Deadlifts complement squats for injury prevention: the stronger your hamstrings and glutes, the less likely you are to be quad-dominant, and you’ll be able to avoid major injuries like torn ACLs. Even though squats work the glutes and hamstrings, deadlifts are still necessary to create muscle balance. You’ll be able to lift more weight deadlifting than you are squatting, which will help you get stronger faster.
Lower back pain is a common ailment at the beginning of the season. As a ski racer, I used to rub on Icy Hot every night during early season camps to ease the ache. Lower back pain can be caused by a weak posterior chain. The posterior chain is the group of muscles that runs from your lower back to calves: essentially they are your backside. A strong posterior chain is fundamental to being a stronger athlete. You can jump higher, spring faster and even ski harder. Deadlifts are the best lift to develop a strong posterior chain.
Back-specific exercises like back extensions are not always the answer: targeting one muscle doesn’t allow the body to move dynamically and can create muscle imbalances. Learning how to deadlift correctly will strengthen multiple muscles groups through a dynamic movement. This will ease and eventually eliminate the pain.
Just like squats, many skiers don’t deadlift correctly. “Lift with your legs, not with your back” is a common phrase, yet many people don’t understand how this is done. Deadlifts are completed by moving the weight from the ground, like picking up groceries from your front step, or a box off the floor. Unlike squats, there is a higher potential for injury with deadlifts, but don’t let that scare you. These five golden rules will keep you injury-free while you get stronger.
Why Is Pip Qualified to Teach Me?
Pip Hunt is a professional skier, writer, and personal trainer in Salt Lake City, UT. She is a level-one certified Crossfit trainer, currently works with private and group clients at SLC Crossfit, runs a Crossfit specific dryland class in the fall, and coaches the Alta-Bird Freeride team both on snow and off. When she’s not on the snow or at the gym, Pip trail runs, mountain bikes, reads, and cooks delectable, nutritious meals.
Check out her blog at www.adventuresofpip.com for fitness stories and healthy recipes.