Everyday when I go to the gym I see all kinds of people from different walks of life, one thing most of them have in common is that they seem to not like free weights very much. One thing most guys don’t realize is it takes more than steroids to pack on a considerable amount of muscle. I am still really fortunate, the gym I go to is not state of the art and is not full of fancy machines, it does have some pulley machines but more importantly it has plenty of free weights.
I guess I can be considered old school in that I have always believed in strict concentrated movement using free weights, dumbbells and barbells have always been key for me to building muscle. Any seasoned bodybuilder will tell you that the fundamental exercises to get big are squats and dead-lifts. Both exercises use compound movements and affect a large part of the bodies muscle groups. A strong core will lead to bigger gains in the rest of the body; there is nothing worse than a guy walking in with huge arms and no back or legs.
Many say dead lifts are dangerous, but if performed correctly dead lifting can help anyone at any age, not only to increase muscle size but also increase strength. Just because you are dead lifting does not mean you have to lift hundreds of pounds, start out slow with light weight until you get the hang of things, when you have perfected your form you can gradually begin to increase weight.
How is a dead lift performed?
If dead lifts are performed properly you can not only eliminate possible injury you can also lift more, remember start of slow warming up with a comfortable amount of weight.
Conventional dead lifts normally start on the floor, proper stance should be where you can see your feet in the middle of the bar, while some people prefer to use a reversed grip with each hand a normal overhand grip is better, while it is harder to hold on to the bar you will definitely increase overall strength, next bend your knees and keep your hamstrings tight.
Now its time to lift the bar keeping it close to the shins using both your legs to push through as you come up, lift your chest but don’t squeeze, once you come up put your shoulders back and down “don’t roll them back”, once you are completely upright you can gradually come back down bending your knees and keeping your head up until the bar hits the ground.
Some people prefer to do fast reps not letting the weight hit the ground “Romanian dead lifts” and performing between 6 to 10 reps.
Implementing dead lifts in to your workout at least once a week, will help you increase your overall gains and help pack on the muscle, they are not one of the easiest exercises to perform but if done correctly will leave you out of breath, in the long run they are one of the best exercises for core strength.