Five Reasons Why You Should Deadlift

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By David LaMartina

After the squat, the deadlift is the most effective movement that you can do in the gym. Epitomizing the term "compound movement," it uses nearly every muscle in your entire body, from your traps all the way down to your calves. Bodybuilders, competitive lifters, and many other athletes have long used this movement to build brute strength, pack on muscle mass, and improve their overall athletic performance. Here are five reasons why every trainee, casual or competitive, should be deadlifting:

1. The Deadlift Promotes Full Body Muscular Development

While many trainers and trainees alike are quick to simply categorize the deadlift as a "back" movement, it is truly a full-body exercise. At the start, the deadlift brings the hamstrings and quads into play to break the weight from the floor. The lower back is also stimulated from the very beginning and remains tense and contracted to keep the weight moving upward and back. From the middle of the range of motion to lockout, the lats, traps, and rhomboids are heavily engaged to keep the weight in close to the body. Finally, the forearms, biceps, and overall grip strength are taxed to the limit to hold on to heavy weights.

2. Building the Biggest Back Possible

While the deadlift brings much more than the lower and upper backs into play, it is truly the best back-builder you can perform. It is indispensable for obtaining that thick look to your back and overall physique that simply screams "powerful." At powerlifting meets, the guys with the biggest deadlifts are almost always sporting the biggest, thickest lats and traps. In bodybuilding shows, the competitors with the most dominating back poses are also usually the ones known to be strong deadlifters. Pull-ups and rows are certainly important, but you will never build the most developed back possible without the deadlift.