High-repetition deadlifts can build muscle and burn a large number of calories in a short period of time. These lifts are the final lift in powerlifting competitions. The deadlift is one of the best strength-building exercises you can do, and when done in high volume, deadlifts provide a strenuous conditioning workout. Deadlifts will strengthen many muscle groups, including small muscles in your back that are important to maintain proper posture. Consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Higher volume work can stimulate the production of hormones within your body, including testosterone and growth hormone. Given the effort required to do several deadlifts in sequence, this exercise training works your cardiovascular system and provides some benefit to your cardiovascular health. The better your cardiovascular conditioning, the more endurance you will have for deadlifts and other activities. Performing a deadlift for 20 repetitions is a great deal of work, which burns calories and makes this a good exercise for your grip.
High Repetition Deadlifts
Deadlifts can be done for as many as 20 repetition sets. If you have never tried this, it is a very grueling workout, as deadlifts work your legs as well as your back and abdominals. When performing high repetition deadlifts, it is still important to ensure that you keep the bar close to your body and do not allow it to drift away from you. Doing so causes you to be at a mechanical disadvantage, which not only makes the lift harder, but also increases your risk of injury. To do high-rep deadlifts, follow the basic guidelines for a deadlift but repeat the movement up to 20 times maintaining your form throughout the exercise.
The Basic Deadlift
The barbell deadlift is performed by placing your shins against a loaded barbell which is resting on the floor. Bend down and grab the bar with your hands just wider than your legs and your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your legs and sit back with your hips until your shoulders are slightly behind the bar, then pull the bar smoothly from the ground. Push your head back and shove your hips forward and do not stop until you have locked out the weight at the top. Do not round your back or bend your arms at any time during the lift.
The other style of deadlifting is sumo style, in which your feet are separated by approximately 1.5 times the width of your shoulders. Turn your feet out at about a 45-degree angle, and bend down by pushing your knees out to the sides in the same direction your toes are pointing. Push your knees out farther and pull the bar off the floor using leg drive. The sumo deadlift uses more leg work and presents less shearing force on the lower back. The same warnings about rounding your back and bending your arms apply to the sumo deadlift.
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; A Three-dimensional Biomechanical Analysis of Sumo and Conventional Style Deadlifts; Rafael F. Escamilla et al., July 2000
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; An Electromyographic Analysis of Sumo and Conventional Style Deadlifts; R.F. Escammila, et al.; April 2002
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; Biomechanical Analysis of the Deadlift During the 1999 Special Olympics World Games; Rafael F. Escamilla et al., Aug. 2001
- "Designing Resistance Training Programs"; S.J. Fleck and W. J. Kraemer; 2003
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.