The deadlift, or the health lift as it was known back in the days, represents the exact safe and the perfect way to lift an object from the ground, more precisely a deadlift bar prepared with weights on it.
The CrossFit deadlift program advantages cannot be compared to those of any other type of exercise. It is so simple and has so much impact that it cannot have a rival while being unique with its capacity of working the full head to toe muscles.
Even if you chose fitness to decrease body fat, increase strength, rehabilitate your back or improve athletic performance, remember that the deadlift can be seen as a solution to any of those from above.
The Importance Of Deadlifts To CrossFit
Besides the high intensity and volume exercise of this kind of lift in CrossFit, a deadlift program actually has another purpose: an essential and most needed training for improved strength, stability and movement.
Each deadlift you make will work out your posterior muscles, for example: erector spinae, rhomboids, biceps femoris or gluteals. These muscles offer the midline stability for sagittal plane exercises and, at the same time, a large power output needed by the gymnastic movements and the barbell from the most WODs (workout of the day).
A barbell movement usually starts with a loaded barbell placed on the ground, so the deadlift skills are essential. The posterior chain of muscles should be properly conditioned in order to do the WODs in a proper way. They can be high-intensity, high-volume workouts, or even both.
The clean and jerk and the snatch (advanced Olympic lifts) are paramount in CrossFit and very intensive, so the deadlift becomes a crucial part of the strength-building training for Olympic lifts programs or cycles.
It is essential to execute the set-up properly because both the starting position and the finishing of a CrossFit deadlift technique are the same and any injury should be prevented.
The Secret Of A Perfect Deadlift
If you watch it from the outside, a deadlift looks very simple because you just have to bend over and pick up the object from the floor.
The fact is that the classic pick up of a coin or any other object from the floor cannot be compared to a deadlift.
The CrossFit deadlift form can be obtained only if you work the targeted muscles in a specific way. If you fail to do so, you can get serious injuries to the disks of your spine that cannot be fixed as they were before if they are already damaged.
The secret of a perfect deadlift is to know how to hip hinge. No one can know how to do this movement perfectly from the beginning.
To understand what a hip hinge is you can picture a folding chair that is folded in half from the hinges. Both the back and the seat remain rigid while the chair closes. While you start doing a hip hinge, your body will have the same position as the chair. Your legs can be the seat and your torso the back of the chair so you can have an image of what is happening to your body in a hip hinge.
Once your knees are unlocked, each half of your body remains still and rigid, while your hips rotate (the hinge). Each side of the joint receives a lot of tension and this keeps your legs stiff and your torso locked.
When you reach the level where you can make a perfect hip hinge, you can surely start to prepare for actual deadlifts.
Check this video for visuals:
Single Leg Deadlifts Have A Great Impact On your Muscles
Another interesting exercise that includes deadlifts is the CrossFit single leg deadlift.
You should incorporate a single-leg warm-up before you start exercising because it can only offer you benefits like muscle activation, correction of any imbalance you can have on your knees, ankles, glutes, hips and midline and also weakness exposure.
These single-leg warm-up exercises should be performed daily, even if you find it difficult to keep your balance. This can be resolved if you slow down the rhythm or lower the weight.
As you practice every day, you will reach a moment when you can start the single-leg deadlifts. If you do it properly, you will see that you can deadlift an impressive amount of weight, but only with an impressive mix of balance, strength and athleticism.
Most sports assume a split stance (one hip in extension and one in flexion) or single-leg postures. If you can to get used to of this position, then you will see that you can become more athletic very quickly.
If you want to begin training, you should try the kettlebell deadlift exercises before you try the classic deadlifts.
These can be easier for you.
On the other hand, the kettlebell training is based on a ballistic movement called The Swing, but besides the benefits of the deadlift with Kettlebells, this also has some limitations when it comes to the posterior chain strength.
If you can perform both the single-leg deadlifts and the CrossFit Kettlebell deadlifts with The Swing, you will undoubtedly yield massive strength, improve your movement quality and your athleticism.
Remember that you can also perform at the beginning Kettlebell single-leg deadlifts if you manage it more efficiently than the standard deadlifts.
Some variations of deadlifts should be included in any training program. These can strengthen any other type of lift, even regular exercises, for example: pull-ups, that are not commonly associated with deadlifts.
Check the video below for 6 kettlebell deadlift variations:
Deadlifts can also offer you a better shoulder stability, while they are strengthening the grip. Even if you have become an advanced trainee or a beginner, you can find a deadlift exercise that suits your needs.
There are two important moves which characterize a deadlift and crucial to be learned to do perfect deadlifts: hinge (the hip hinge mentioned above) and squat.
Breathing is a vital stage when it comes to deadlifts. For example, if you would like to lift something that is close to maximum one rep, you will find it difficult to breathe and you will still hold it while you complete the exercise.
While you are doing regular reps per every set, you will need to breathe, so you can inhale more air through your nose as you start to hinge and prepare your hips for a deadlift.
Here are five training tips that can improve your deadlifts:
- The warm-up: you should get a proper warm-up before lifting heavy weights. You can get injured if you avoid it. Start with Good mornings, row, and Romanian Deadlifts with one empty deadlift bar. You should also stretch your lower back and your hamstrings. Before you load the barbell, you should start with a few easy weight warm-up sets.
- The position of your feet should be a proper one: when you are in front of the bar, you should do a hip-width stance with your toes out at 15 degrees. Focus your weight on the forefoot without taking your heels from the ground.
- The position of your head: hold your spine straight so that it can distribute the weight evenly. Otherwise, the weight will be concentrated on another point of the lower back and you can injure yourself, even get a herniated disc. You should look to the ground while you deadlift, so your spine can remain in a neutral position.
- The deadlift and how to work on your grip: you can get a terrible feeling when you know you can lift more weight, but your hands are saying the opposite thing. A large number of sets or a heavy workout can make your grip weaker. The deadlift strength is usually limited by the objects that you can hold, so it is crucial to have a firm grip. Some good exercises for this can be: static holds, farmer’s walk or higher reps or all of them mixed.
- The upper back should be strengthened: the upper back is the most important part that offers you the possibility to the lifts that involve picking weight from the floor, squatting and supporting weight over your head. If you have a weak upper back, you cannot do heavier deadlifts. You can also correct your problems with your upper back through high-rep heavy Olympic pulls.
If you decide to add deadlifts to your workout, you should think very well to prepare yourself for this kind of sport. No one was born knowing how to do it, but you cannot believe that you will be able to perform it overnight.
It looks simple, but in fact, it has a particular technique you have to master before getting aboard. You should start with simple tasks from the beginning and after a while, you can add a few harder exercises to see how you are doing.
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