Zee, a self-confessed Fitness Junkie, eats clean and trains super hard. (Yes, probably harder than you do…)
When she hits the gym, her go-to exercise is the deadlift. Zee loves this move for its ability to target all those muscles around the hips that are so important to women, particularly the glutes and upper legs.
“It’s an amazing compound exercise that builds a great physique,” explains Zee. She believes more women should load up a bar and get deadlifting, because this exercise burns serious calories and forges immense strength.
Why Zee deadlifts
This compound movement works almost the entire body, but is particularly effective at developing stronger, more mobile hips. Major muscles worked include the lower and middle back, glutes, thighs and calves, with numerous stabiliser muscles in the core also engaged.
By incorporating more muscles with each rep, this compound exercise delivers better results with every rep, while also improving functional movement patterns.
You can deadlift like a boss!
- Stand over the barbell with your feet positioned slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip, with your arms positioned either side of your torso.
- Bend your knees, push back with your hips and drop your glutes down to the floor.
- Stand up by extending your hips and knees simultaneously while pulling hard.
- Roll the bar over your knees and thighs until your legs are straight.
- Lock your knees and hips at the top.
Check your form
- Ensure that your feet are placed directly under the bar in the starting position. Do not tilt your pelvis as you drop down into the deep squat position, and never round your back.
- Lift your chest as you pull upwards and keep your head in line with your shoulders.
- Keep the bar close to your body as you drive your knees and hips upwards.
- Do not jerk the weight up at the top and don’t lean back.
- Maintain momentum with a smooth, continuous pulling motion from the bottom to the top.
Get a grip
Want to pull more weight? Try using a mixed grip. It generally lets you handle more load. Another great way to improve your deadlift grip strength is to perform static holds at the top of the movement. To do this, stand holding the barbell for about 5-10 seconds after you’ve finished your last rep in each set.
Follow Zee on Instagram @Zee_FitnessJunkie for more great exercise ideas.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.