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I effing love deadlifts. All kinds of deadlifts -- barbell deadlifts, kettlebell deadlifts, Romanian dumbbell deadlifts, single leg deadlifts... there are so many options! I program some variation of a deadlift for nearly every client I work with, and here's why.

  • Deadlifts can help you learn good technique for lifting things in day-to-day life. Learning a good technique for lifting normal objects up can help prevent injury.

  • Deadlifts help build strength throughout your posterior chain, including glutes and hamstrings. Nearly every variation of deadlifts works to strengthen these muscles.

  • Deadlifts (when done with good form) help you build a strong lower back that is less prone to pain and injury. It is important that your deadlift is done with good form!

  • Deadlifts can help you build a strong grip. Do you love opening your own jars? Seriously, though, grip strength is important to many daily activities (carrying groceries, laundry baskets) and can decrease with aging.

  • Finally, most women can build a lot of strength in a deadlift, whether working a barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell variation. Building a strong deadlift can make you feel like an effing powerhouse!

One of the most common challenges I see in deadlifting is that folks have difficulty finding a good hip hinge, and sometimes trying to explain it can feel a bit like Moira from Schitt's Creek screaming, "You fold it in, David!" My personal favorite cue for teaching deadlift is to make sure at the bottom of the move that your butthole is pointed to the wall behind you. I love this cue because it is mildly gross, memorable, and effective. Pointing your butthole to the wall behind you ensures that you are initiating the movement by hinging at the hips and NOT by rounding through the low back.

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