Deadlift Correctly (Part 2)

deadlift

I you didn’t read the Part 1, click here

I read an Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Setup

As you know, there are several versions of deadlift that can match your training goals or your body type but the conventional deadlift is great for starting to learn the basics.

Attention : It’s important to do 1-2 sets warm-up with the barbell without weights. As with squat, this warm-up allows you to prepare joints and muscles.

  • Adds weights and uses collars for safety

    If you’re a beginner, only use 2-26-4.6kg (5-10lbs) plates to make easy to adjust the weights on the barbell. When you have better understood the movement and how your body reacts you can use plates of 20kg (45lbs).

  • Stand with your feet at the width of your hips

    The spacing of your feet is about 20-30cm (8-12 inches) and your toes are slightly outside about 5-10 degrees.

  • Look at the ground

    Place your feet under the barbell so that the barbell almost touches your ankles. The barbell must be on the node of your laces

  • Without moving the barbell or your hips

    Lean forward to take the barbell. Your legs are slightly bent. Your hands should be slightly outside your legs without touching them.

  • Hold the barbell

    Move your hips down so your shins touch the barbell. Stop moving your hips when your shins touch the barbell. Squeeze your torso and keep your back straight to have your back in a neutral position.

  • Your back in a neutral position

    Your back shouldn’t be rounded or hyper extends. If you feel like you don’t have your back in a neutral position, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or a gym’s member to make a video of you with a smartphone while you’re doing deadlift. This will allow you to correct your technique.

    In addition to your spine, uses the upper back’s muscles to help to lift your chest up (swagger).

    Your shoulders should be slightly in front of the barbell and your arms should be straight and perpendicular to the ground.

As each person has unique body, the person next to you will have a different starting position than you and this is normal. Think about it : if a person has long arms, will this person have exactly the same position as a person with short arms ? No.

Deadlift

deadlift movement

  • Ready to lift

    Be focus and squeeze all your body’s muscles

  • Deep breathing

    Take a deep breath and keep your chest up with all your body squeezed ant put all the weight on your heels and on the ball of your feet.

    Imagine driving your feet through the ground.

Here are the important points in this part of the movement :

  1. All the weight must be on your heels and on the ball of your feet. During the movement, you should be able to move your toes.

  2. Your whole body moves slowly at the same speed. Your butt shouldn’t get up faster than your torso.

  3. Be focused on directing your torso and putting the weight on your heels.

  4. Your arms should stay straight during the movement. Your arms only serve to hold the barbell, not pull it.

  5. The barbell stay in contact with all your body. The barbell is a few millimeters from your legs while your lift it. Powerlifters put socks on their shins and chalk or baby powder on their thighs to avoid cuts and scratches The barbell’s trajectory during the movement is a vertical straight line.

  6. Squeeze your glutes. When the barbell goes over your knees, squeeze your glutes to move your hips forward.

  7. When you stand, open your chest as if you’re proud (like a king/queen). Keep your spine in a neutral position (straight back) and all your body tight.

To lower the barbell

As with lifting the barbell, all your body needs to move at the same time.

Your body is always contracted, unlocks your hips and knees and lower the barbell by controlling the movement slowly.

If you unlocks your knees first, you’ll do weird movements that will force you to round your lower back.

deadlift low back rounded

Keep your body contracted until the barbell touches the ground. The majority of deadlift injuries appear during the descends of the barbell. People are so pleased to have lifted a heavy weight that they relax their bodies and lower the barbell with poor technique. It’s important to control movement with your contracted body throughout exercise.

Note

In deadlift the most risky moment is the eccentric part (descending the barbell). This is the part that will give you the most DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

That’s why several personal trainers advise their athletes to throw the barbell on the ground, especially for athletes who must be at 100 % for a competition in a few days.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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Deadlift Correctly (Part 1)

deadlift

I read an Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

I see there are many people who are avoiding deadlift because they are afraid of getting hurt. It’s funny, it’s like squat.

Doing deadlift with good a technique is excellent for health, it allow your to have stronger joints and a stronger posterior chain.

All exercises can be dangerous when they don’t do with the proper technique, which is why it’s important to seriously study each exercise.

Why

why

In workout programs, you can find the deadlift in the day of legs of back. This can be disturbing but the truth is the deadlift is a polyarticular exercise.

The deadlift (polyarticular exercise) works several different muscle’s group :

  • Your hands, your forearms, your arms to keep the barbell in the right position and the barbell is stable during the movement.

  • Your shoulder and trapezius help to hold the weight and keep it stable.

  • Your back and core help to keep your body tight and stable so that your spine is safe.

  • Your posterior chain  and your legs act as lever to lift the weight.

What is interesting is that deadlift is a basic human movement like the squat. It’s a « functional » movement that we do every day to take an object on the ground. Lifting a chair or taking a bag on the floor is deadlift.

Training yourself to do deadlift with a good technique at the gym, will allow you to do these daily tasks by decreasing the risk of injury. I imagine you’ve seen a person hurt his/her back by lifting something off the floor. It happened because the technique was bad.

Let things be clear, everyone needs to do deadlift. Look at that grandmother 

grandmother deadlift

Also, deadlift is the purest way to measure the strength. You lift or you can’t. Sometimes with gym’s members, we do a deadlift party, it’s fun.

Choose

Attention : if you have spinal injuries, go see your doctor before starting

The origin of the word « deadlift » is : you lift dead weight (motionless) of the ground.

In short, you take a barbel with weight and you get up with the barbell in your hands until your shoulders, hips and knees locked. Your arms should be straight during the whole movement and when you’re standing, the barbell is at the level of your hips.

Here are the different type of deadlift most common :

Conventional Deadlift

conventional deadlift

Your hands are at your hips width, outside of your feet.

Sumo Deadlift

sumo deadlift

You have a wide position with your hands inside of your feet.

Hex or Trap Bar Bar Deadlift

hex trap bar bar deadlift

You need to use a special bar. In this way, you make the movement with another biomechanics.

Snatch Grip Deadlift

snatch grip deadlift

You use a wide grip like to do a Snatch.

Straight Leg Deadlift, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift

Many people are troubled by these variants. Here is an excellent article by Bret Contreras to see it in detail. Click here .

Deficit Deadlift, Rack Pulls

deficit deadlift rack pulls deadlift

These accessory movements allow you to increase or decrease the range of motion.

Dumbbell Deadlift Variations

dumbbell deadlift

You can do this when you don’t have access to a barbell and weights or as accessory movement.

In this article, I refer mainly to conventional deadlift.

Now, let’s talk about equipment :

Flat shoes

Converse Chuck Taylor Classic  are good (this is what I use). There’s also Vibrams, you can do in socks or with Powerliters shoes.

Chalk

chalk

This is optional but it can help you to not let your hands slip when you lift very heavy weights.

Deadlift can be taught in 1-2 sentences but there are complexities at different steps of the movement that you should know to avoid injury. I will develop this in the next parts.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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How To Do Chin-Ups

chin up anatomy back

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

In suspension at the fixed bar with your hands apart with a pronated grip:

  • Inhale and pulls to bring your chest almost to the level of the bar

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

  • Return to the starting position by controlling the movement

chin up anatomy back

This exercise works latissimus dorsi, teres major and when approaching the shoulder blades at the end of the movement, it’s the rhomboids and trapezius (middle and inferior part). This exercise works a little bit biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis.

This exercise works the back in thickness.

Variants

By pulling out your chest, you can pull to the chin.

If lifting your bodyweight is too easy, you can attach weights to a belt.

From a biomechanical point of view, do this exercise with your elbows along your body work the outer fibers of the latissimus dorsi and develop your back in width.

By pulling out your chest with your elbows back to pull to your chin, work the upper and middle fibers of the latissimus dorsi and those of the teres major.

chin up anatomy back

chin up anatomy back

Note

Pectoralis major works a little bit to be in synergy with the latissimus dorsi and teres major to close the angle between your arm and your core.

Evolution

evolution human being nature tree

Latissimus dorsi and teres major have an important role in the four-legged movement of our distant ancestors. They have the function of pushing the front legs backward.

During arboreal life, these muscles were transformed into muscles specialized in vertical displacement.

During life on the ground, our ancestors bought the biped but retained the possibility of climbing.

That’s why we have powerful back’s muscles to tow our bodies and climb trees.

Note

The difference that human beings have with our close relatives, the monkeys, is the development of lower limbs specializing in bipedalism. Our torso and upper limbs have the same structure and proportions. The truth is that monkeys don’t have long arms, it’s us who have long legs.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here.

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Dumbbell Pullovers

dumbbell pullovers

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on a bench with your feet on the ground. You take a dumbbell with both hands and your arms outstretched. The dumbbell is on your palms and your thumbs and forefingers encircling the handle:

  • Inhale and lower the dumbbell behind your head by slightly bending your elbows

  • Exhale returning to the starting position

This exercise work pectoralis major, triceps long head, teres major, lats and a little bit serratus anterior, rhomboids and pectoralis minor. The serratus anterior, rhomboids and pectoralis minor have the function to stabilize the scapulae (shoulder blades) and to allow the humerus to tilt over a stable support.

It’s possible to do this exercise only to open the rib cage. To do this, work with lightweights and be careful to not bend your elbows too much. And it’s necessary to use a bench in a transverse position so that your pelvis is lower than your shoulder girdles. It’s important to inhale as much as possible at the beginning of the movement and to exhale only at the end of the movement.

dumbbell pullovers

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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Dumbbell Bench Press

dumbbell bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on a horizontal bench with your feet on the ground to stabilize you. Hold the dumbbells with arms outstretched and your hands are face to face.

  • Inhale and lower the dumbbells to your chest’s level. Bend your elbows and rotate your forearms to have your hands in pronated grip.

  • Press the dumbells back up and do an isometric contraction to isolate the stress on the upper chest. Exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise works the pectoralis major and a little bit triceps and anterior deltoids.

The difference of this exercise with the barbell bench press is that there is a greater movement’s amplitude, which favors the stretching of the pectoralis major.

Variant

You can do this exercise without forearm’s rotation.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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Close-Grip Bench Press

close grip bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on a horizontal bench with your butt glued to the bench and your feet on the ground :

  • Takes the barbell with a pronated grip. The distance between your hands varies from 10 to 40 cm (3.9 to 15.7 inches) of your wrists flexibility.

  • Inhale and lower the barbell by controlling the movement to your torso.

  • Press and exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise works the inner chest and triceps. This exercise can be part of an arm training program. By doing this exercise with the elbows along your body, it allows to work more anterior deltoids. This exercise can be done at the Smith machine.

Attention : There are several different morphologies so it’s possible that the close-grip create wrist pain. In this case, it’s advisable to spread the hands slightly.

Share this articles if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

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