Want to build a strong core? Have you found the ab exercises you’re currently doing just aren’t cutting it? Then you need to try the Fulcrum deadlift. A movement that will target your obliques and test your stability, be sure to add it to your workout program.
Anyone who knows anything about fitness will know about the deadlift, but have you ever heard of the Fulcrum deadlift? Also known as the offset deadlift, this deadlift variation sees weight placed on just one side of the barbell and will seriously destroy (and strengthen) your core.
Explaining that he uses a shorter 5 foot, 13.6kg barbell instead of a more conventional 20kg barbell due to you needing to perform the Fulcrum deadlift at a lighter weight than what you’d expect, Bill says it is “one of the most powerful full-body obliques exercises you can do with just a little bit of weight.”
“This lift will feel heavy and awkward but it will strengthen some hard to reach places.”
So, how exactly does the Fulcrum deadlift work and how do you perform it?
Fortunately, Bill posted a separate video explaining just this, using commentary from Squat University. Stating that the “offset or Fulcrum deadlift is a unique exercise for its ability to make very lightweight extremely difficult.”
Squat University adds this deadlift variation is “similar to a single leg RDL (Romanian deadlift) with the weight held opposite the stance leg. The offset deadlift creates rotation inside, bending pull on the body that must be resisted for the trunk to remain upright.”
“The unbalanced nature of this lift challenges the body to have control over each and every link within itself. This is why you’ll see some powerlifters use this as an accessory movement to help enhance stability and control of the full-body, which helps to carry over to allowing higher loads on traditional deadlifts.”
How To Perform The Fulcrum Deadlift
Squat University adds in their video, “to perform, start with only a little weight on one end of the barbell as you move. Work to keep the barbell 100 percent parallel to the ground and from sliding right and left.”
And, while the Fulcrum deadlift is already a difficult movement, it gets a lot more difficult when you factor in how you need to breathe throughout the duration of the exercise. Bill Maeda is an expert on breathing techniques, so will likely find this deadlift variation relatively simple, but if you’re attempting it yourself, it further highlights the fact you really do need to start with a lightweight to help nail the technique.
As Squat University says in their video, “breathing is key during this lift because you’re not going to be holding your breath the entire time.”
To help understand how you should be breathing during the Fulcrum deadlift, Squat University provides a demonstration video, adding you should “practice the sandwich drill to ingrain proper lateral expansion with your breath.”
This involves placing your hands around the top of your hips, pushing in and breathing out.
“Brace your core and learn to keep this stiffness while you hinge, then be able to take breaths while you maintain the stiffness.”
Benefits of Fulcrum Deadlift
Bill Maeda isn’t the only man to speak of the benefits of offset loading, as Dr Joel Seedman of Advanced Human Performance has also spoken to great lengths about why you should be performing them. Explaining on his website, Dr Seedman says offset loading can be “performed with barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, cables, bands, and even bodyweight. It simply involves loading more weight or placing more tension on one side of the body and less on the other.”
He adds, “Offset loading may be the single most effective strategy I’ve used not only for immediately exposing asymmetries and imbalances but also for eliminating them.” He further backs up Bill’s claims of the offset, or Fulcrum deadlift, being a great core burner,
“If you’re looking for a method that not only works the primary muscles for that movement but also crushes the core, look no further than offset training. In fact, you’re essentially resisting rotation and lateral flexion throughout each movement making it incredibly effective for hitting all of the spinal stabilizers and core musculature.”
As we’ve mentioned, if you choose to perform the offset deadlift yourself, start with a lightweight. It’s going to feel weird and potentially like you’re not really doing anything, but from a stability standpoint, you’ll be doing yourself plenty of favours.