It is rare to go to the gym to see people deadlifting. Usually deadlifts are very important when it comes to strength building. I’m not saying that everyone should be doing deadlifts, its just that the benefits of deadlifts, when it comes to strength, are great. As a compound exercise, dead-lifts have a lot of benefits and it also involves all of your body like: your joints, ankles, hips, vertebrae, shoulders, and fingers.
Compared to other isolation exercises, compound movements that involve larger muscle groups elicit a hormonal training response that result in greater strength gains. Deadlifts also have possible rehabilitation benefits, it has been said that the moderate to high hamstring activity used during the lift may help to protect the ACL during rehab. The two styles of deadlifting are the conventional style and then the sump style. The difference between the styles is the placement of your feet and the width of your grip.
With the sumo style, you have a very wide stance and your arms hang down between your legs. The conventional style is where your stance is relatively narrow and your arms hang outside your legs as you grip the bar. It has been said that the sumo style has gained a reputation of decreasing the stress placed on the lumbar vertebrae by as much as 10% compared to the conventional style. Seeing how the sumo style requires less hip flexion it is a favored style by people with longer torsos.
The conventional grip can argue that the grip will place less stress on the knee and ankle joints and more stress on the lower lumbar. The increase in the hip flexion angle requires the hamstring and gluteal movement to overcome the angle. In essence what happens is that you are able to lift more because of the use of your gluteals and hamstrings.
In order to perform the lifts properly you must remember that when starting the lift you need to have your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart in the conventional style and further apart in the sumo style. Your knees should be flexed and your head should be up or in a neutral position. Important points to remember when doing this lift is that your back must remain flat throughout the entire lift! At no point and time in the lift should your back or shoulders be rounded to keep the bar to your shins. Again, your feet should be flat on the floor with your center of gravity over the back half of your feet. Never jerk the bar off the floor, because that will put extra stress on your lower back and may cause injury. Most importantly, always be aware of your form when lifting.
The deadlift itself has many variations. Keystone deadlifts are a great exercise that can help you increase your deadlift totals. They are done in a power rack and the weight is only lifted from your knees. There is an exaggerated pelvic tilt such that you go into mild hyper flexion of the lumbar spine. This forward pelvic tilt pre-stretches the hamstring and allowing you to overload them more effectively. Stiff-legged deadlifts, also called Romanian deadlifts, target your hamstrings and erector muscles (the muscles in your lower back). To perform this exercise, place your feet about 8 inches apart and place your hands on the barbell shoulder width apart. Keeping your legs and back straight, lower the bar to mid-shin level and bring the bar back up. Though your legs are straight, your knees should not be locked. The positioning of your body and movement plane of the bar is similar to a deadlift.