Why Deadlifts Are So Good For GolfersPosted on February 24, 2017
There are not many exercises out there that are better for full-body strength than the deadlift. Ask any serious lifter what exercise gets the best overall strength gains and I’d bet the house that deadlifts would be in every top 3, if not at number one on their lists. But this exercise is not just for those serious power-lifters, they’re for everyone looking to get stronger. I’ve heard many people tell me that they avoid deadlifts because they or someone they know have injured their back while doing them.This is likely due to using improper form or lifting too heavy too soon. Deadlifts actually help you strengthen your back and prevent injury. So before I tell you just why they are so effective, first let me tell you how to do them safely and with proper form.
How to Perform a Deadlift
Deadlifts can be performed using a variety of different weight types. They are commonly done using a barbell but in the video above I am using a set of dumbbells. I also show the exercise starting from the upright position, while generally deadlifts (as the name would suggest) involves lifting the weight from a resting position on the ground or on a platform in front of you. This is because, if you’re new to this exercise, I want to emphasize working on and perfecting proper form from this safer, weight-in-hands starting point.
- To start, hold the weight in front of you. Maintain a flat low-back the ENTIRE time.
- Push your hips back, while holding your shoulders back and your chest and head up. Keep your weight in your heels.
- Continue pushing your hips back, allowing your knees to bend and lowering the weight towards the ground. Stop when you feel as if you’re no longer able to keep your spine straight.
- From this bottom position, brace your core muscles, push up through your heels while squeezing your glutes, and return to standing.
What to Avoid
The reason I stress beginning from the standing position when starting out with this exercise is that not everyone has the flexibility to pick the weight up off the ground while keeping their low back flat and not rounding forward from the spine. This is no-no #1 and is the main cause of injury from deadlifts. So let’s start off the list with that.
- NEVER round your low back forward – I cannot stress this enough! Push your hips back, putting your low back into its neutral position and keep it that way for the entire movement. The same goes for the upper back. You don’t want to be lifting the load with your spine, you want to be using the muscles in your hips. Your spine stays braced while the hip muscles do the moving.
- Don’t let your knees go out in front of your toes. This tends to put way too much stress on your knees and prevents you from effectively using your glutes and hamstrings. Focusing on keeping your weight back in your heels will help prevent this from happening.
- Don’t go too low to start. Go only as low as you can while keeping the low back straight. Many people won’t have the flexibility to lower the weight right to the ground without bending forward at the spine. Only once you have mastered lowering the weight right to the ground (or a platforms) should you try the movement with the weights starting on the ground.
- Don’t lift too heavy to start. Begin with light weight, perfect your form and then you can gradually begin increasing the weight.
Why it is so Effective
Just like the golf swing, the deadlift is a full-body movement. You’re using virtually every muscle in your body to stabilize and move that weight. Here’s a quick list of why it will give you more distance and control in your golf game!
- Strengthens your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps which are major power generators in your golf swing.
- Strengthens your low back helping you maintain proper spine angle throughout your swing for better control and preventing injury.
- Strengthens your abdominals, improving energy transfer from your hips up to your arms.
- Strengthens your upper back muscles which aids in increasing your clubhead speed.
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