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How To Increase Your Deadlifts
Next to squats the deadlift movement is the most valuable exercise for increasing your core strength. The stronger you get the more muscle you will put on and it all starts and ends with the amount of strength that you have deep inside of you.
Doing the deadlift once or twice a week in your training routine can often lead you straight into a training plateau or even worse not getting past 5 reps with a selected weight. There are a few basic steps that you can do to ensure that you always avoid the dreaded plateau when you cannot lift a heavier weight anymore.
The first point when trying deadlift with a heavier weight is to deadlift more before you start with any fancy variations like using training bands or any posterior chain work etc. Just lighten the load and concentrate on technique because your form is everything when it comes to doing a deadlift.
You need to make sure that you have mastered the technique on how to do a deadlift correctly. To quote a great power-lifter called Dave Tate who has broken many deadlift records “The stronger you get, the more important technique becomes, and one inch can make the biggest difference in the world”.
The first thing you always need to make sure that when you are doing a deadlift that you are not pulling or pushing but driving the weight through your heels. When deadlifting always push your hips forward once the barbell has got to the level of your knees, then locking the weight there by squeezing your glutes at the top.
A deadlift is NOT a Squat, this means that your hips need to be higher to be able to pull big weights and so that you never hit your shins on each rep. You should concentrate on raising your hips so that your shoulder-blades will end up over the barbell.
It is important to make sure that you always use your legs when deadlifting a weight off the floor. This means that your hips should always be higher than when doing a Squat. Make sure that your hips are not too high however otherwise your lower back could be doing all the work and you could get injured.
Many bodybuilders fall into the trap of using the mirror to guide their technique but it is strongly advised that you ask a training buddy or get someone to video you from the side to make sure everything is correct. The experts agree that it is vital to warm up when doing deadlifts to avoid injury.
Grip strength is everything when doing a deadlift and there are many different ways that you can increase your grip strength which is something that you could do on your arm training days. Simple movements like the farmers Walk or hanging dead from a chinning bar will always work.
You should always try to pull the weight off the floor as fast as possible because the faster you can pull the more muscle fibres you will be able to recruit in completing the movement. As long as no momentum is used in the lift it will not cause an injury.
You should try to accelerate the bar coming off the floor as fast as you can which is something that should be practised when doing warm up sets. Make sure that you are eating plenty of good quality protein with complex carbs at least 5 times a day and that you sleep a good 7 to 8 hours every night.
If you sit behind a computer all day then you should stretch your hip flexors before you start training with deadlifts by doing something like warrior lunges or supine bridges. The last point is to make sure that you wear a good belt as the intra-abdominal pressure on your abs will allow you to increase the weight that you can deadlift.