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Monday, November 8, 2010

Earning the deadlift

The deadlift or health lift has been around for a couple hundred years. Most strength professionals comprehend the benefits of this amazing lift but few know how to utilize it. Here are the most common mistakes with the deadlift.

1. Pulling in lumbar flexion- Unless you are competing in Powerlifting, their is no reason to pull in flexion. To be honest, it's really dumb

2. Lack of tension- In order to execute the deadlift, tension must be created. I see way too many people jerking the bar of the ground. The deadlift is a grind and not a ballistic movement.

3. It looks like a squat/deadlift/weird way of picking up weight thing- I see this alot, it's not a squat, it's not deadlift, it's a mix of these but both are done poorly. It looks as if someone is picking up a giant load of crap. Yup, let's call this the CRAPLIFT. Google deadlift on youtube, you may even see the infamous craplift.

4. Disconnecting the shoulders- most people don't understand how to connect the arms via lats. If you see rounded shoulders and a flailing torso, I am pretty sure the shoulders aren't connected. If you find a strength coach and they haven't mentioned the shoulders connecting at all, run the other way. While running the other way,throw in a tabata, its great fitness :)

Ok, back to the article. The deadlift must be earned. Several things must happen before one earns the deadlift. Here are a few recomendations before you starting deadlifting.

1. Get screened- get an FMS from a certified screener. He/she will let you know about any imbalances that may create problems for you and your training regimen. Fix the issues then progress

2. Find a strength coach that teaches and practices deadlifts a lot- Find a coach that can teach a deadlift to anyone. Their are many types of deadlifts, a good coach may teach you a different variation depending on your body type, injury history, training age etc. I also prefer strength coaches that practice what they preach. To me, this goes a long way.

3. Master the hip hinge- A symmetrical hip hinge it vital to a good deadlift. Master the hip hinge before you pull from the floor. This will ensure low back health and well as proper posterior chain development. The Active Straight Leg Raise or ASLR from the FMS is a great screen for the deadlift. If your hips are off, so is your deadlift.

4. Bring the floor to you- If you do not have the mobility to pull the bar of the floor with a neutral spine and good hip hinge then elevate the weight. Place the weight on a bumper plate, small box, or something stable. The will allow you to load the deadlift without compromising your low back. Remember safety first

5. Get your reps in- Practice the deadlift. It sound simple, but practice your technique as much as possible. You can practice every day, just make sure that you vary your loads and not fry your CNS. I love practicing 4x8 and 5x10 with newbie deadlifters. With proper weight and tempo, this will develop work capacity as well a create a healthy neurological pattern for the deadlift. Most athletes aren't ready for a true 5x5 deadlift routine day unless they have earned the pattern with thousands of good reps. Remember, Skill is a Strength :)

The deadlift is awesome, it's actually better than you

Here is some motivation :)

1 comment:

  1. "I also prefer strength coaches that practice what they preach. To me, this goes a long way."

    Great article Mike!