Strength and Conditioning Fundamentals: The DeadliftThe deadlift is often referred to as the king of the strength exercises. It is a total body movement which emphasises the development of strong legs, hips, back and trunk. These, I'm sure you'll agree, are the key muscles for the martial arts and are the characteristics of powerful, explosive fighters.The deadlift, along with the squat, is generally the main exercise that I use with my athletes for developing high levels of maximal strength. I like to build strength in this movement to at least 2x bodyweight, so a 100kg athlete would be able to pull 200kg from the floor with good technique.Depending on the individual there are two main styles of deadlift that can be employed: the conventional deadlift and the sumo deadlift. The technical elements of each lift will be explored in more detail below, however in general, different bodies will be suited more to the different lifts. This should be decided by your coach according to how your posture and start position look. It is good to vary the style of lift as they each place emphasis on different muscle groups, but for maximal effort, it is good to revert to the style that you pull with better posture and technique.