In this article I will return to my early training days, when I used to Powerlift at least three to four times a week. To me it came naturally, and my body’s weight to power ratio was exceptional back then, and I was deadlifting an olympic bar with nearly 180kgs in weight on a 25kg bar, my bodyweight was around 65kg.
30 years on and my PB for the deadlift is that of 205.5kgs, nearly 450lbs in weight.
Picking up a weight or any object from the floor is an essential skill, whilst that may initially strike you as an odd or over the top statement, I would like you to pause for a moment, and think of how often you have to bend down in some fashion to pick something up, this could be a child, a bag of groceries etc… and if you happen to specialise in Kettlebells, the deadlift is the slow strength pattern that forms the foundation for your swings and snatches.
One of the main goals of these deadlifting tips is to provide some pointers that will get you in better position for your deadlift, and maybe help with the execution of the lift as well.
First you must realise that the perfect deadlift is a Hip Hinge activity, and NOT a squatting activity.
So what is the difference? In the most generic terms, a hip hinge moves the hips back and the squat moves the hips down, the quickest way to find the difference is to use a drill, we simply call; “Touching the Wall”…
Make certain you stand at least a foot width from the wall, then reach back with your hips to touch the wall, this should happen quickly and quite high on the wall.
If this is successful, move an inch or so from the wall and try again, you will find your maximum distance when you cannot touch the wall without falling back into it slightly.
Once you find that point wiggle back a bit so you successfully touch the wall with a solid base. You may use a stick along the back to feel the proper spine alignment by keeping the stick touching the back of your head, thoracic spine and sacrum during the entire movement.
A Kettlebell may even be placed between the heels to pick up so you groove the perfect deadlift movement, begin to incorporate your breathing, sniffing in to a tight stomach while reaching back to the wall, then forcing air out tightly on the way up.
Remember, these are all important points:
• Work with your Personal Trainer / Gym Instructor / Training Colleague to establish your best breathing pattern, it might incorporate a slight breath hold (if approved medically).
• Whatever you do, try not to pull the weight up, rather push your feet into the ground and try to push yourself under the weight, pulling on the weight and initiating the movement with the upper body instead of a push down with the hips and feet will throw stress into the lower back region.
• When you begin deadlifting, always start with a double overhand grip, this will increase the stress or work on your grip and keep the weights lower initially while you are learning how to achieve the perfect deadlift.
• Once you have improved your form you can switch to an alternate grip where one hand is palm forward (underhand) and the other is palm back (overhand).
• As far as stance is concerned, try the conventional (hands outside of legs and a narrower stance) or Sumo (hands inside of legs and a wider stance)…Note: Try both, and see which one feels best and allows for the best form for you.
• Do not be in a rush either to pick up the weight (squeeze it off the floor – don’t jerk) or to increase the weight (cycle your weights up and down).
• Finally, squeeze your upper arm against your ribs and get your lats involved in your deadlift…
• Keep your armpit tight and arms against ribs!
Give these tips a try and remember to take your time learning, grooving and improving your deadlift.
As always, train safely at all times, deadlifting well over bodyweight can take it’s toll, and remember the classic saying “You can repair muscle but you cannot repair joints”, it never comes back to 100% total strength, and remember the four golden areas not to damage…the neck, back, knees, and feet….
About the Author
Ged Musto is well known within the world of Stamina and Endurance, he is a multi record holder with none other than 4 World Records and 7 British Records to his name. These include the One Hour Sit-Ups set in 1999 of which he still holds the record of 2,908 and 2,467 Full Press-Ups in One Hour set in 1995.
Ged’s career within fitness goes back as far as the mid 1980’s when serving with British Airborne and Special Forces, within a few years he was serving as a Physical Training Instructor.
He represented the forces in various sports, and Athletics and has run alongside the then World Marathon Record Holder Steve Jones, as well as the legend Steve Ovett.
Amongst Ged’s Personal Bests includes 4:00 for the mile, a 1:05 Half Marathon and 2:28 Marathon achieved at Berlin.
Ged has also worked as a Bodyguard to high profile dignitaries and is also an accomplished Martial Artist.
Ged is one of the very top in his field in the UK, and has also been named as one of the top 10 PT’s none other than three times in nearly 20 years by the governing body within the Fitness Industry.
Amongst some of his prestigious clients Ged can boast a very impressive client portfolio, over the years he has personal trained the likes of Hugh Grant, Robert Plant, Lenny Henry, Monty Don and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer.
Visit Ged Musto’s website at: http://www.gedmusto.org.