As most of you know, the (Romanian) Deadlift is my favorite exercise! Today I want to explore why that is the case and why EVERYONE should add it into their workout routines if it is not in it already.
Why is it my favorite exercise?
- SERIOUS WEIGHT (FUN)!
For most people, it is the lift that you can lift the most weight in (given your musculature is in line). More Weight --> More Work --> Efficient Goal-achieving (whether that be fat loss or muscle gain)
While all movements can be simplified to basic biomechanics (though sometimes in 3D making it a little more complicated), the Deadlift makes me think of the simplest of movements. One goes from looking like this:
__ (Upper Body)
| (Lower Body)
To looking like this:
| (Upper Body)
| (Lower Body)
Simple. It's like the modern furniture of exercise. The Apple product of the technological world. The (craftily branded) startup to the conventional way of doing things (e.g. Lyft, Gyft, Square, Box. Scoot. Cookie (I wish)). Okay I'm done.
Why should EVERYONE be doing it?
(Aside from the fact that it is a heavy/fun and beautiful exercise)
- FUNCTIONAL (Movements that translate to real life)
I dare you to count how many times you bend over to pick something up during the day - Picking up a book; picking up your dog; picking up the weight I am making you pick up, picking up your buddy who has had one too many drinks. Picking things up safely is a good way to prevent back pain, among other things. Ergo, lifting heavy versions of things, makes those light things feel like nothing!
Btw here is a link to a Journal of Strength and Conditioning article (hopefully you can at least read the abstract) that describes how one might functionally benefit from doing DEADS.
- POSTURE/POSTERIOR CHAIN! It fixes everything that Spin (I am looking at you SoulCycle/CycleBar), sitting in your car, sitting at your computer, and everything else that our world screws up. It makes blatantly clear, mobility/stability/strength issues for all of the most important muscle groups.
It also builds your butt when done right...and who doesn't appreciate a good butt (and I am not talking about the fake-out, terrible pelvic tilt 'big butt')?
- STRONG BONES! Like milk, but less bloating.
Heavy weights (even a bit more so in lifts where it is literally on your back - like squats), promote increases in bone density. Forget Life Alert, just work your DEADS and prevent the breakage (sort of joking)
Hip drive is among the most powerful movements we can create as humans. Training heavy deadlifts produces an increase in the force that you can create. Powerful hip drives can then be used for the most powerful (and safest) high-intensity movement: Swings. Talk about the most efficient way to burn fat - don't even get me started on heavy kettlebell swings.
For your viewing pleasure I have uploaded a video of me pulling 325 to my YouTube page.
Found here. (My apologies for the video quality).
So how does this all make me healthy?
- Functional movement creates a durable foundation for your daily activities. It will promote stronger bones and increases in balance and flexibility that you can feel in your daily life. In addition to the movement, it increases your core strength and burns some of the most Calories (when heavy or explosive). PLUS, it puts you in a state of recovery that rivals HIIT training that can last for days.
Though we all love pancakes, let's commit to not letting that be the word that describes our butts. Get. Your. Deadlifts. In.