The Muscles

Your body has to use almost all its major muscles in a deadlift, with the exception of the chest. The prime movers are the "hip extensors"—the gluteals and hamstrings. The quadriceps get involved a bit—you start with your knees bent somewhat, and you have to straighten them to complete the lift—but this exercise works your butt and hamstrings more directly than any other.

Your lower back and midsection muscles have to stay tight, and even without moving they'll work like hell to keep your spine where it should be.

The other big player in the deadlift is your trapezius, which pulls your shoulder blades together in back.

But there's a lot more going on, especially when you start moving up to the heaviest possible weights. Your gripping muscles, of course, get a workout. But so do your biceps and triceps, which serve as the muscular link between your shoulders and shoulder blades and your forearms.

My friend Craig Ballantyne,*, a strength coach in Toronto, once wrote something like this: Let's say you have two guys in a gym. One guy can deadlift a lot of weight, but never does biceps curls. The other guy can curl a lot of weight, but never does deadlifts. Odds are close to 100 percent that the first guy would also be able to curl a lot of weight, even though he never practices the exercise. But, Craig wrote, there's no guarantee the second guy could deadlift so much as a sack of cement off the ground. And even if he could, there's a chance he'd hurt himself doing it.

That, more than anything, describes the beauty of an ugly exercise like the deadlift. Learn this exercise, and you'll be able to lift just about anything. Avoid this exercise, and all bets are off.

Body Building Secrets Revealed

Body Building Secrets Revealed

Ever since the fitness craze in the 1980’s, we have become a nation increasingly aware of our health and physique. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the quest for a perfect body. Gyms are big business, personal trainers are making a tidy living helping people stay fit, and body building supplements are at an all-time level of performance.

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