The Deadlift : Exercise #1

The deadlift comes in at #1 on our list and for many reasons.  We program the deadlift for everybody whether you’re an athlete, a mom trying to lose weight, looking to get in shape, or coming off an injury and want to get moving again.  We think it’s the greatest functional exercise there is to do.  Everybody needs to pick things off the floor at some point throughout the day.  You might as well do it correctly.

We have mentioned Dr. Stu McGill in some of our past articles.  He is a big believer of the deadlift when using the hip hinge pattern.  To make it simple, we want the hips higher than the knees and shoulders over the hips.  When using this technique, the load is in the hips and not the back which is crucial!

Some of the other benefits of the deadlift include:

  • Great for spine stability
  • Great for core stability & strength
  • Great for the hips & glutes
  • Tremendous strength builder
  • It’s a functional movement that everybody does throughout the day
  • It can be programmed for just about everybody

For some people, when they think of a deadlift, they picture a big guy pulling 3x their bodyweight at a powerlifting meet.  This vision I feel has turned people away.  Yes, the deadlift is a lift used in competition but not everyone wants to do that.  Some people just want to build strength while others want to look better in a bathing suit.  Whatever the goal is, the deadlift can be a great addition!

At Method Strength & Performance, we have everyone do some type of deadlifting.  Over the years, I have programmed the deadlift for kids as young as 8 years old and elders as old as 76!  When I assist in programming for therapy, the deadlift is on EVERYBODY’S program.  When you’re programming for a wide range like this, you must have a list of regressions & progressions to meet the person where they’re at.  For example, we may have somebody deadlift off a 6-inch box while the other person is using the trap bar.  There are many ways to program this, just do it!


Below are some examples of how we regress & progress the dead lift.