It's harder than it looks: the deadlift. A very popular exercise, because you do not need much space and you train many important muscles at the same time (just like with the squat). However, it is not always performed properly. We will answer the questions: what is the deadlift? Which muscles do you use? And which variants do you have?
What is a deadlift? Will you go dead?
No, if all is well not, but you have to do it properly otherwise you run the chance of a big one injury. You don't want that. The 'dead' in the name deadlift comes from the fact that you pull weight off the ground 'dead'. Not like, for example, the bench press where you lower it first before you press it up. Despite the name, this is the safest exercise of the three competitions in powerlifting.
Which muscles do I train with deadlifts?
Despite what many athletes and beginner bodybuilders think, the deadlift is one full body workout. When you perform the exercise properly, the whole body benefits. Most bodybuilders start deadlifting when they get their train your back, but actually it packs more muscle in the legs. To be more precise, these are the muscles that you mainly train with it: the lower back (erector spinae muscle), the buttocks (gluteus maximus muscle), the thighs (adductor magnus and quadriceps femoris muscles) and the calves (musculus soleus).
Which deadlift variants are there?
Do I have to use a power belt and lifting straps?
We recommend that you get a belt to be used while deadlifting. When deadlifting, it is important that you build intra-abdominal pressure, that is, hold your breath and 'tighten' your abdominal muscles so that it acts as a kind of corset. This keeps your back straight, prevents injuries and allows you to lift heavier. A belt can artificially increase that intra-abdominal pressure. However, with poor technique, things can still go wrong. So never see a belt as an insurance policy for poor execution.
The same advice applies to lifting straps. You can use this to create a firm grip and to lift heavier. Are you going to deadlift competitively? Never use the lifting straps.
Deadlift world records
To give a bit of an idea of the kilos that you could lift: on May 2, 2020, the 31-year-old Icelander Hafthor Bjornsson broke the world record with no less than 501 kilos! WOW, but hey, who says you couldn't do this, one day. Let us know in the comments below what your personal record is, we are curious!
Fun fact: Do you recognize Bjornsson from somewhere? That could well be, he is mainly known for his role as 'The Mountain' in the 'Game of Thrones' series.
Have you also become so enthusiastic after this article? Then read the article how to deadlift and start deadlifting!
Written by Emily van de Wiel