Deadlifting for Endurance Athletes

Dead Lifting for the Cyclist & Endurance Sport Athlete

Cyclists, Swimmers & Runners guess what? You should be deadlifting! The deadlift is not just for CrossFit competitors, Power Lifters and Body Builders. Even the scrawniest of cyclists, runners and triathletes need to rip heavy weight off the floor too. The deadlift is literally the “one ring” of athletic strength training.

This movement alone fires more than 25 muscles ranging from your nugget down to your feet. In the basic view, the deadlift strengthens the entire posterior chain, offering you, the athlete a much more sound and robust posture.  Fortifying your entire body to better propel you forward in your sport.  A solid, well balance posture also creates a massive amount of muscular endurance throughout the entire body.  This will allow you to maintain proper form; swim stroke, bike cadence and stride length deep into the back half of a race, when the real racing begins. Bullet proofing your stamina when fatigue tries to set in to derail your race or training.

Not convinced?! Some of the finer benefits that deadlifting presents to the endurance athlete are.

Grip strength: Controlling your bikes front end and maintaining posture without wasting precious watts by death gripping the handle bar. Those of you who have tried to control a TT bike in aero position with some cross wind know exactly what I am preaching!

Back: Have lower back pain? Heard that deadlifting will hurt or injure your lower back? Deadlifting properly will bullet proof your back, allowing you to push that big gear and stay in the drops for hours, fending off the dreaded lower back ache.  A solid and strong posterior chain will set you up for pain free century rides and give you the back strength to attack hill after hill. Ill REPEAT THAT….it HELPS with lower back pain!

Latissimus Doris (Lats): The largest muscle that is used in the “pull” phase of the swim stroke. Forget having your shoulders smoked after 3000m in the pool because your Lats fizzled out at 1600m. Deadlift your way to the V shape back and put those Lats to use in the pool or open water swim, turbo charging that powerful catch, pull and follow through. Plus, you look like a badass on the pool deck.

Hamstrings and Glute Max: The HIP EXTENSORS! Why the caps? Because Powerful Hip Extension makes you Bike & Run FASTER. I’ll leave it at that!

Glute Muscles: The Glutes are the foundation for pelvic stabilization. Deadlifting strengthens these muscles which helps maintain a stable platform for hip extension to occur. When this is unstable or a muscular imbalance has occurred, injuries from over use begin to appear. Everything from lower back pain down to plantar fasciitis. All due to improper biomechanics caused in part by weak or deactivated glutes. (I have heard some doctors use the phrase: Dead Butt Syndrome. Do you really want dead butt syndrome? Of course, not! Stop Reading and GO DEADLIFT!)

The list goes on, but the point being driven home here is this. You Must Deadlift! It does not need to be heavy at first. It can even be in the single leg format with only body weight. There are so many ways to incorporate some version of a deadlift into your training plan 12 months a year. (Heavier loads in “off” season and lighter loads for maintenance in the “in” season) It’s worth the time and investment to do some research or better yet find a qualified, reputable coach and or trainer to assist you in designing a strength program that includes the Deadlift in it.

Have I mentioned how insanely rad it is to rip more than twice your body weight off the floor!?! Trust me, you will be chomping at the bit for Deadlift day!

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