12 Deadlifts (M:225/W:155)
Simple, effective, brutal… Post times to comments.
Speaking of deadlifts, I am going to throw myself under the bus here for the sake of making you all better. Look at the attached pictures and see if you can spot a fault with my form. It’s a constant problem for me in the D/L and it causes instability and loss of power. Look over the pictures and analyze them, then scroll down and read on.
Let’s look at spinal positioning and it’s transference to power throughout the posterior chain. In both pics I am putting my spine in a very non-anatomically correct position by looking up and straight ahead. Instead, my head should be neutral, thereby putting my eyes and gaze down in front of me a couple of feet. By pulling the head out of it’s natural position and creating a weak link and kink in the spine, we lose the structural integrity and muscular rigidity required to maintain and transfer of power. This applies in a squat, deadlift, and presses – hell, pretty much any movement where some type of external load is being moved. The minute we take the head and/or any part of the spine out of it’s natural alignment, we lose power in the hips and weaken the structural integrity of our back. This will be reflected via reduced load, loss of power output and/or injury.
Want to prove it to yourself? Do some deadlifts at heavy weight with proper head/spine alignment locked in and looking down. Get to a point where you are working 5×5’s at close to your end range. Reps 4 & 5 should be getting hard. Rest up for a few minutes and go at it again, this time at your last couple of reps, go ahead and do the look at the wall thing and see how much harder tha pull feels. Unless you are a freak of nature, you should notice a difference. I did some very heavy deadlifts the other day and made a very conscious effort to keep my head neutral. The results were great and to try out the theory, I looked up and that bar seemed a helluva lot heavier.
As a final self throw down, in the second pic my ass is rising way too fast. Remember, hips and shoulders should rise up together at the same rate. Only when the bar passes the knee does the back straighten and the shoulders rise. When it’s heavy, we tend to either round our backs like crazy, or straighten out the legs way to early thereby leaving a massive lever arm in the back to move the weight the rest of the way up. You may get lucky like that once or twice, but don’t push your luck!
Any thoughts, questions or comments are welcome in the Comments section. Lift heavy, but lift right!