By Christian Stricker
The deadlift. People either seem to love it or hate it. Some people are afraid of it and some people can’t get enough of it. Personally, I love it and almost always look forward to doing it (it’s my best lift so I might be just a bit biased)! It just feels so damn cool to use your entire body to grip a heavy barbell, rip it off the ground and stand up with it, not to mention what it can do for your athletic capabilities.
It happens to be one of the best movements in strength training to develop the raw muscular and nervous system horsepower for both sprinting and jumping. This is apparent in almost all people that have a big deadlift for their bodyweight. If you pay attention to how much (and how well) a person can pull and how well they jump, run and sprint, you’ll see a correlation. The biggest per pound of bodyweight pullers will have some of the best jump mechanics, be able to jump exceptionally high and are likely to be pretty decent at sprinting/running for their size. It’s so effective for this purpose that track coach Barry Ross used it as the primary strength training movement to train world and Olympic champion track athlete, Allyson Felix, to win and place in multiple events.
Deadlifting requires and builds strength and muscle in the entire body, from the base of the skull down to the toes, with an emphasis on the muscles that run down the back of the body, collectively called the posterior chain. These are the muscles of the upper back, lats, low back, the hips/glutes, hamstrings and even the calves/feet. Getting stronger in these key areas will help you in almost all physical aspects of life. It will be easier to move your body around for jumping and sprinting and to move the objects around you (furniture, groceries, other assorted heavy objects and even people in the case of wrestling, MMA and Jiu Jitsu). If you get better at deadlifts, many other things will get better as well and you’ll likely strengthen your will/mind in addition to your body.
Want to improve your deadlift? Sign up for the upcoming Deadlift seminar on August 2nd 12-2pm.
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