Being brutally strong is a prerequisite to having an impressive physique.
That’s a fact, not my personal opinion.
And there’s no movement more effective at building real world strength than lifting heavy stuff off the floor.
I’m certainly not suggesting that everyone start ripping barbells off the floor, but it is important to find the right deadlift for you. How you choose the right deadlift variation for you depends on a number of factors:
The weight is evenly distributed around the body, so these are more back friendly and have a little bit of a lower learning curve than conventional deadlifts.Some lifters may say the trap bar is cheating, but unless you’re entering a powerlifting competition, there’s no specific exercise you need to do, so they can F right off.
That doesn’t mean that there’s no technique necessary to ensure that you stay safe and keep progressing forward. Here’s how to make sure you get the most benefit from them without jacking yourself up:
Often, I see people just try to grip it and rip it. While it’s imperative to bring the heat when you’re moving heavy weight, this usually results in the hips shooting up first. Again, this will tend to put unnecessary stress on the low back and will limit your lift.
This is why learning to squeeze the slack out of the bar initially is one of the most important parts of deadlifting, but one of the most challenging things to learn how to do. Think about applying 90% of the force necessary to lift the bar as you pull your chest up, then put the last 10% into it to get it moving.
The other big mistake I see frequently is trying to deadlift from an overly extended low back position. This cranks on the low back as well. This is where learning to brace comes in. Your pelvis is like a bowl, and your rib cage should sit directly on top of it, forming an egg. Getting a big breath into your belly and squeezing your abs hard ensures that you don’t crack your egg by extending too hard through your back.
Deadlifts often get a bad rap as being dangerous, but it’s just like anything else: how you do them and which variation you use for your situation is what matters. Follow these steps and you’ll be crushing PR’s, which leads to not only stronger legs, but a stronger body all around from your ears to your heels.