Importance of Dead Lifts

Total body strength

During a strength competition famed professional strongman Jón Páll Sigmarsson, while in the middle of his dead lift, stated “There is no reason to be alive if you cannot dead lift”. At face level this quote can be interpreted as an egotistical and testosterone riddled comment. Yet, when examined deeper, within the world of strength training and athletic performance, the dead lift remains king. From its crude advents of Greek athletes lifting stones from the ground to modern lift competitions dominating a television channel for a solid week straight. It is a total body lift that incorporates a movement you have been doing everyday since you learned to walk.

The dead lift syncs total body strength from top to bottom: incorporating the body’s entire stabilization system of muscles, strengthening any weaknesses, and allowing the improvement of a motion that is used everyday.

The dead lift does not come without caution. It must be built up extremely slowly, with exact and calculated form to avoid injury. One common mistake is the rounding of the back and lifting in a hunched position. When you moved your grandmother’s couch and she yelled “use your knees”, this was layman’s way of staying to keep your back straight and incorporate your total body to ensure absolute power and stability. Which in turn, avoids injury.

Its vitality in combat sports in unquestioned. Every single take down or slam viewed from the early Vale Tudo matches of Brazil to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is inherently a dead lift. As an athlete the dead lift should be approached with respect and lifted without an ego to allow a slow build of total body strength that avoid injury.

This is not an exercise that is only for practioners of combat sports or strength athletes, it is an exercise that can be performed by anyone to improve their overall total body strength. The manipulation of repetitions and weights are what discern the overall goal. A weekly high repetition basic routine with lower weights will allow anyone of any gender or athletic background to help strengthen their body without becoming ‘bulky’ or injuring themselves.

Here are two basic instructional videos on two forms-

(All rights reserved to creator of video clips and youtube)


-Papa Swole

(This is an original post copyright to, credited to the aforementioned author. Its reproduction is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved to the original authors of any quoted or embedded material)

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3 Responses

  1. Randy says:

    Great job on your articles. Thanks, will continue reading and I am looking forward to your next article.

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