Ever had that feeling you aren’t performing something correctly, it doesn’t feel right or you just don’t have a damn clue what you’re doing?! Well, we’ve all been there sister! So here we are and I’m going to kick off with some simple benefits of strength training, and one of the best compound movements that the majority of people can benefit from incorporating into their training regime (once that form is nailed).
Besides how it purely makes you feel when you strength train (‘damn girl, you a badass bitch’ kinda feels) there are SO many physical, mental and health benefits to strength training.
Here are my top 3:
- Injury Prevention. Strength training is one of the best methods for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Given the statistics of osteoporosis it’s important to build stronger bones (improve bone density) to reduce the risk of fractures. We strengthen our muscles to support our joints, thus leading to a decreased risk of injury.
- Muscle gain, fat loss. It’s no secret that resistance training will help you build muscle. It will also help you burn calories and keep you burning calories long after your workout has finished (much longer than your average cardio session) due to something known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and a boost in metabolism.
- Mental well being. There’s a lot of research to support the fact that strength training can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also help to improve general mood and maybe get you out of that ‘pit’ you feel like you’ve been in for however long. I’m a big believer that goal setting helps with this also and having a clear path of something to work towards.
So there we go, and now we start with some simple cues to improve one of the best all round strength moves – the deadlift 😊
Not so scary as you may think (ladies, pick that barbell up). If you’re a total newbie to the move then start by staying as light as possible and perfecting your from before you pick up anything heavy (a wooden stick is great to start off with as well as using blocks if mobility doesn’t allow you to start from the floor – form is always king).
The deadlift is an awesome lift which stimulates both lower and upper body (the same cannot be said for squats), working the butt, upper thighs, hamstrings, lower back, upper/middle back and traps. There are many awesome variations to the deadlift, but here I’m talking specifically about the conventional.
Newbie or not, here are some simple pointers to help you on your way:
- Start with feet in your ‘landing position’. If you were to jump in the air and land on both feet, that generally would be your strongest position and where you should start with your deadlift.
- Grab the bar with hands directly under shoulders. This should allow your legs to be inside and space for your knees to drive out into your inner elbow.
- ‘Long arms’ – think about pulling your armpits down into your pelvis, depressing the shoulder blades. Note that you do not want to pull your shoulder blades back in a deadlift (retract) as this makes your arms shorter leaving you a greater distance to lift the bar off the floor (umm, nah thanks, it’s hard enough!)
- Long neutral spine position ie- flat back, no rounding. A great way to tell if you are doing this is by recording yourself from a side on position.
- Big breath in, brace the core and push the floor away. Think of it as a leg press pushing move from the floor rather than a pulling move. Lock out at the top before lowering.…and then just let that badass energy flow 😉
Stay tuned for more simple cues to improve your strength training! Happy lifting 😊
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