The deadlift ranks pretty high on the list of exercises that frustrate my clients. This is mostly due to form and not "connecting" with the exercise. However-it quickly turns in to a favorite due to it's sculpting abilities. When performed correctly-this exercise is magical! It works the hamstrings-that in turn give the booty a nice "lift", as well as the glute muscles, and the lower back which creates that pretty little "scoop" between the back and the booty. The deadlift is also an incredible core exercise, which comes as a surprise to most.
My favorite style of the deadlift is not going to be your conventional powerlifting lift-or fancy chalk covered hand positions while throwing weights around and screaming. While I do use several forms of a deadlift (one legged, b-stance, etc.), for today's purpose I am going to cover my favorite- a basic Romanian style deadlift-or RDL.
When first shown this exercise- people will try to simply touch the ground with the weights and stand back up without thought. Typically new clients, or those that have not yet been educated in form will round their shoulders, bend down as close as they can get to the ground, and stand back up while thrusting the hips too far forward. When a client performs the exercise in this way-very rarely if ever, will they feel the correct squeeze (in the butt) and slight "pull" in the hamstrings. This can also result in injury-and nobody has time for that!
To correctly execute the deadlift, start by standing straight up with your neck and chin neutral. Hold the dumbbells or barbell in front of your thighs. Make sure you are pulling in tight with your core and that your shoulders are back and down. Slowly push your hips back toward the wall with an ever so slight bend in the knees (you NEVER want your knees locked out). And when I say push that booty back-I mean way back. When working with clients at my studio, we have a um....unique way of describing this motion. We call it "porno booty". Yep. If a client has come from a coed gym, or is uncomfortable with their body(most of us), or has just been taught it's inappropriate to show off the goods...this will be the hardest part for them. You really have to push it back-and as inappropriate as it feels at first-this where you will get that good "squeeze". If you aren't comfortable, find an empty wall-it doesn't judge lol. You should push back just until you feel a slight tightening in your hamstrings and SQUEEZE that booty! Also-make sure to NOT round your shoulders. The moment you feel your shoulders start to round, reduce the range of motion. Keep your back flat and core engaged. Slowly come back up and keep squeezing that Beyonce until you return to the start of the movement.
Once you get the basic form and mind to muscle connection down-then you can start to get fancy and add bands, heavier weights, one legged deadlifts, and other variations.
My favorite style of the deadlift is not goto be your conventional powerlifting lift-or fancy chalk covered hand positions while throwing weights around and loud screaming. While I do use several forms of a deadlift (one legged, b-stance, etc.), for today's purpose I am going to cover the main issues I see with form and mind to muscle connection with a\ basic Romanian style deadlift-or RDL. RDL. RDL. DL. L. .