CrossFit | What Is a Deadlift?

How Should I Grip the Bar in a Deadlift?

In the deadlift, use a symmetrical grip whether parallel, hook, or alternate. With your feet in a hip-width stance, the hands should be placed just outside the shins where the arms will not interfere with the legs while pulling from the ground.

We recommend using a double overhand parallel grip as long as possible to develop grip strength and potentially transference to other movements that require a similar grip (toes-to-bars, pull-ups, etc.)

From left to right: 1. the hook grip, with the thumb wrapped around the bar and the fingers then wrapped over the thumb, 2. the alternate grip, with one hand palm up and one hand palm down, and 3. the double overhand grip, with both palms down (hook grip still recommended)

The alternate grip is more secure and appropriate at maximum loads because as the bar is rotating out of one hand, it is rotating into the other. This grip should be experimented with at light loads if you plan to utilize it at near-maximum loads. It should be noted that this grip is not necessarily recommended for beginners still developing baseline levels of grip strength.

The hook grip is a non-negotiable grip for the Olympic lifts such as the snatch and the clean, and while it is a bit stronger of a grip than the traditional parallel grip and can be practiced while performing deadlifts, it may be uncomfortable.

Experiment and work regularly with alternate, parallel, and hook grips. Explore variances in stance, grip width, and even plate diameter carefully and cautiously — each variant uniquely stresses the margins of an all-important functional movement.

Which Muscles Are Worked in the Deadlift?

A well-executed deadlift is truly a full-body exercise that works the muscles throughout the entire body. With that said, the targeted areas are the muscles of the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors). Additionally, a braced core is an essential component of a sound deadlift. The core (abdominals, obliques, and spinal erectors) are taxed heavily to maintain a stable trunk throughout the movement. The deadlift is a potent way to work your core when lifting heavy loads. The lats and upper back are also utilized to keep the bar tight to the body and the shoulders active.

What Are the Benefits of Doing Deadlifts? 

The deadlift is an effective path to increased hip capacity. Regardless of whether your fitness goals are to “rev up” your metabolism, increase strength or lean body mass, decrease body fat, rehabilitate your back, improve athletic performance, or maintain functional independence as a senior, the deadlift is a marked shortcut to that end.

In its most advanced application, the deadlift is prerequisite to, and a component of, “the world’s fastest lift,” the snatch, and “the world’s most powerful lift,” the clean, but it is also, quite simply, no more than the safe and sound approach by which any object should be lifted from the ground.

The deadlift’s primal functionality, whole-body nature, and mechanical advantage with large loads suggest its strong neuroendocrine impact, and for most athletes, the deadlift delivers such a quick boost in general strength and sense of power that its benefits are easily understood. If you want to get stronger, improve your deadlift. Driving your deadlift up can nudge your other lifts upward, especially the Olympic lifts.

What Are Common Flaws in the Deadlift?

While some fear the deadlift, attention to proper setup and execution will alleviate any hesitation you have toward this highly functional, inherently safe movement. Just like we focus on the setup first in the points of performance, we use the same sequence when calling out common flaws.

Left: proper deadlift setup, Right: hips too low

One of the most common flaws in the deadlift is starting with the hips too high or too low in the setup. “If the initial setup position of the deadlift is incorrect, it will be very difficult to correct anything that happens after that.”

This content was originally published here.

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