My New Favorite Back Exercise – Deadlifts
It's really quite simple, but super-effective.
(I never knew how hard I could breathe until I started doing heavy deadlifts. Very similar effect to squats.)
I start out usually on the floor with a light weight, mixed grip (alternate your grip, though, so you get even development). Get down low by bending at the knees and hips, keeping the back flat. Then simultaneously push with the thighs, glutes, and hips, while lifting with the lower back, too.
Typically, I only do a few sets:
- One warmup, minimal rest (30 seconds tops)
- One with a midrange weight for 5-8 reps (60 to 90 seconds rest)
- 2 sets of 3-5 with increasing weight (120-180 seconds rest)
Deadlifts are funny (not “Ha-ha” funny) in that you're better off doing fewer reps with heavier weight, using super-strict form, rather than doing higher-rep, lower-weight sets.
It is so critical that you do these with the strictest form possible that getting carried away with too many reps will literally get you carried away!
The more reps you focus on, the less you focus on your form; so, do fewer reps but in strict form!
No back injuries.
Deads are so great for your core strength that they ought to be a staple in your weight-training programs.
They stimulate muscle growth and Growth Hormone production in a way similar to a squat program, but they really blast the upper body (all areas of the back and traps), including the biceps and forearms.
They may be a better exercise than the bench press!
I'm a slow learner. It took me a really long time to figure this out. This fact, coupled with my lower back issues over the past 10 or so years, has really kept the blinders on. But now that I can see clearly again, I'll never turn my back on the deadlift!
I love them now!