the body, one such technique, which is the simplest in execution but works the most body parts is the deadlift. It seems simple enough: lift a weighted barbell from a bent-over or squat position. But performing the deadlift can leave you gasping for breath and pushes your physical power and balance to the max. The deadlift benefits are multi-fold and immense on the body, which is why most fitness experts have nicknamed it "the king of weightlifting forms".

Benefits of Deadlifting

Works out the entire body
There's an exercise for working out the arms, one for glutes, one for the legs etc. but a one-stop exercise that works out your entire body frame is the deadlift. Every muscle, from the ones in your heels and your hamstrings to your forearms and mid-back are worked by this weightlifting form. The deadlift is executed in a way that involves your entire body, since 3 major body joints are involved: the hip joint, the knee and the ankles. The following body parts are exercised with 1 deadlift movement:
  • Lower back laterals (latissimus dorsi) and erectors
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Pelvic muscles
  • The legs
  • Arms (forearms benefit the most)
  • Shoulders and trapezius
  • Quads and hamstrings
  • Calves
Building muscle mass
Lifting weights builds muscles. But the deadlift packs on an amazing amount of muscle in a seemingly simple movement. Since nearly every part of the body is being exercised, muscles are enlarged and strengthened almost throughout the body, especially the ones in the upper back. The deadlift can add muscle tone to your upper back and your glutes, like no other weightlifting form.

Focuses and hones your strength
If you lift weights, your aim is to increase your muscle growth and advance from one weight class into another. For that you need to build up your weight-lifting ability and power. The deadlift focuses on your power muscle groups like the posterior chain. This is one part of the body that specializes in high-performance movements and force. By performing the movements of the deadlift, this chain is strengthened and trained with practice and repeats. The upward movement strengthens your back. Like in performing squats, your legs help lift the weight. Plus your arms develop the strength and skill to hold and lift such a heavy weight in tandem with other parts of the body.

To develop and increase your hand grip strength, the deadlift is the perfect weightlifting form. It also helps you gain confidence in your own weightlifting ability. Today a certain weight class can seem impossible but by following the correct deadlift workout program, you can lift more and tire less. A certain type of strength known as explosive strength or force development involves the tension that can be developed in a muscle being exercised. Deadlifts help increase such explosive strength as your body must pick up an immense weight in one movement.

Long-lasting impact from one workout
The deadlift is a demanding and intense weightlifting form. So if your body performs even 1 deadlift a day, your metabolism is so geared up and energized from the effort, that you burn fat for the rest of the day. Due to a heightened metabolic rate, your body's hormonal levels also increase. So tissue and tendon repair takes place faster. And this doesn't just take place for one day. Your body learns to keep up the high metabolic rate, so you burn more calories with time. The deadlift also helps with other exercises like squats and leg curls, since it works out similar muscle groups. So expect to perform other exercises better due to deadlifting.

Strengthens you for everyday lifting
Have you bent down to lift something off the floor and on straightening, caught your back? Well, the motion of lifting something of the floor is a deadlift. The weight you lift off and the form in which you do it matters. Your back and leg muscles must stabilize and stand rigid to lift the weight. So practicing the deadlift encourages the correct body form and posture. You learn how to stand properly and sit straight. Plus the risk of injury from performing such everyday lifting is reduced once you learn the right way to lift things through the deadlift.

Miscellaneous
The deadlift is found to be highly beneficial for rehabilitating the body for certain injuries. For easing lower back pain, knee and groin pain, the deadlift can be effective but only if performed with medical supervision and correct exercise forms and equipment. The deadlift requires the bare minimum of weightlifting equipment. All you need is a bar with weights. Nothing works your heart out like lifting a weight off the floor. You breathe deeply in and out while lifting and your heart needs to pump more to lift the weight. With the deadlift, your cardio and respiratory system is enhanced and strengthened.

While the deadlift has its benefits, if performed incorrectly and without supervision, it can be very harmful for the body. This is true of all exercise forms and with most weightlifting forms, the correct technique and guidance is required, else you may end up doing more harm than good. Plus the deadlift is a strenuous workout on its own, so an adequate cool-down period is needed for the body to pace itself and recover. Do not overdo deadlifts in an effort to bulk up extra fast.