The deadlift is one of the most efficient and effective strength-training exercises you can perform. Focusing on all of the major muscle groups, especially those of the lower body and back, the deadlift strengthens muscles while shedding fat. Making the deadlift part of your workout routine is a surefire way for a young adult women to tighten and tone her legs, backside and core.
Programming for Power
A weight-training routine is usually designed according to periodization, where training is organized into various phases. Training phases and sessions are arranged with a purpose in mind, allowing for the completion of a specific goal. Depending on the individual, the goal could be to increase the weight lifted or the number of repetitions performed. After completing a hypertrophy phase to add muscle mass and a strength phase to improve muscular strength, you move to the power phase, where the rate of force development -- or speed -- becomes your focus.
In a four-week power phase, perform deadlifts once per week. During a deadlift session, include three to five sets of three to five repetitions, using 80 to 90 percent of your one-rep max, or the maximum amount of weight that you can lift for a single repetition. When possible, add weight to the bar each set with the goal of increasing the total amount of weight that you lift each week.
Intermediate to Advanced Routine
Proper form is essential. Maintaining the correct deadlift technique -- using a five-three-one repetition scheme -- will contribute to the creation of muscular power. Rest between sets for three to five minutes. Begin with three sets of five repetitions in week one and advance to three sets of three repetitions in week two. In week three, complete a set of five repetitions, a set of three and a set of one. Use week four as a recovery phase with three sets of five repetitions at 40 percent of your one-rep max. Start with a weight that is 65 percent of your one-rep max on the first set of the first workout, and increase that weight by 5 percent each week. In week two, begin with 70 percent, advance to 75 percent in week three and de-load during the recovery phase to 40 percent for all three sets.
Deadlift refers to pulling a weight up from the ground. The conventional deadlift uses a shoulder-width stance with your toes pointed forward and your hips pushed back before you sink into a squat. The sumo deadlift differs from the conventional deadlift with a stance that is much wider with the toes pointed out. The torso is also in a much more upright position. The Romanian deadlift is another variation that targets the glutes and hamstrings. With your feet closer together and a slight bend in the knees, push your hips back while hinging at the hip. The trap-bar is a good starting point. A diamond-shaped bar with two parallel handles, the trap-bar can help decrease strain on your back as you learn proper form in advance of using the straight barbell.
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