The Deadlift – Sun 4.24.16

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In Greg Glassman’s article on “The Deadlift“, he stated:

“The deadlift is unrivaled in its simplicity and impact while unique in its capacity for increasing head to toe strength.”

Regardless of whether your fitness goals are to increase your metabolism, improve your strength or lean out, decrease body fat, rehabilitate your back, improve athletic performance, or maintain functional independence as a senior, the deadlift is a movement that will benefit you to that end.

The deadlift is simply picking a thing off the ground, and should be just as important as standing, running, jumping, and throwing for functionality.  Unfortunately, it is seen as a “back destroyer” and most will never gain the benefit of training it properly.

Years ago, while training in powerlifting, I blew out a disc.  Doctors told me, among some good advise, to stop lifting weights altogether (Really!?)  Instead, I focused on improving my deadlift form and losing my ego by dropping weights way down below 40% of my max and slowly improving.  I now have no more issues with my back and regularly deadlift with and without a belt AND heavier than I ever did in my powerlifting days!

Deadlift Cues. Many of these cues motivate identical behaviors, yet each of us responds differently to different cues.  Here are just a few things to think about:

  • Natural stance with feet under hips
  • Symmetrical grip whether parallel, hook, or alternate
  • Hands placed where arms will not interfere with legs while pulling from the ground
  • Bar above juncture of little toe and foot
  • Shoulders slightly forward of bar
  • Inside of elbows facing one another
  • Chest up and inflated
  • Abs tight
  • Arms locked and not pulling
  • Shoulders pinned back and down
  • Lats and triceps contracted and pressing against one another
  • Keep your weight on your heels
  • Bar stays close to legs and essentially travels straight up and down
  • Torso’s angle of inclination remains constant while bar is below the knee
  • Head straight ahead
  • Shoulders and hips rise at same rate when bar is below the knee
  • Arms remain perpendicular to ground until lockout

Many people forget that lifting weights is as much mental as it is physical.  If you are not constantly thinking about how to improve any lifts your are working on while working out, you will not reach your full potential.  So go out there and figure out how to make these cues work for you!

Deadlift Review:

  • Look straight ahead
  • Keep the back arched
  • Arms do not pull, they are just straps
  • Bar travels along legs
  • Push through the heels
  • The deadlift, like the squat, is essential functional movement and carries a potent hormonal punch. This is core training like no other.
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