Strength and conditioning training blog


Author: Matt Ross - Strength & Conditioning Coach
male athlete performing deadlift
The deadlift is traditional strength training exercise that focuses on working the complete posterior chain of muscleswhich comprises the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. It is an essential element in any strength and conditioning program aimed at developing athleticism and performance. Nonethelessachieving desirable results while avoiding injury during deadlifting requires observing proper technique and engaging the gluteal muscles effectively. This article explores how to perform this exercise correctly by highlighting appropriate techniques for utilizing the gluteal muscles to achieve maximum extension.

The Deadlift Technique

The deadlift exercise involves a setup where the barbell is placed on the floor in front of you while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward. Upon inhaling deeply, you should engage your core muscles before bending at your hips and knees to grip the bar with palms facing downwards, keeping shins close to it while maintaining a neutral spine position.
To commence lifting, push through heels and activate gluteal muscles as well as driving hip joints towards extension by keeping the weight close to body until reaching full elevation without compromising spinal integrity or rounding upper back. Contract glutes for an instant pause prior lowering weights slowly back down onto ground surface.

Using Your Glutes to Get into Extension

When performing deadlifts, it is a common mistake to overly rely on the lower back muscles and neglect engaging the glutes. As the largest muscle group in your body, activation of the glutes during deadlifting can lead to enhanced performance and decreased risk of injury.

To effectively engage these muscles, concentrate on exerting force through your heels while thrusting forward with your hips as you lift the barbell. You should experience tension in your gluteal area as you extend yourself upwards; after reaching peak elevation, hold for several seconds whilst squeezing tightly before lowering gradually down again. By activating these vital muscles along with supporting lower back ones when performing this exercise correctly promotes proper spinal alignment and prevention against any pain or injuries that may occur from incorrect execution thereof - resulting also in an improved overall quality of one's deadlift routine.

Some might ask - should I deadlift if it's a risky exercise?

Yes. It is definitely worth learning how to properly do the movement.

The deadlift exercise is considered highly effective in enhancing overall strength and power due to its ability to activate multiple muscle groups at once. Consistent incorporation of this exercise in a strength and conditioning program can result in improvements not only in physical strength but also posture, balance, and coordination. Thus, it serves as a vital component of any comprehensive strength and conditioning program.

Deadlifts demand significant core stability, which can enhance functional strength and mitigate injury hazards. Through the activation of glutes and other muscles in the posterior chain, deadlifts promote a robust foundation for the body that could translate to better performance during exercises or routine tasks.

Deadlifts can boost bone density, especially as we age and bones become weaker. This exercise's high intensity and weight-bearing nature stimulate bone growth, reduce fracture risk, and prevent osteoporosis.

How are they useful in sport?

Deadlifts have been deemed as a highly beneficial exercise for enhancing athletic performance since they target various muscles that are used in an array of sports and physical activities. Integrating deadlifts into your workout routine can result in the development of explosive power, speed, and agility - all vital components for excelling in sports or other physical endeavours.

The deadlift is classified as a compound movement that engages several muscle groups such as the legs, hips, glutes, back, and core. These specific muscle groups are crucial for generating power output relevant to key sporting actions including sprinting, jumping or throwing. Through regular implementation of this exercise regime specifically targeting these muscular regions via Deadlifts; one may witness their overall fitness level being elevated with improved sport-specific performance levels pertaining to enhanced explosive movements capacity accompanied by increased strength-endurance over prolonged durations of time.

The execution of deadlifts can enhance one's balance, coordination, and stability - pivotal attributes required for numerous physical activities. Through activation of core muscles along with other stabilizing muscle groups during this exercise, individuals may augment their overall body control whilst minimizing susceptibility to injuries.

Now if we were going to apply this to Australian Rules Football for example.

Australian Rules Football (AFL) demands a range of athletic attributes, such as explosive power, speed, agility and endurance. For AFL players seeking to improve these physical qualities, deadlifts can prove to be an advantageous exercise option. One major advantage of incorporating deadlifts into your strength and conditioning regime for AFL footballers is the enhancement of their explosive power.

This movement necessitates the engagement of both leg and back muscles while lifting heavy weights from the ground which contributes in generating forceful movements required for activities like jumping, sprinting and tackling on-field. In particular footy demands rapid generation of energy post stoppages so as to out manoeuvre opponents swiftly making it pivotal that players have strong acceleration abilities alongside their powerful burst strength capabilities when executing actions during matches.

The deadlift exercise is beneficial for AFL players as it targets the muscles in their hips and glutes, which play a crucial role in generating power and speed. Robust hip and gluteal musculature aid swift acceleration, sudden directional changes, forceful kicks, tackles, sprints, and jumps. Additionally, core stability is vital for proficient performance during AFL matches that demand balance amid twists and turns; hence deadlifts can enhance core strength leading to better overall stability on the field

Different types of Deadlifts.

There are several different types of deadlifts, each of which can target different muscles and provide unique benefits. Here are some of the most common types of deadlifts:

  1. Conventional Deadlift: This is the most common type of deadlift and involves standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and gripping the bar with your hands just outside your legs. From here, you lift the weight up using your legs and back muscles, keeping your back straight and your chest up.

  2. Sumo Deadlift: This variation involves standing with your feet much wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing out at a 45-degree angle. You grip the bar with your hands inside your legs and then lift the weight using your legs and back muscles.

  3. Romanian Deadlift: This type of deadlift involves starting with the weight already lifted off the ground, and then lowering it down to just below your knees before lifting it back up again. This exercise primarily targets your hamstrings and glutes.

  4. Single-Leg Deadlift: This variation involves lifting one leg off the ground and balancing on the other leg while you lift the weight. This exercise targets your hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.

  5. Trap Bar Deadlift: This variation involves using a specialized barbell that allows you to stand inside the bar instead of in front of it. This can help reduce strain on your lower back and can be a good option for beginners.

Each type of deadlift can be beneficial for different reasons, and incorporating a variety of deadlift variations into your strength and conditioning program can help you target different muscle groups and improve your overall strength and performance.

Matt Ross strength and conditioning coach

about the author

Matt is an experienced and qualified trainer who works with athletes of any age to achieve their sporting goals and improve athletic performance.

Matt develops custom, elite training programs that focus on strength and conditioning training and athletic performance.

To work with Matt, get in touch.

Connect with us

Strength and conditioning coaching.
Based in Melbourne, servicing regional Victoria.
Contact for a custom program for your club or team.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram