Deadlifts Good for More Than Building a Strong Lower Back
The dead lift, which measures overall body strength, is the last of three lifts in power lifting competition. Many power lifters use a conventional stance where the feet are typically shoulder width or closer together and others use a sumo stance where the feet are considerably wider than shoulder width. Which method do you suppose uses more energy? Is the dead lift a good exercise for burning calories?
Because sumo dead lifters begin and end with a lower center of mass, 25-30% less mechanical work is performed during the lift compared to the conventional dead lifters. Because the dead lift is considered a total body exercise, with all the major muscles of the body being active, a high energy expenditure results when performing this exercise. An 80kg (176 pounds) athlete with a 1-RM of 220kg (484 pounds) who performs 4 sets of 8 reps at 80% of their 1-RM will burn a little more than 111 kcals during the conventional dead lift and 91 kcals during the sumo dead lift.
Total body exercises like the dead lift not only enhance muscular development and strength, but also generate a high energy expenditure and have a high caloric cost. Furthermore, total body multi-joint exercises are more functional in movements of daily living and athletic endeavors compared with single muscle, single joint exercises. (Escamilla et.al., A three-dimensional biomechanical analysis of sumo and conventional style dead lifts, Med & Sci Sport Exerc Vol 32, No.7, July 2000 p.1250)
In health & performance,
David Greenwalt CSCS
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