6 Reasons Why You Should Add Deadlifts to Your Workout
We don’t know a more epic way to show off your strength than picking up a stacked barbell from the weight-room floor.
The classic strength exercise engages one of the most innate human movement patterns (hinging forward at the hips) and works everything from your glutes and hamstrings to your core, lats, and shoulders. It also lets you move more pounds than you can with almost any other exercise and uses all of your muscles.
Still not convinced? Here are six of the biggest payoffs you’ll get from making this move part of your regular routine:
- Amped Athleticism. Whether you’re climbing hills or sprinting on flat ground, deadlifts will make you faster and stronger. “Deadlifts build power, the lifeblood of any successful athlete,” says strength coach Allison Tenney, C.S.C.S. The hip hinge (pushing your butt back, then thrusting hips forward) is your body’s ultimate force move, propelling running strides, jumps, and other lifts.
- Superior Cardio. Women who performed heavy strength training improved their blood pressure more than those who stuck with cardio, according to an Appalachian State University study. That may be because lifting can act as super-high-intensity interval training, prepping your arteries to dilate more easily.
- Stronger Bones. You have to put weight on bones to strengthen them. Deadlifts let you load the spine and hips (which are prone to osteoporosis) with multiple times your body weight. After each lift, cells called osteoblasts fill in any stressed areas of your skeleton. Once those spots are calcified, they turn to rock-hard bone.
- Tighter Core. Deadlifts beat the plank when it comes to training the deepest muscle in the abs, according to a study in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. Known as the transverse abdominis, it acts as an internal corset, keeping your torso strong and firm.
- Easier Fat Loss. By working every muscle and jacking up your heart rate, deadlifts burn major calories both in the gym and after you cool down, through excess post- exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), says physical therapist and strength coach Mariel Schofield, D.P.T., C.S.C.S. EPOC refers to the energy your body uses in the recovery process.
- Stronger Glutes. Deadlifts are a hip-dominant move: Your glutes and hamstrings are doing the brunt of the work with each rep, Tenney says. That means they should be a mainstay of any lower-body workout.