Why you should be doing deadlifts (start today, we’ll show you how).

Many of you have been asking about Meredith’s knee after reading about her recent surgery in the last DCC newsletter. We certainly appreciate all of the interest you’ve shown.

Meredith is on the road to recovery. She’s doing all of her normal everyday activities, and her rehab continues.

While a big part of her recovery is having me do Active Release to normalize her muscles (quads, calves, shin muscles, etc), as well as working on her IT band, lateral meniscus and Lateral Collateral Ligament, doing her rehab is just as important.

The deadlift is at the center of her rehab program.  That’s right, good old-fashioned deadlifts (with a little twist).

The deadlift is a classic weightlifting exercise that can fit into anyone’s training program. You certainly don’t need to use a barbell to do it. In fact, Meredith and I got rid of all the barbells in the basement (to make room for the kiddos) years ago and have NEVER missed them.

This exercise activates and strengthens just about everything in your legs, including the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and spinal extensors. You want all of these muscles working together, and the deadlift teaches them to do that. It’s great for preventing injuries in runners, triathletes, hikers, climbers, and even relatively sedentary people. Of course, clear this with your doctor first, as you could get hurt if you do it wrong.

We’ll demonstrate here with a pair of kettlebells, and they allow for the most optimal mechanics.

1.     Stand with your feet about hips’ distance apart. Have the kettlebells between your feet.

Deadlift 1

2.     Looking forward, arch your back slightly and start moving your hips backwards. Maintaining that arch is important, as the muscular tension directs forces away from the discs and ligaments in the back.

deadlift 2

3.     Start bending your knees as you reach for the bells.

Deadlift 3

4.     Grasp the bells, brace your abs, and use your legs (NOT your back) to lift the weights. Think about pushing your heels into the floor. Come to a full upright position.

deadlift 4

5.     To lower, start the motion with your hips moving backwards and lower the weights all the way to the ground. Let them come to rest on the ground before setting yourself up for the next rep. This allows you to correct your form for each rep.

deadlift 5

Start with 3 sets of 5 reps with moderate weights 2-3 times per week. Over time, you can work your way up to 5 sets of 10-20 reps. Just make sure you progress slowly. Remember, the goal is to get stronger safely.

If you’re having hip pain, back pain, hamstring problems or (like Meredith) knee problems, your best bet is to get the problem checked out by us. Call 303.300.0424 today to schedule your next appointment.