The deadlift will burn much more fat than lengthy aerobics stints or hours and hours of isolation movements done with dumbbells or cables.
Why does the deadlift burn so much fat?
It works practically every muscle: the entire “posterior chain,” which includes the major back muscles, plus the buttocks and hamstrings. This multi-joint exercise hits the quads, abs, shoulders, biceps and forearms.
Which burns more fat?
An exercise that works only the biceps or triceps or even just the chest? Or an exercise that simultaneously works virtually every muscle? When so many muscles are worked in unison, this shrinks fat cells like mad.
Another reason the deadlift is a king fat-burner is because it allows you to move a significant amount of weight as you get stronger with it. The more weight you can move, the more lean muscle you acquire, and this translates to a faster resting metabolism.
How is the deadlift performed?
You deadlift nearly every day around the house, e.g., picking up a basket of laundry from the floor. When performing a deadlift at the gym, however, form should be very strict.
Basic form: Feet are shoulder width or so apart as you stand over a barbell on the floor. Bend at knees to get closer to the bar; place hands on it (overhand or underhand grip). Pull the bar off the floor by straightening your body without bending the arms. However, before you do this, make sure that your lower back is arched and that your shoulders are higher than your lower back. Adjust the legs to achieve this start position.
The lift is powered chiefly by the legs and glutes, with a lot of help from the middle and upper back. The lift is completed when your body is straight, including the legs (maintain “soft knees”). With precision control, set the barbell down the way you lifted it: Maintain a lower back arch and proceed towards a semi-squat position by bending the knees, and let the weight plates gently make very brief contact with the floor before doing another repetition.
Develop base conditioning before using heavy weight. For serious fat-burning and muscle toning, you should deadlift twice a week for five sets, using a load that makes 8-12 reps very difficult—if you can do more than 12, slightly increase the resistance to bring the rep max back down to the 8-12 range.
John DeGrasse is a content creator for Intense Fitness Workouts, an authorized Beachbody dealer and Beachbody coaching team. John loves to exercise, read, and write.
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