Deadlifts Aren’t Just Good For Gains, They’re Good For Health
Years of deadlifting and squatting had left my body in shambles. At 31, the shearing forces of these movements were taking a toll on my body.
Simple daily tasks were now painful. I couldn’t perform the big lifts in the gym. My quality of life was being hindered.
I consulted with my good friend, Dr. Stuart Hui at Paradigm Performance in Elgin, IL. He is a movement specialist with a background in pain mediation. I started on a rigorous program to fix my back, fix my life, and add more years to my competitive-career as a professional bodybuilder.
We went into the program using variations of the squat and deadlift, eventually working up to the conventional deadlift to fix my back.
Wait, the deadlift to FIX my back?
Yes! The deadlift is the ultimate lower back, glutes and overall body exercise. It is right up there with the squat. It works everything, and I mean everything.
The deadlift encourages and creates a strong core, or as we call it at EXOS™, a strong “pillar.” The deadlift should be done with a neutral spine and also a strong and engaged core.
See this video:
How to perform deadlifts with movement specialist Dr. Stu.
According to Dr. Stu,
“Deadlift is derived from the principle of ‘bending.’ Bending is one of the seven primal movements that we MUST satisfy as human beings.
Principles are: We are human beings. Therefore, we must move. And, we must move well. This is efficient movement.
If we don’t, then our bodies will break down faster. This is poor engineering.
The primal movement patterns are: Squat, bend, push, pull, lunge, gait, rotation (twist).
Starting with a client you must: Evaluate. Determine their movement capability and capacity. Regress/progress accordingly and to performance enhancement (EXOS). Reps should be pain free (or as close to pain free as possible). If pain is present, the mechanics are incorrect, or the load is too much (Z Health).”
Dr. Stu lays out how to do this. There are some progressions that you should follow when working up to deadlifts that I recommend. You don’t just walk as a toddler. You sit up, crawl, stand and THEN walk.
In fact, data has shown that if a child skips any of these steps that it can lead to some issues later on. Remember, “You can’t walk before you crawl.”
Thus, there are some tests you must pass to deadlift.
Plank: Be able to hold a plank for 1 minute. This shows that you have the core strength to support the deadlift. Described here.
Kettlebell Swing: Necessary to initiate the hip-hinge involved in the deadlift. Described here.
Goblet Squats: I know we aren’t squatting, but this also displays the CORE you need. Master these! Watch this video.
NOW YOU MAY DEADLIFT! This sequence can take anywhere from one week to several weeks. But they are necessary!
How to deadlift for health and gains!
Walk up to the bar, feet about shoulder-width apart, feet under the bar about midfoot or right about to the ankle. Letting your hands just fall naturally at your sides, bend at the knees and grasp the bar with your hands.
Bend your knees, push your chest up and retract your scapula/bring your shoulder blades together. Take a deep breath and hold it, increasing intra-abdominal pressure for spine support.
Initiate lift moving hips and torso in unison. Hold at top, but do not hyperextend.
Lower the bar to the ground.
I highly recommend when performing reps not to do “touch-n’-go” deadlifts. There is too much going on to ensure safety. Rest the bar and initiate from step step, no need to let go of the bar.
Now get healthy and get RESULTS!
There you have it, more reason to do the most powerful movement of all time, the deadlift. If you don’t deadlift, start now. If you do, and you are missing some of the steps or experiencing pain, start at step one including the qualifiers for the deadlift.
There is no better way to build a strong back with strong legs while becoming a better functioning human. Don’t delay, start today and you and your back will thank me! Because making gains and getting healthier at the same time…that’s not a game!
Dr. Stu’s Paradigm Performance is located in Elgin, IL. He trains pro athletes alongside amateur and child athletes, as well as anyone looking to improve their life and appearance. Dr. Stu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Stu in collaboration with MTS Nutrition also makes the most advanced joint formula on the market, Machine Motion™. Check it out here.