Deadlifts have great benefits, but you need to know the proper form to get the benefits you want.
Deadlifts are probably something you have seen the big muscular people at the gym performing, but it is not for the beef cakes alone. You do not have to be able to lift crazy amounts of weight to be able to do a deadlift.
Benefits of the deadlift.
The dead lift works a lot of muscle groups at the same time. It strengthens the muscles of the back, glutes and core in general, it even works your arms. Deadlifts are good for gaining strength in many ways. The most important ways are the ones that relate to your life, such as the ability to pick things up off the ground without getting hurt, like your child or a bag of groceries.
How to do a proper deadlift.
For our examples I am going to use something you would have around your house. These are just big jugs of apple juice (no I don't drink this sugary stuff), but you may have water bottles, or duffel bags you can fill with cans. Of course you could also use a bar with weights like you would find at the gym, but since many people like to workout in their own house I figured we could show you with household items.
Stand with feet about shoulder width or a little less than shoulder width apart. Your back should stay straight with just a slight curve in the lower back. Never round the shoulders or back. Keep your chest up. Your arms should be perpendicular to the ground. You do not want them to far forward or too far back. Keep your head up but not over extended back wards. You want to keep your head in alignment with your torso. Think about looking at the ground several feet ahead of you.
Start with the bar or weights on the ground. You will bend to pick up the weights. The amount you need to bend your legs to get to the bar while keeping your back straight depends on your individual flexibility. Do not focus on bending the knees, focus on dropping the hips. Your knees should not bow or knock in while doing this exercise, if they do you are lifting too much.
As you come up with the weight keep feet planted firmly and press through your heels. You want your legs and the weights to straighten up at about the same speed. One you get passed the knees start to push the hips forward and bring the shoulder blades together.
Things to think about.
Start with light weights to get the movement down and then start adding weight until it is challenging enough for you. If you start with too heavy of weights, not only do you risk injury, but you also will be using incorrect form to learn this exercise.
You can also shorten your range of motion if need be. You do not want to strain too much since this is how you can injure yourself. Know your limits and just keep building from there.
If you have a mirror use it! This is one exercise where it is very helpful to see your form.
There are other varieties of deadlifts, they will work you out in a different way, but for now focus on the deadlift we discussed. Enjoy!