We don’t know of a more epic way to show off your strength than picking up 45, 65, 90-plus kilos from a weights-room floor. Which is just one of the reasons why deadlifts should be on your must-do list, as they are increasingly for lifting fans.
‘I find more and more women are curious to try deadlifting,’ says women’s strength coach Allison Tenney. ‘Then they get excited about it, and then they’re hooked – not just on the physical benefits, but on feeling strong, capable and empowered as well.’
This classic strength exercise engages one of the most innate human movement patterns (hingeing forward at the hips) and strengthens and sculpts everything from your glutes to your core, lats, and shoulders. It also engages your entire body, ramping up fat burn more than any other resistance move. Tapping so many body parts at a high intensity = serious results. Hello, new found sense of power.
Read on for our favourite benefits, and our prime on form so you can get the most out of every rep. You’ll be a deadlift devotee in no time.
Mastered the original? Try these variations on the deadlift to vary your gains
AMPED ATHLETICISM : Whether you’re running marathons or shooting netball, deadlifts will make you better. ‘They build power, the lifeblood of any successful athlete,’ says Tenney. The hip hinge (pushing your bum back, then thrusting your hips forward) is your body’s ultimate force move, propelling running strides, jumps and other lifts.
SUPERIOR FITNESS : Women who performed heavy strength training improved their blood pressure more than those who stuck with cardio, according to an Appalachian State University study. That may be because lifting can act as super-high-intensity interval training, prepping your arteries to dilate more easily. Boring elliptical sessions, be gone
STRONGER BONES : You have to put weight on bones to strengthen them. Luckily, with training, deadlifts can let you load the spine and hips (which are prone to osteoporosis) with more than your own body weight. After each lift, cells called osteoblasts fill in any stressed areas of your skeleton. Once those spots are calcified, they turn to rock-hard bone.
TIGHTER CORE : Deadlifts beat the plank when it comes to training the deepest muscle in the abs, according to a study in the International Journal Of Sports Physical Therapy. Known as the transverse abdominis, it acts as an internal corset, keeping your torso strong and firm.