9 Keys to Powerful Deadlift

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9 Keys to Powerful Deadlift

Postby Canuck Singh » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:19 pm

1. Heels in Close, Weight on Heels: When pulling make sure your heels are as close to the bar as possible.
To get your heels in close, you probably need to turn your feet out a little more than usual. At this point, try to get your heels underneath the bar. By doing this you ensure the bar is as close to your shins as possible, thereby improving your line of pull before you actually pull!

2. Big Breath, Core Tight: While you're setting up, you need to take in a big breath and get your entire core tight. By getting tight, I mean getting your abs and low back set like you're about to get punched in the stomach. By "bracing," you ensure that your body is ready to move maximal weight.

3. Head and Chest Up: Make sure your eyes are looking slightly upwards and your chest is up. This rule is pretty much universal when it comes to lifting weights, but especially when it comes to deadlifting. Not only does it reinforce a neutral spine, but it also helps you to lift more weight.

4. Hips High: When you pull you want your chest up and your hips high at the same time. Is it easier to do a half-squat or a full squat? The body is in a more biomechanically efficient position if the hips are high from the start.

5. Don't Sit in the Bottom: Research has shown us that the stretch reflex is all but negated after approximately four seconds. Not only do you lose the benefits of the stretch reflex, but you also can't maintain any air when you're in the bottom. Try it out for yourself: take a big breath and then sit in the bottom position for a few seconds. For whatever reason, it's very hard to maintain your IAP (intrabdominal pressure) and ITP (intrathoracic pressure).

6. Explode from the Middle: Some will say to initiate the pull from the legs, driving them through the floor; others will say to lead with the upper back and traps. You need to think of pulling as an explosion from the middle of your body. Once I'm tight I think to myself "three, two, one" just like a launch pad because I want to simultaneously drive my heels through the floor (which ensures I’m using my glutes and hamstrings), while also pulling back with my traps and upper back (which helps keep the bar in close to the body).

7. Pull FAST: Explode from the middle and try to move the bar as fast as possible.

8. Keep Pulling: That point where you don't think you have anything left in you, but you keep going and grind out the rep. Not only do you get stronger, but you also build confidence when you win battles with the heavy iron.

9. Bring an Attitude: Every time you pull, you need to be aggressive. That solider mentality will always succeed when it comes to pulling heavy, whether it be for a new PR in the gym or on the platform.

Reference: Mike Robertson, M.S., C.S.C.S., U.S.A.W
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Re: 9 Keys to Powerful Deadlift

Postby Canuck Singh » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:34 pm

The scapulas are over the bar. Look at the anatomy of the traps and the rhomboids. Look at the position that the scapulas are in to receive the force transmitted up the spine. It’s right there in front of you. That is the structure that receives the force transmitted across those broad muscles isometrically and then down the arms to the bar. That’s it. Just look at the anatomy.

The trapezius has the broadest muscle origin in the human body. It goes all the way from the base of the skull down to T12. It receives the force that the rigid spine transmits, the force generated by the muscles that open the knees and the hips. That force is then transmitted across the traps and the rhomboids to the scapulas. What hangs from the scapulas? The arms. And then if you’ll look at it, every single time you see somebody pulling a heavy bar off the floor—every single time—it’s the scapula that is plumb to the bar, not the arms. Why would that be? Because the scapula is the thing below which the bar hangs. The tensional force of the weight in the hands is transmitted between the scapulas and the grip by the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that anchor the bones in place isometrically. The traps and rhomboids transfer the force to the scapulas; the triceps, biceps, forearm muscles, grip muscles, and the ligaments and tendons form the chain from which the weight hangs; and the lats act on the humerus to keep the arms at the angle they have to be to place the load directly under the scapulas.

But you have to remember that the bar is hanging from the scapulas and therefore the force is tension. The bony skeleton doesn’t transmit tension. It only transmits compression. It is the connective tissue components that transmit tension. So you have to look at the connective tissue components of the arms and the structures that suspend the arms to see exactly how that force is transmitted.
- Mark Rippetoe
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