Deadlifts

AjCapri

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I want to start deadlifting and doing weighted squats to help in my future career and to save my body.

However, I'm a mere 5'3" and I have no clue as to what weight to start with when it comes to deadlifting. I have a gym membership and I usually work on the machines but I feel like actually deadlifting will help re-enforce proper body mechanics at work as well. I suck in the upper body strength department, but I'm doing good with lower body strength. I understand this varies depending on individual fitness, but can anyone give me some pointers so I don't under-do or over-do it?
 

J B

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Free weights and body weight exercises all the way, imo.

Start out really light, focus on form. It's not the end of the world if you try to lift too heavy with bad form when you're doing biceps or something, but you REALLY don't want to screw your back up.

Keep the bar over your shoelaces when you pick it up. When I first started out, my tendency was to have the weight too far away from my body.

I found this video to be very useful:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u899wRnwqs[/YOUTUBE]
 

Aidey

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Find someone to teach you. This may require going to an outside trainer besides the one at your gym. The trainers at many national chain gyms are often adverse to the deadlift for whatever reason. If you such on upper body strength you should also work on that too. Learning all of the Olympic lifts would be helpful.
 
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AjCapri

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Thanks! Better to get them down sooner or later.
I've been working on upper body strength as of lately. I see more of a speedy improvement with my upper body than with the rest. Hopefully the deadlifts will aid with some balance.

I can run it by the trainer at the gym I go to and see what she says. What's an Olympic lift exactly? I've heard of them but I don't know exactly what they are.
 
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AjCapri

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The video is perfect, btw. He's super informative and walks you pretty much everything. Thanks so much. I need this guy in my gym. ha.
 

Aidey

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Olympic lifts are well...the olympic weight lifting lifts. The deadlift, snatch, clean and jerk, squat and all the variations of. They are compound lifts that work multiple muscle groups at once. They are great for overall strength. I think that in addition to the deadlift the clean/squat clean is the next best lift for EMS. You might be able to get a trainer to show you those, but I really doubt a chain gym will allow you to jerk or snatch. They get funny about the oly lifts.
 
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AjCapri

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I'd understand due to the risk of injury if you didn't know what you were doing. I'd like to think they wouldn't care about showing me the "safer" oly lifts.
 

Aidey

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The gym I used to go to didn't just view it as a issue of my safety. They were concerned about people around me, people trying to copy me, and the "intimidation factor".
 
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AjCapri

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The place I go to caters to a really diverse crowd. I doubt I'll intimidate anyone with my petite stature though. Their big NO thing is slamming weights.
 

maddogmedic

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You're spot-on with the deadlifts. They are a very important part of my weightlifting workout specifically because of the injuries many EMTs and paramedics suffer on the job. Deadlifts and squats build your core (abs and all the muscles that keep your spine aligned when doing stuff). They build up your back strength and teach your body proper lifting technique without you having to think about it. Many people who hurt their backs lifting often aren't strong at proper lifting at all so their bodies compensate by lifting incorrectly. Deadlifts will save your back.

As far as weight: My biggest problem has been going too big too soon. I hurt my shoulder several years ago and going too heavy too fast puts me back by months while I recover. It's much better to do proper form and technique with a lower weight than to be sloppy with a higher mass. Remember: weightlifting is for YOU and you alone. Don't worry if you don't look like a badass for not stacking on a bunch of those 45lb plates. When the muscle-heads at the gym have their steroid-induced heart attacks, you'll need to be strong enough to lift them onto the stretcher and do chest compressions. Hah!

Kudos to you for taking the initiative on this. Good luck and good health!

--maddog
 

Tito

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You can always use dumbbells first to practice form and work your way up to barbells and plates
 

Artttom

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I second one of the prior posters about getting correct instruction in lifts. Don't use a video, don't use a book. You need someone who knows what they're doing to watch you and your individual quirks and bad habits. Find a reputable weightlifting coach in your area (not a fitness or Crossfit instructor, both of whom got their certificates over a couple day seminar. I know I've done it) and spend some money and time doing it right. If you don't, and get lazy, you're risking painful, and possibly permanent injury, disability and even paralysis. If you shine this on and don't do your work, you WILL get hurt and you won't achieve your goals. Might not be right away, but sooner or later you will screw yourself up. Google Team USA weightlifting they have a "find a club" link. I can't post it I'm too new here.
 

Tiger09

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I'm pretty sure I got a bluffing disc doing dead lifts so now I just stick with running, body weighted lunges and squats.
 

Artttom

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There's definitely a possibility you hurt your back deadlifting if your form was off, but there's also a really good possibility you got it running. I did mine running, and helped it doing core strength work, including deadlifts and other associated core strength exercises. Running screwed my knees and my back due to the impact over a long time. Hope your back gets stronger and feels better. Don't do surgery unless you absolutely have to!!!!!!!
 

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