Master the Deadlift to Improve Athletic Performance

30 Nov

Want to get stronger, faster, and more powerful?  One exercise — the deadlift — can help you accomplish that, according to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Exerting force against the ground is the foundation for basic sports movements like running, jumping, and throwing.  The deadlift effectively strengthens your core and lower body (back, hips, and legs), increasing the amount of force you can generate against the ground.  Regardless of the sport you play, this exercise can help you improve your game.

Watch Josh Cribbs perform the deadlift exercise.

As with any exercise, technique is important.  When performing the deadlift, it’s important to ensure that your hips and legs, and not your back, are doing most of the work.  Focus on hip drive.  Here are some tips for proper execution of this exercise:

  • Assume a stance with feet about hip width apart
  • Grip the bar with hands just wider than shoulder width
  • In “down” position, keep bar close to shins and hips pushed back
  • Arms straight, chest and chin up
  • Push hips forward and straighten knees to stand up
  • Squeeze glutes
  • Keep back straight and bar close to body
  • Lower bar to ground by reversing movement
  • Repeat
  • Aim for 3-5 sets of 4-6 repetitions at 80-90% 1RM; rest 2-3 minutes between sets

You can also perform the deadlift exercise with a “trap” bar.  This version is especially recommended for novices, as the side handles make the exercise much less back-intensive.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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