Welcome everyone to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.  

As you know, lately I’ve been talking a lot about deadlifting. Deadlifting was a hot topic in two of my previous podcasts: Muscle and Longevity with Dr. Brett Osborn and Understanding Osteoporosis with Dr. Doug Lucas. The buzz created such an interest during the LIVE Q&A (wanting me to show them how to deadlift) that I decided to bring on the experts, Tri Star Strength x Rehab and do a DEADLIFT DEMO podcast! 


About Tri Star Strength and Rehab


Tri Star Strength x Rehab, PLLC was founded by two Doctors of Physical Therapy/Certified Strength Coaches, Josh Davis and Zach Jackson. Their goal is to change how traditional therapy and strength training is provided in East Tennessee. What makes these guys unique is that Josh and Zach have merged the tried-and-true evidence-based strength & conditioning principles with the clinical knowledge and expertise in musculoskeletal conditions of physical therapy, to help people become “strong for life”!  

The Tri Star mantra is: Find the smoke. Put out the fire. Rebuild Stronger. And that is why Josh and Zach were the perfect pair to help us all (good back, bad back, any age, any skill level) learn the proper way to do a deadlift.  

Let’s get started…


WHY Deadlift? 


Going back to Dr. Osborn…

“Our ability to fight off disease resides in our muscles.” 

“Probably the most important weapon in one’s arsenal (only potentially rivaled by the squat): THE DEADLIFT.”   

Benefits of the deadlift include:

  • Increases bone density
  • Strengthens the lower body
  • Stabilizes the core
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves flexibility, which
  • Improves mobility, which
  • Improves functionality (i.e., climbing stairs, getting up and down, lifting groceries, etc.)

Bottom line: We NEED to deadlift!  


Difference Between The SQUAT And The DEADLIFT


One of the first things we talked about on the show is the difference between the squat and the deadlift. Both are important movements, but for different reasons. The deadlift works on the posterior chain (back side). The squat mostly works on the anterior chain (front side). For example, the squat mostly gets your quadriceps and the deadlift mostly gets your hamstrings and your legs. However, both of these compound exercises get a little bit of everything, even your biceps. 

I love both, but lean more towards the deadlift because I think the posterior chain often gets neglected. Note: The posterior chain refers to the muscles along the back side of the body, specifically the low back, gluteals, hamstrings, and calf muscle. You need the posterior chain to be strong for everyday activities, such as: picking up laundry, getting things off the floor, picking up a child, etc.  

Bending, stretching, and lifting are basic movements that need strength training as we age. Keeping your back and core strong helps prevent injuries. That’s why it is important to know how to do it the right way! 


How To Start Deadlifting


  1. Learn the movement FIRST. Josh and Zach both emphasized this. To demonstrate, Josh had Zach get in position for a deadlift and put a broomstick over his back to illustrate the three contact points that should be in alignment at all times during a deadlift. See video. 
  2. Always activate your glutes and retract your scapulas. These two cues have really helped me
  3. Don’t round your back. Keep your shoulder blades down and back. 
  4. Hinge at hips first. Imagine squeezing oranges in your armpits to engage the lats. 
  5. Go up fast, down slow. This activates your Type 2 muscle fibers. Note: Type 2 muscle fibers are known as fast-twitch muscles and are used during short explosive movements like sprinting. Josh and Zach emphasized this for older patients (65+), because we don’t use our Type 2 muscle fibers as much as we used to!
  6. Choose a rep range and weight to suit your abilities. General rule for strength: 3-4 sets of 2-6 reps. How often? Start with 2 days a week to really learn the form. 

Note: They also went over a B-stance RDL (Romanian Deadlift). This is where one foot is in front of the other. The back foot should be in line with the front foot heel. Weight is in one hand (opposite hand of front foot). Zach told me to have 70% of your weight on the front foot and 30% on the back foot. This is a great alternative if you don’t have a barbell. It also helps balance. See video.  


Deadlift Event Plug


First, watch this video! You will learn so much more by watching them explain the movement. Second, COME TO OUR DEADLIFT CLINIC, September 26, 5-7pm, inside the Johnson City Performance Medicine office. You will not only get to meet Josh and Zach, but also be coached how to deadlift! It’s going to be a fun night – FREE INBODY scans, FREE GRIP analysis, HANG TIME, GIVEAWAYS, and more!! No registration needed.      

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of building muscle. You need to lift weights. The deadlift is my favorite. Hopefully, this video will help you get started. 

Stay educated. Stay healthy.

Till next week. 

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