the deadlift?
Strong female athlete holding a barbell in her hands. Cross fit woman lifting heavy weights in gym.

The Deadlift

Conventional?  Sumo? Hybrid?  Who gives a shit.  If you’re not incorporating deadlifts into your routine you’re leaving a lot on the table.   Described as the “King of Lifts”, the deadlift involves every muscle group in the body.  No lift truly challenges you and stimulates your CNS quite like the deadlift.   Much debate rages across the badlands of the internet about the proper stance, grip, hip placement, finishing techniques….. its exhausting.     The consensus is, YOU SHOULD BE DEADLIFTING!

Now of course there will be the “but I have an injury” retort.  Granted, if you are so injured you can’t preform any of the many variations of the deadlift than maybe you can sit this one out.  HOWEVER,  if you’re in the gym, you can probably deadlift.   That being said, lets talk about the different varieties and some of their benefits.

  • Conventional: What everyone thinks of when they hear deadlift.  Feet are close, arms are on the outside of your frame.  This is where most people start.
  • Sumo: Very different from the conventional, also direct opposite. Your base is flared hands are inside your framework.  Most obvious benefit of this stance is the reduction of distance.   With your stance flared almost to the plates, it cut the travel the weight drastically.
  • Hybrid (Squat Stance): This variation stance may not be widely known but can be utilized by a wide range of body types.  Basically, you’ll use the same foot placement as your squat.   The benefits to this stance include not having to switch up your hip angle from your squat.  Helps with consistency.  Another benefit includes more glute activation at the beginning of the lift.
  • Trap Bar: This is a variation of the deadlift using specialized equipment.   Stance will naturally be narrow because of the trap bar, and your grip rotated 90o and will be outside of the frame of your body.  Benefits of the trap bar included lessening the strain on the spine, increasing you power output, and helping you in your proper positioning.  Also is can be used as a primary or auxiliary lift.

If you haven’t found your deadlift stance yet, try these variants.  The key is to start low and gradually build your weight.  Ego lifting will get you hurt and deter you from continuing the with the KING.  IF you’re unsure of your ability to preform it properly.  Hire a PT or go to a gym that specializes in powerlifting movements.   Either way, GET TO DEADLIFTING!

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