Deadlifting 101: Are Deadlifts Safe and Should I Be Doing Them?
Hearing the word “deadlift” probably evokes a very clear image in your head. It could be a massive powerlifter heaving incredible amounts of weight. Maybe you think about how much you love the exercise. Maybe you may hear the word and think of discs bulging, spines breaking and just overall ‘back pain.” Either way, I rarely hear middle ground with deadlifts. People either have embraced the awesomeness or avoid them like the plague.
Whether you love them or hate them, you end up deadlifting every single day. It may not be picking a loaded barbell off the floor, but when you pick a purse up off the floor, put your child into a crib, or loading groceries into your trunk, you’re doing a deadlift. So, since it is such a common movement in everyday life, don’t you think you should be training for them?
First off, when done correctly, deadlifts are a safe exercise! So, let’s get any misconceptions about the exercises safeness out of our heads. As with most exercises, proper form is key. But, even more so in a deadlift because if performed incorrectly your spine is in a very vulnerable position. When doing a deadlift incorrectly you are putting your spine in what clinicians describe as a loaded, flexed position. In this position, you do put a lot of stress on the vertebra and discs in the spine. But, it is important to note that in this position, you can injure your spine lifting 5 pounds, or 500 pounds.
Exercise should be about more than just trying to look good or burning calories from the dessert you ate. It should be viewed as training to function more efficiently throughout life without putting yourself at risk for injury. That being said, deadlifts are as functional as a functional movement can get. You literally do this movement in everyday life hundreds of times per day. Adding this exercise to your training program allows you to perform this movement in the most efficient way possible in and out of the gym.
So, are deadlifts safe? Yes! Should you be doing them? Unequivocally, yes! Deadlifts will not only transform your body composition but if trained correctly, they will help you become more resilient in all aspects of your life. Start doing them and see how anti-fragile you are and how strong you can become!
Next month we will discuss different variations of a deadlift and how to perform each one correctly. Stay tuned!