The deadlift is my favorite exercise. It’s a compound movement that works the entire posterior chain (low back, glutes, hamstrings) as well as the core. And it’s one of the most functional lifts available. How many times in a day do you bend over to pick something up?
Muscles worked:Erector Spinae (low back), Gluteus Maximus (buttocks), Hamstrings, Trapezius and Rhomboids (upper back), Quadriceps, Soleus and Gastrocnemius (calves), Rectus Abdominis and Obliques (abdominals).
Action: Step up to the barbell so that your shins touch the bar with your feet under your hips, toes pointed straight ahead. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower yourself down to the bar. Grasp the barbell (with either an overhand or mixed grip) so that you forearms are right to the outside of your thighs. Your elbows should be completely straight, with your chest up high, eyes straight ahead and your weight centered over your heels.
Start the lift by taking a deep breath, to stabilize the spine, and drive your heels into the floor. Your hips and knees should extend simultaneously. As you reach lockout (standing) squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulder blades together to finish the movement (as illustrated by my client, Rick).
Then begin lowering the bar down by pushing your hips back and when the bar gets past your knees bend them and continue to lower the bar to the floor, while exhaling. Be sure to keep your shoulder blades back while lowering the bar so that your back remains flat.
Comments: Your back should be flat throughout the entire movement; at no point should it round. Your knees should point in the same direction as your feet. And keep the bar as close to your body as possible.