Backbend Your Way to a Stronger Deadlift
Backbend Your Way to a Stronger Deadlift: A Beginner’s Guide To The Most Important Movement For You?
The most important movement for you is obviously the deadlift.
But what if it isn’t quite right for you? What if you have other movements that are better suited for your current level of strength or ability?
If so, then maybe it would be best to start with some simple exercises like these first before moving on to more advanced ones.
There are many different ways to progress from one exercise to another. Some of them involve only slight variations, while others require much more work than others.
There are also those that focus on increasing the amount of weight lifted at each stage. And there are even those that emphasize speed over strength (or vice versa).
In any case, the goal is always the same: get stronger! So let’s take a look at some exercises you could do first to improve your deadlift.
How To Do A Backbend First: Basic Stretches & Exercises
First things first, you need to warm up properly. I suggest doing some light stretching and getting loose before starting out with any sort of heavy lifting.
You don’t want to get stiff or tight in the middle of a lift! Just make sure not to tense your muscles too much either; just loosen them up slightly every now and then during the movement.
Now then, what exercises should you do?
Well, if you’ve never done deadlifts (or any other sort of barbell or free weight exercise) before, I wouldn’t start out with the deadlift itself. You’ll want to ease into it slowly by starting out with some milder variations of it first. Here are a few of them to try…
This is just the standard deadlift from the floor. The only thing you need to know about this one is how to properly lift the weight from the ground.
Before starting, you’ll want to take a deep breath in and then fully release it before grabbing the bar. This will help stabilize your spine and get you ready for lifting. When you’re ready, push your hips back, keep a slight arch in your lower back, bend at the knees, and then grab the bar. At this point, take another breath in and brace yourself before pulling the weight up to your thighs. Once you reach your thighs, push your hips forward and stand up straight to complete your rep.
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
Just like the name says, you’ll keep your legs completely stiff as you do this movement. This is a great exercise for strengthening the muscles in your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.
Place a barbell in a squat rack just below knee height. Position yourself under the bar and pull your shoulder blades back and squeeze them together.
Keeping your legs completely straight, grab the bar and take a deep breath in. Now release the breath slowly as you pull the weight off the rack. Keeping your back arched and your knees only bending slightly, push your hips forward to stand up straight. Hold for a second at the top and then slowly lower the weight back down until your knees are bent deeply and the barbell touches the floor. At this point, take a deep breath in and hold it for a second before doing your next rep.
This is an isolation exercise for your hamstrings and glutes that you can do to supplement barbell deadlifts. The movement isn’t as natural as the standard deadlift, but it’s a fairly easy exercise to learn.
Just place your legs in the machine so that your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and then press down on the foot pads to lower your hips. The machine will automatically bend your knees and hips for you, so all you need to do is focus on the muscles of your hamstrings and glutes to bring your hips back up. Do this by squeezing these muscles as hard as you can and then slowly release them. You’ll need to experiment with the amount of weight you’re using, but I’d start out light to ensure good form before going heavy. Also, of course make sure to keep your back arched the entire time and keep it flat against the machine at all times.
If you’re the adventurous type, you can try this:
Backbending is a crucial part of any training routine. Those who incorporate it have better posture, stronger backs, and just look more impressive overall.
Here’s how to incorporate backbending into your deadlifting regime.
You can incorporate backbending into your training by holding the top position of your deadlift for a second or two. Start out with holding it for just a second and working your way up to 2 or 3 seconds as you get stronger.
The isometric contraction at the top of your lift will strengthen your entire back and give you better posture in the process.
A single deadlift isn’t enough to build a great looking back, but only a part of a well-rounded routine. If you want the complete back, dedicate yourself to performing one row variation after another for perfect shape.
Here are some of the best back building exercises that you can add to your routine:
Bent-over Barbell Row
This is one of the best exercises you can do to build up your lat muscles. Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width and bend over so your torso is parallel to the floor.
Now, pull the bar up toward your lower stomach while keeping it close to your body. Slowly lower the bar and repeat.
Attach a bar to a low cable pulley and kneel in front of it so the rope is just above your knees. Make sure you kneel far enough forward that there’s no slack in the rope.
Now, hold one end of the handle in each hand and row it towards your chest until your elbows are at your sides.
Low to High Cable Row
This is similar to the T-Bar row, but you’ll be holding the rope in your hands instead of attaching it to a bar. Attach the rope to the low pulley and kneel in front of it so there’s no slack in the rope.
Grab the rope with an overhand grip and pull it towards your chest, then release your hands and slide them down the rope until they’re just below your chest. Finally, pull your hands back up to the starting position.
There are many more back exercises you can do, but these three are all you really need to incorporate into your routine. Just make sure to do a few sets of each and your back will become one of the best looking parts of your entire body.
You can do curls at the beginning or end of your routine, but if you want bigger biceps you’ll need to do them at the beginning.
Most people will tell you that effective bicep training starts with barbell curls, but they’re a little too “old school.” Here are some more effective curl exercises you can use to build your biceps the modern way.
This is the perfect exercise to isolate your bicep muscles and build their strength. All you need is a barbell and some weights, just find a weight that you can perform 10-12 reps with.
Stand up straight while holding the barbell at your side. Keep your elbows close to your sides and curl the bar towards your chin, then lower it back down.
Remember to keep your wrists firm and your elbows close to your body for the entire set.
Incline Dumbbell Curl
You can perform this move either sitting or standing up. Start by choosing a weight that you can only perform 8-12 reps with, if you choose one that’s too heavy you won’t be able to complete the full range of motion.
Hold both dumbbells in one hand and lean back until your arm is fully extended. Keep your back leaning against the incline bench and curl the weight up until it reaches your shoulder, then slowly lower it back down.
Remember to keep your wrist firm and straighten your arm completely at the bottom of every rep.
This is a classic bicep isolation exercise that works best with either dumbbells or a barbell. If using a barbell you can either curl it with both arms or alternate arms.
Holding the weight in your hand, bend your elbow and draw the weight up until it reaches your shoulder, squeeze at the top for 1 second and slowly lower it back down.
While these are all great isolation exercises to build your biceps, the only way to really get substantial size and strength gains is to incorporate compound exercises into your routine as well.
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