Deadlifts sometimes get a bad rap for being potentially dangerous. There is credence to this statement if you do not take heed of your FORM! If you happen to be one of those weight-lifters, that use a very large weight, form is even more crucial to prevent injury.
But for the rest of us, deadlifts are a wonderful, effective exercise for building both the hamstring and gluteal muscles which get neglected when we have more sedentary jobs. My recommendation when doing your first deadlift is to go without weights at all! This allows you to feel the muscles that you want work first with the best form you can possibly have.
Technique is important regardless of the exercise. When doing a deadlift, you want to think about the following specifically:
- Select your weight carefully. As I mentioned, if you are a true novice, start with none or very little weight.
- Hinge at your hips, keeping you spine long and strong. Feel your gluteal/buttock muscles engage as your hinge forward.
- Stack your head on top of your spine, don’t look up or down.
- Bend your knees slightly. Feel your hamstrings engage as you allow them to shorten as you come back up.
- Tighten your core as you move through the movement. Free ab workout, bonus!
Here is a short video to help you: https://youtu.be/2zi9KPLaKJM
The more you think about a movement, the more muscles you engage. When doing a deadlift, take your time, perform it slowly until you get your technique right. Use a mirror to check yourself! THEN, you can add weight when you can maintain technique while performing.
These muscles groups are important not just to your knee joints but your back and your hips. THIS is why you want to do them on a regular basis.