Monday, November 23, 2009

How to Deadlift the Proper Way

Guest blog from Jim "Smitty" Smith from the Diesel Crew.

The deadlift is notorious as a back breaker in most peoples minds. When in fact, it is the poor execution of a deadlift, combined with poor mobility / flexibility, improper warm-up, poor core strength and many other factors that led to the acute or cumulative trauma.

I wanted to give everyone a quick, easy-to-understand, easy-to-apply setup for the conventional deadlift. It will give you the perfect setup everytime.

How to Deadlift Video

Here is what you’ll see in the video:
  • conventional deadlift stance
  • distance from bar
  • hip placement / posture
  • breathing
  • tension, irradiation
  • grip considerations
  • concentric phase
  • eccentric phase
  • bracing, intra-abdominal pressure
  • upper back engagement
  • head posture

Here is a step-by-step setup guide for conventional deadlifts:

  1. Setup with your feet shoulder width or slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  2. Toes can be straight ahead or turned outward
  3. Shins should be approximately 4-6″ AWAY from the bar
  4. Grab the bar with a double overhand grip (until the weight gets too heavy)
  5. Legs will be straight
  6. Take a big breath and force your abdominals outward and hold
  7. Drop your hips as your knees shift forward toward the bar
  8. Create tension in your upper back and lats by squeezing your armpits and pulling your arms downward
  9. Drive the floor away, keeping the bar against your body all the way to lockout
  10. Once bar gets to your knees finish the lockout with a powerful glute contraction, finish in a straight line
  11. Move hips backward, keeping the glutes and hamstrings on tension
  12. The bar will move downward and once the bar reaches the knees, drop straight downward back to the floor
  13. REPEAT

How to Modify a Deadlift

Beyond the Range – pulling through a greater range of motion (ROM) which helps accelerate through sticking points and is done by standing on an elevated surface. It can be either 100lb plates or a 4″ box.

Pulling Against Bands or Chains – forces the lifter to accelerate to lockout which develops greater end range strength and rate of force development (RFD)

Band Assisted Pulling – assists the lifter off the floor and should be setup to deload before lockout, allows supramaximal weights (great than the lifter’s 1RM) to be used

Change the Implement – varying a barbell, a trap bar, dumbbells, odd objects or an axle will modify the tension and leverage of the lift


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