By March 15, 2012Training

World renowned Russian strength coach Pavel Tsatsouline wrote in his book, that if he had to choose one exercise to perform it would not be the squat, but the barbell deadlift.  The deadlift recruits not only the legs, but the arms, abs, and lower back as well.

It has been reported that significant increases in testosterone occur after deadlights in college age men; however, maximal and submaximal efforts in the bench press resulted in smaller increases in testosterone you can still perform isolation exercises such as bicep concentration curls, just perform these exercise after the larger exercise.  For example, if an athlete performs squats before biceps curls, the biceps may be exposed to higher levels of circulating testosterone. The deadlifts is just about the hardest exercise you can perform because it recruits so many different muscle groups.  The deadlift is a compound movement that works grip strength, and the primary muscles used in the deadlift are the erector spinae, the gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and the soleus. The remaining muscles are involved in stability control. It is, in a sense, the purest single event test of strength because it is one of the few lifts of dead weight (weight lying on the ground). In most other lifts there is an eccentric (lowering the weight) phase followed by the concentric (lifting the weight) phase, the deadlift is just a concentric movement.

Sumo or conventional: There are two different lifting styles: conventional deadlifts and sumo style deadlifts.  Sumo style is used with a wider stance in which the lifter grips the bar with the arms placed on the inside of the legs. Conventional style deadlifting involves foot placement at approximately shoulder width apart and gripping the bar on the outside of the legs19.  Conventional style deadlifts tend to place more stress on the lower back, whereas sumo style deadlifts  with a more erect and upright back alignment that allows for greater recruitment of the hip muscles to perform the lift20.  The sumo lift is probably the safer of the two styles as it is more biomechanically safer.  Another advantage is that the bar has to try a shorter distance as the legs are spread apart and its less distance for the bar to travel.  One study found that sumo style deadlifting can reduce bar travel by nineteen percent compared to conventional deadlifts19. One important tip to always remember when doing deadlifts is to keep the bar as close to the body as possible (bar should be as close to the chins as possible) which will increasing force production as the result of a greater mechanical advantage21.

Deadlift Variations:

Deadlifts off of blocks- Deadlifting while standing on a block, several rubber mats, or plates is employed to increase the range of motion you need to go through in order to complete the lift. Typically, the height ranges between one and four inches.  A benefit for lifting on blocks is that if your sticking point is coming off    the ground, deadlifting off a block will increase your strength when you return to pulling off the ground.

Rack Deadlifts- Performed in a squat cage, rack deadlifts are performed by starting in the squat cage and you bend down and perform a partial deadlift.  The rationale for this is that since many lifters experience a sticking point high in the deadlift, by loading up the bar and pulling from this raised position, you’ll increase your strength at the sticking point.

Deadlifts with bands and chains- You can also experiment with the use of bands and chains for increasing deadlift pulling strength and speed.

You should be incorporating one variation of each of these movements in every workout.  Adding bands and chains keeps workouts from getting stale and adds variation.  The major benefit that comes from doing these exercises is, they are great mass and strength builders. All these exercises are compound movements that work much of your body. Incorporating these movements into your routine will definitely be worth the effort.
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