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The FNS Deadlift Guide

Deadlifting is a very common exercise in modern gyms. Along with the bench press and squat, the deadlift makes up the three main lifts in most powerlifting competitions.

If you want to build muscle and overall strength, deadlifting (or one of its variations) is a great way to do it. Done correctly, it is a safe and effective way to lift a lot of weight.

Here’s some more information on deadlifting.

Deadlift benefits

The deadlift is one of the best total-body movements you can do. It targets a vast number of muscle groups throughout the entire body. Some of the benefits of deadlifting are strengthening legs, full body activation, and stronger back. It also can improve core strength, posture, and grip strength.

It can also help you improve athletic performance, reduce back pain, and boost your metabolism. It also requires limited equipment!

How to do it

Hinge backward with your hips so your spine is neutral, and you have a bend in your knees. With your feet shoulder-width, position the bar directly over your shoelaces, then plant your feet firmly into the ground. Grab the bar with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-length apart. You want to breathe deep into your belly and think about forcefully exhaling without letting out any air.

Lift the weight using your legs. Drive forward with your hips. You should be standing straight at the top of the movement. Squeeze your glutes. Push your hips back and lower the weight back to the starting position with control. Repeat as necessary.

Deadlift variations

The standard deadlift can be altered to target different muscle groups. Here are three different ways you can change the deadlift:

Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

The RDL is a very common deadlift variation. It’s a great way to focus on your glutes, hamstrings, hip muscles, and lower back.

With a slight bend in your knees and your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the weight in front of your mid-thigh. Push your hips back as you lower the bar down the front of your legs. Keep your back neutral and brace your core.

Lower until you feel your hamstrings reach the end of their range of motion. Hinge your hips forward and squeeze your glutes. Think about using only your hips. The rest of your body should be relatively still.

Suitcase Deadlift

The suitcase deadlift is great for emphasizing your core as well as your legs.

Assume your standard deadlift stance and drive your hips back to hinge forward and grab a weight with one hand. Drive your hips forward to stand up. Do your best to keep your upper body straight. You should feel your core working a good deal during this phase of the exercise.

With the feet about hip-width and toes forward, push the hips back and down, maintaining a flat back. As you approach the bottom of the deadlift, keep the chest high and core tight. This will ensure your lower back and torso are stable.

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