The deadlift is highly regarded among strength athletes. But why exactly? What makes the deadlift such an effective exercise? And is it really necessary?
1. COMPOUND EXERCISE FOR MANY MUSCLE GROUPS
The deadlift is a compound exercise that works many muscles at the same time. This mainly concerns the posterior chain, or the muscles at the back of your body: back (lats, traps, spinal erectors), glutes, hamstrings and calves. But muscles in other parts of your body are also involved in the deadlift, such as the quadriceps, forearms, core and shoulders.
The deadlift does not train all these muscle groups equally. The exercise is especially suitable for training the spinal erectors (back extensors), traps, glutes, hamstrings, core and forearms. For the other muscles you will also have to do other, more targeted exercises.
Because you train so many different muscle groups with the deadlift, the exercise is extremely efficient.
2. TRAINING WITH HEAVY WEIGHTS
With the deadlift you can go extremely heavy in terms of weight. As a result, you disrupt homeostasis (the internal balance of your body) more than any exercise, resulting in more muscle growth and strength gains.
Disruption of homeostasis due to strength training and the resulting muscle damage is seen by the body as a reason to prepare itself for the next overload. The recovery from muscle tears goes beyond the starting level. This makes the muscles bigger and stronger.
Although less interesting for the bodybuilder, the deadlift is also ideally suited to building strength, especially if you operate in the range of 1 to 5 repetitions.
3. YOU ALSO TRAIN STABILIZING MUSCLES
Because you lift so heavy with a deadlift, many smaller, stabilizing muscles are also put to work, for example to keep you balanced. This is not or much less the case with light weights or isolation exercises.
4. FUNCTIONAL TRAINING
The deadlift mimics movements we do in everyday life, strengthening the muscles involved and making everyday tasks easier.
5. ORTHOPEDIC BENEFITS
Studies show that regularly training the posterior muscle chain is associated with reduced back pain and improved posture. This is mainly because your core is strengthened.
Please note that incorrectly performed deadlifts are actually dangerous for your back.
6. WORTH IT?
Some say it’s not worth doing deadlifts unless you’re a competitive strength athlete. They claim that the risk of serious injuries is too great. You can train the same muscles with other exercises, but more safely, so it sounds.
We recognize that the deadlift is not a must for the bodybuilder, but we still like to include this exercise in our training program. When performed correctly, the deadlift is completely safe. Be instructed by a professional trainer.
Claims that deadlifting “overloads” your central nervous system are exaggerated.
And while it’s true that the deadlift isn’t essential for building a great physique, the exercise works almost every muscle in your body, making it very efficient.
In short, we think deadlifts are definitely worth it.