A couple months ago I shared the benefits of deadlifting. Using proper body mechanics and lifting techniques you can strengthen many body parts, including the back, legs, arms, shoulders and core. So here’s a question for you. Why do so many weightlifters and powerlifters wear belts during this exercise? The reason is that they are lifting several hundred pounds and pushing their bodies to their absolute limits. To see what I mean, you can check out the World Deadlift Championship on July 9th where at least two of my favorite strongman competitors will attempt to lift 500 kg. That’s 1000 pounds! Remember that a weightlifting belt is designed to protect the back by adding abdominal support and helping to stabilize the whole area. When we mortals lift, typically we are not stressing every body part to the point of tearing itself. We’re focusing on strengthening our core, increasing flexibility and improving technique.

Okay, so now back to the topic at hand. Deadlifting can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, stretch cords, rubber tubing, a medicine ball, or just using your bodyweight. One of my clients uses a Hex Trap Bar in the fitness room of his office building. I absolutely love it! It offers three grip choices depending on the size of your hand. The grips are in a neutral position which, for many people, is more comfortable than pronated or supinated. Lastly, the lifter performs a deadlift while standing in the middle of the hexagon-shaped bar. This favors center of gravity, so as you lift, you will not be leaning forward (ouch!), backward (more ouch!) or to the sides (my back hurts just thinking about it . . . ouch!!) That’s an excellent feature.

Just be sure to use weight plate clamps or collars so the weights do not slide off the bar while you’re exercising. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!