August 16, 2017
3 Reasons Why Men Should Lift Weights
Published by: Femi Doyle-Marshall
Written by: Brandonn Cole – CSEP-CEP, CSCS
Exercise, when done correctly can be an excellent way to improve one’s self both physically and mentally. When done incorrectly, it can lead to injury, in both acute and chronic forms that manifest in various way. That is why as an exercise professional it can be extremely frustrating when one sees a person do an exercise, especially a complicated one, incorrectly. This is often seen with the back breaking, shoulder dislocating, hamstring-pulling deadlift.
Yes, the deadlift.
The exercise that is secondly only to squats in most gyms. With the ability to access information instantly, complicated exercises are often viewed online and then attempted with no formal instruction. Too often does this lead to incorrect form and ultimately injury. Today, I would like to clarify some point that may ultimately lead you to safer, stronger workout routines.
First, make sure one selects the appropriate weight.
For most people this can either just the olympic bar, 10 lbs bumper plates or 45 lbs plates (bumper or regular). The bar shoulder several inches above the ground at the starting point (8+ inches). In some facilities, they may not have the correct size of bars or plates and changes have to be made accordingly. It may be best to start the exercise from a platform or safety bar several inches above ground, if necessary.
Facing the bar, with a shoulder-width stance, place your feet forward underneath the bar as close to your shins as possible. Bend your knees and hips as you grab the bar outside your legs, about an inch from your shins with a pronated, closed grip. Make sure your knees are not over toes and are in line with your feet. At this point, your weight may not be distributed evenly. Shift your weight to your heels, this may mean you might have to re-adjust your knees and hips. Right now, you may be in a semi squat position.
Tension now becomes extremely important. Have your chest out, shoulders back, flat back, head looking up and your butt sticking out. All these muscles should be contracted and your heels should be on the floor. This is the most important part of the exercise. A proper form in the lumbar spine will help ensure that an exercise is done correctly and safely.
Slowly lift the bar off the ground by extending your knees and hips at the same time and maintain a rigid posture. As the bar rises above your knees, continue to extend your hips forward. Keep the bar as close to your body as possible. Continue to extend until both your knees and hips finish at the same time and you are in an upright position, maintaining contraction throughout the body.
While descending and maintaining proper body positioning (head, back, shoulders etc.), shift your hips back and flex your knees as the bar begins to go downwards evenly, until the bar touches the ground. You should be in the same position as when you started. This exercise should be done slowly, especially for beginners.
This video by Femi captures how to do a deadlift well.
There are several pitfalls that people usually fall into when doing this exercise. Below is a list of corrections that beginners should look out for:
I hope that with these tips will help you to complete your next exercise session safely and correctly. I know that with proper instruction, one will safely see improvements in their form and ability.
Here’s a tip: If you are someone who is motivated but are new to exercise and you decide to hire a trainer, buy only a few sessions (3-5). Don’t bother with a long term package. Ask them to demonstrate specific exercises and familiarize yourself with a facility. Ask them to design a workout plan for you and get a physical copy. Now, some facilities may give you a copy, some may not as it cuts into their revenue. However, by doing this you can have exercises such as squats or deadlifts taught by professionals.
Be sure to visit our STRENGTH FORUM, our online community for your specific questions relating to your goals.