Tag Archive | "deadlift"

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Vital Stats

When I first picked up weights a few years ago, maximal lifting wasn’t even on my radar. I ran around in circles with my 10-pound dumbbells, completely unaware that I was missing out on an entire world of fitness.

In the world of 1RM strength, you set specific goals and work for weeks or months to inch closer to them. You push your body to its limits to achieve a triumph that only lasts a couple of seconds. But you also get rewarded with a rush unlike anything else. It’s a great world to be a part of, and it’s changed the entire way I view health and fitness.

I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on heavy lifting—yet. But I’ve still learned some important lessons along the way, and I’m confident you’ll find them just as helpful as I did. If you’re looking to find your numbers or move them up into uncharted territory, here are five rules you need to take to heart.

1 Train Systematically

If you’re currently training in the 10-20 rep range and have limited experience with anything less—think 3-8 difficult reps—then you aren’t ready for a 1RM test. Attempting a max test when you’re mentally and physically unprepared is a bad idea. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.

I highly suggest using a program that trains specifically for the kind of intensity you’ll find in a 1RM test. I used Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 system successfully for several months before getting a more personalized powerlifting training program from the Strength Guys. Trust me, proper programming makes all the difference both in terms of performance and safety. Squatting 3 reps at 85 percent 1RM is an entirely different ballgame than doing 15 reps on the leg press. Programs like 5/3/1, the Westside System, or Stronglifts 5×5 will prepare you for the intensity that lies ahead.

If you’re unsure of your max or haven’t yet had the chance to test it, I suggest using a 1RM calculator initially. Just enter your best lift, and it does the work for you. The heavier the weight and the lower the number of reps, the more accurate the calculator is. For example, 200 pounds for 5 reps is more accurate than 150 pounds for 9 reps. Nothing is as accurate as actually getting under the bar and testing your 1RM—preferably with some supervision from somebody who’s done it many times—but, these calculators can give you a sufficient idea of what your max should be. You’ll need that number in order for the percentage-based training of strength programs to be effective.

2 Learn How To Get in the Right Headspace

Testing your 1RM requires a serious amount of intensity and concentration. You won’t be frolicking in the land of unicorns, bunnies, and rainbows here. To be honest, testing your 1RM sucks. It usually hurts physically, and it always challenges your body’s idea of what is “possible.” Putting that kind of stress on your body is more than just a physical trial, though. It’s a mental one, too. Before you step up to a barbell to try for your max lift, you need to be a master of these three skills:

Focus

If you find your mind in 35 different places and none of them are at the gym with the bar, it’s not the day to test your max. There may be no such thing as the perfect day, but there are optimal conditions that give you a shot at hitting your best numbers. You want to be present and composed with mental clarity. Your focus should be on one thing and one thing only: moving that heavy weight.

Bench Press
Visualization

Visualize yourself easily pulling your deadlift max. Then see yourself adding some more weight and pulling again with ease. Picture your bench max going up without a hitch. Visualizing not only gives your confidence a much needed boost before you tackle your lift, but it can also actually improve motor performance, making your 1RM attempt a major success.

Jamming Out

Not everybody needs music in order to get into a PR headspace, but for many of us, it’s crucial. Listening to music during a training session has been proven to improve performance; it can also be a great boost of motivation when you’re aiming to venture into uncharted waters. Some people like screamo heavy metal to get their blood pumping, and others prefer electronic music, jazz, or film soundtracks to help calm their mind and set the scene for an epic triumph. Whatever works for you, do it!

3 Embrace The Routine

Everyone has their own way of getting ready for a max. Some people do a specific number of warm-up sets, and some people listen to a particular playlist or eat a particular meal. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it. For people who haven’t yet had the chance to take a 1RM, this is what I suggest the first time around:

Warm up

An extensive warm-up process is essential to get an accurate 1RM and prevent injury. I start with some basic mobility work, taking my joints through a full range of motion, and then I move to my warm-up sets.

Get heavy slowly

Opinions vary about which rep scheme to use as you work up to a heavy weight. Your program or coach might have a specific way of doing this; if so, follow it. Here’s the routine that I like to follow when testing my max or going for a PR.

  • Bar x 10
  • 50% x 5
  • 60% x 3
  • 70% x 2
  • 80% x 1
  • 90% x 1
  • 95% x 1
  • 1RM attempt

High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight, which is why I perform several sets of a single rep as I get closer to my max. Each of these reps boosts my confidence and prepares me mentally and physically for the pinnacle lift.

No matter how you choose to arrange your warm-up sets, they should fully prepare your muscles, joints, and central nervous system for the lift ahead. I always leave at least 2-3 minutes of rest between my warm-sets, and then I give myself an extra minute or two as I get closer to my max attempt.

“High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight.”

4 Find a spotter

I like to train alone. If you see me in the gym, my headphones are usually in, my hat is down low, and I have a leave-me-alone-until-I’m-done look on my face. On max day, it’s a different story. It’s crucial that you have someone spotting your bench max, unless getting pinned under a barbell sounds like your idea of a good time.

Utilizing a spotter on squat max testing isn’t always necessary, particularly if you squat in a rack with safety bars. If I’m testing my squat, I generally use the safety bars for warm-up sets and then grab the most experienced lifter I can find to spot me for my max attempt. Pulling a random spotter off the gym floor isn’t something that I mind doing, but if this is something you’re uncomfortable doing, bring a friend you trust to put your nerves at ease. And maybe have them read up on the rules of spotting first.

There’s no way to spot a deadlift physically, since you either pull the bar off the ground or you don’t. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite a mental or emotional spotter along for the ride. If you feel like having someone yell “light weight!” in a Ronnie Coleman voice would help you move a heavy weight, then by all means make sure they’re there!

5 Make Your PR A Lift Like Any Other

The time has come. You’ve been training for this moment for months. You’ve done your warm-up sets, you’re focused and ready, and now it’s go time. All of your prior training has led you to this moment. Scary, right?

“I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before.”

I’m always a mixed bag of emotions right before my lift, but I think that’s what carries me through and gives me the best possible lift. I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before. Somewhere in that mess of emotions, I usually just say “Enough! I’m ready to do this,” and then I go for it.

Aside from this inevitable dialog, though, the mechanics of a max attempt should be the same as all the other lifts you practiced up until this point. This isn’t the time to do a quarter-rep or forget to engage your lats when you deadlift. As you visualize your lift, you should be taking note of form and remembering all your normal cues. A max lift where you injure yourself in the process doesn’t count in my book.

After your initial attempt is complete, step back and assess. How do you feel? How did the lift go? Are you ready for more, or did it take everything out of you? I like to keep going until I either miss a lift or know there’s no logical way I can get that weight back up. But many people will stop after one, and that’s fine.

If you feel like you’re ready to conquer another max attempt, I suggest giving yourself 7-10 minutes of rest before you step up to the bar again. Add no more than 5-10 pounds to the bar; don’t get greedy. Even if you leave that second or third max attempt unrealized, you should feel damn good about what you accomplish!

6 Don’t Overthink It

I’m often guilty of beating myself up after the fact. Did I eat too much? Too little? Could I have done another rep? Should I have done more weight? We all do it. When you’re completely invested in something—like so many of us in the world of health and fitness are—you want to be perfect.

But when you’re waging war against big numbers and percentages, there’s nothing to be gained by harboring regrets. Nagging doubts and questions can take over your brain and prevent you from improving, but just as importantly, they can keep you from enjoying an important victory.

The best possible advice I can give you is to let go. At no time is that more crucial than during and after your 1RM attempt. If you walk up to the bar wondering if you’re going to miss, or questioning your preparation, or revisiting the failed lifts of the past, you’ve already lost. You just have to go for it.

You’re ready. It’s time to believe in yourself. Pick up that weight and show the bar who’s boss.

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All About One-Repetition-Maximum Testing

This article will explain exactly how to conduct one-repetition-maximum testing and suggest ways in which test results can be applied across a range of training objectives.

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

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How To Hip Hinge For Ultimate Performance!

Name: Todd Bumgardner, MS, CSCS

I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard Ronnie Coleman’s classic line echo around the weight room: “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weight.” I’d say the over/under is around a thousand. And the reason is because he’s pretty much right.

Ronnie shouted out the quote when he was about to step under a loaded bar for the squat, but for me, the line especially rings true for the deadlift. This is why I created my twist on Ronnie’s famous line: “Everybody wants to deadlift, but nobody wants to hip hinge correctly.” I find that saying that in my Ronnie voice helps it resonate more powerfully with clients.

Here’s the thing: The deadlift gets overanalyzed by most lifters, which leads to butchered execution. The answer isn’t to memorize every cue that ever helped a pro powerlifter and then try to remember them all when you stand on the platform. The answer, quite simply, is to master the hip hinge first, and then build your deadlift around that strength.

Spend some quality time fortifying your hip hinge—both when you’re starting out and when you’re more advanced—and you’ll spare your back and build a powerful set of hips and legs that will help you in every other lower-body movement. And you’d better believe it’ll help you lift some heavy-ass weight, too.

The Hip Hinge:

It sounds like something your grandma wears to get out of the bath tub, but the hip hinge is actually an important fundamental human movement that everyone should master. The squat may be the so-called “king of lifts,” but the hinge is perhaps more important in the long-term performance and functionality of everyone from elite athletes to physical therapy patients, elderly people seeking more functionality, and every gym-goer in between.

 

Barbell Deadlift

In actual practice, hip hinging means moving the hips through a complete flexion (closing) to extension (opening) cycle, while limiting movement at other joints. It’s a precursor to all lower-body movements, but specifically the deadlift, squat, and most Olympic lifts. Hip hinge mastery isn’t optional to move well with heavy loads—it’s necessary.

Nevertheless, while most people can picture a squat, many have trouble imagining a hip hinge in their mind. So to start, picture a door hinge. The joint in the middle rotates while the side brackets remain rigid. This, in a nutshell, is how hip hinging works. The torso is braced and held rigid on the north side of the hips. Below the border, there’s a relatively stiff lower-body guided by hamstring tension. The only dramatic movement is at the hips.

Hammering Home the Hinge

There are a number of problems that can get in the way of a good hip hinge. Some folks simply have poor hip mobility, which can be caused by a congregation of factors including poor core stability and inflexible hamstrings. Hip capsules can also suffer from excessive tightness.

Meager hip mobility reduces the ability to solidify the hinge and causes the spine and knees to compensate for the lack of movement, which is inefficient and potentially injurious. If your immobility is the real hurdle, a solution beyond the scope of this article is necessary.

However, apart from the raw material issues just mentioned, most trainees are simply never taught how to hinge and need instruction with sound cues. They fail to hinge properly because they can’t understand how to separate movement in the spine from movement in the hips. If that’s the case for you, try these drills to teach spinal awareness; send your butt in the right direction.

1 Cat-camel drill

The cat-camel drill, as taught by Dr. Andreo Spina and his Functional Range Conditioning system, is your starting point.

The key of the drill is to move each spinal segment separately, creating a strong connection between your brain and the peripheral nerves that create spatial awareness. It’s the most effective technique I use to teach the difference between the spine and hips.

Any trainee, regardless of how advanced they are, can benefit from the cat-camel drill.

Cat-Camel Drill
Watch The Video – 00:26

2 Kneeling hip hinge with PVC

After building basic spine and hip awareness, it’s time to begin building the hinge from the ground up with the kneeling hip hinge. Kneeling reduces the amount of moving parts, allowing for an increased focus on torso rigidity and hip movement. The PVC pipe teaches what a neutral spine feels like and how to maintain it.

Kneeling Hip Hinge
Watch The Video – 00:31

3 Standing hip hinge with PVC

Once you’ve got the floor version down, take the kneeling hip hinge to your feet. The wall gives you a marker to hit and measures progress. When you master driving the hips back, step away from the wall and do it in free space. When you master the hip hinge in free space, remove the PVC and maintain a neutral spine.

Standing Hip Hinge
Watch The Video – 00:25

4 Belly swing

Now it’s time to add tension. This exercise comes from legendary strength and track coach Dan John, who calls it the “Bulgarian goat belly swing,” a noble name for an honorable exercise.

You can perform it with a kettlebell, dumbbell, sandbag, or weight plate. Start by taking a deep belly breath, and follow that by bracing your abdominals tightly. When you’re tight, pull the weight firmly into your braced abs. The result is a strong upper back and lat contraction teeming with deadlift power. Then push the hips back like in the butt-to-wall.

Belly Swing
Watch The Video – 00:18

Hip Hinge Programming

All lifters, from steadfast iron devotees to people newly baptized by barbells, can benefit from remedial hinge work. An advanced lifter might not need the same proportion of drill work, but they ignore it at their peril.

This basic template will help you formulate proper hinge form and will get you moving in the right direction with solid back tension, grace, and power. Weight room vets can do well by using this as part of a warm-up or as an off-day recovery method. Newbies should use this in the place of deadlift training until their hinge is strong and confident.

Just remember: Happy hinge, happy deadlift, and happy back.

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About The Author

Todd Bumgardner works as a strength and conditioning coach and manual therapist at Ranfone Training Systems in Hamden, Connecticut.

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How To Hip Hinge For Ultimate Performance!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on How To Hip Hinge For Ultimate Performance!

Barbell Workout

Strong is sexy! Sometimes big heavy metal weights can be a little bit daunting, but combining weight training into your workout will help you burn more calories and tone your body. So bust your fears, check out this barbell workout to get summer ready!

How to do it: Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level.

Beginner: 10 mins

Intermediate: 15 mins

Advanced: 20 mins

Squat (Areas trained: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves)

Technique

–       Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart

–       Bend your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor

–       Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.

Romanian Deadlift (Areas trained: Hamstrings, Lower back, Glutes)

Technique

–       Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs)

–       Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead

–       Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor

–       Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position

Hip Thrust (Areas trained: Glutes, Hamstrings, Core)

Technique

–       Set up with your shoulder blades in with the bend an holding a barbell to your hips.

–       Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor

–       Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to pish your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.

–       Lower; repeat.

Link:

Barbell Workout

Posted in Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Barbell Workout

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 27

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You’ve worked through seven hard leg days in three-and-a-half short weeks. Today, you’ve earned the opportunity to work up to a one-rep max and see how all your hard work has been paying off in strength.

Serious leg days like this were sacred events in Gold’s Gym, and all joking ceased when the weights got heavy. Here’s how Dick Tyler, a journalist for Weider Publications, recalled such a day in his book “The West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.”

“What made the whole scene a little scary was the almost unearthly quiet that seemed to descend. Everyone was concentrating on what they were doing. This was serious business and there would be no useless rapping that night.

“I looked over at Arnold, who was heavily clothed in a sweatsuit. The stains of sweat began to show under the arms and around the chest. Dave [Draper] slapped more plates on the bar. Now it was his turn. Again and again he went down to the full squat position, only to fight to stand. Arnold leaned forward with each rep and counted them out.

Many a bar bent across the back of the great Oak.

“When it seemed Dave would burst if he made one more effort, the Oak would lean even closer to the Bomber and say, ‘You can do it, Dave. You can do it.’

“Then as if in some kind of hypnotic state, the mighty Draper thighs would ram out another rep. ‘Do another one, Dave,’ said Arnold softly, another rep done.

“Then it was Arnold’s turn and he worked until his thighs looked like they would split his pants. There was no resting between the superset, then both Dave and Arnold started doing sissy squat moves on the hack machine. All that could be heard was the clank of Olympic plates and an occasional yell of encouragement.”

Get serious, get your lifting partner, and get to work!

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About The Author

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 27

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint Trainer Day 27

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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Scott Is Encased In Muscle!

QHow did your bodybuilding journey begin?

I became interested in lifting during my sophomore year of high school. I was enrolled in a small Nebraska school that had a bullying problem. After I received a good beating, I decided to get in shape.

I was mentored by gym owner, Kevin Poppe, and fellow student, Mitch McCloskey. They taught me lots and I started focusing my efforts to become bigger and stronger. In a year, I went from 110 to 150 pounds. I also moved to a different state and became interested in powerlifting. I quickly became obsessed with building a stronger bench, squat, and deadlift. After competing in a few USAPL competitions and earning state records in the squat and deadlift, I set powerlifting aside to continue my bodybuilding journey.

I spent the next few years doing bulk and cut diets. At one point, I became an unhealthy 250 pounds and added a significant amount of fat. I became an ISSA certified personal trainer, worked for a few local gyms for six years, and opened my own training studio.

I kept telling myself to compete but didn’t because of my insecurity and uncertainty that I’d be too small, undefined, and wouldn’t look the part.

In 2013, I hired a local prep team, 316fit, to help me compete. I started my diet in March at 197 pounds and competed at 165 pounds a few months later. I placed first in my weight division and second overall at the NPC Heartland Classic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Cool Fact

Scott lost his eye at 11 months old due to retino blastoma, which contributed to his lack of athleticism and increased desire to prove people wrong!

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

The best training regimen I found has been a simple 5/3/1 program that steadily improves bench press, military press, squats, and deadlifts utilizing different percentages over four weekly micro cycles.

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

What supplements gave you the greatest gains?

“Bodybuilding is appealing because you are never done and can always improve.”

How did your passion for bodybuilding emerge?

I’m not a fan of team sports and am not exceptionally athletic. I love that bodybuilding is an individual sport. Bodybuilding is appealing because you’re never done and can always improve.

What or who motivated you to be a bodybuilder?

My biggest motivator is to think of the people who told me I’d never get anywhere lifting. When I first started exercising, I told a few people what I wanted to accomplish and they said it would never happen. I wanted to prove them wrong and show that I have tenacity and willpower to stick through trials and tribulations. Now that I’ve competed, I want to continually improve and show people that I’m unstoppable with a set a goal in mind.

Where did you go for inspiration?

On days when I felt dejected and exhausted from the lack of carbohydrates and nutrients, I watched bodybuilding DVDs for motivation. There are lots of videos on YouTube that I have on queue if I need a boost. I like to follow other lifters on the Bodybuilding.com forums for inspiration and motivation. I look back at my pictures from the beginning for motivation to keep pushing ahead.

“I want to continually improve and show people that I’m unstoppable with a goal in mind.”

What are your future bodybuilding plans?

My plans for the future are to take time off and build muscle before competing. I learned lots during competition preparation. Having a prep team look at my nutrition and tailor it to me was huge. After a hiatus, I plan to compete in a bigger show and see where it goes from there. I would enjoy my love for bodybuilding to eventually help me develop a fitness-based career.

What is the most important bodybuilding tip?

Start with the basics. Compound movements build the most muscle in the shortest period of time. I don’t believe there’s a need for anything crazy or confusing.

Who is your favorite bodybuilder?

My favorite bodybuilder is Dusty Hanshaw. I’ve followed Dusty for years and watched his career flourish into a full-blown enterprise. He makes staggering improvements and I cannot wait to see him earn a pro card. It’s been amazing to watch someone start from the bottom and grind to the top. That type of tenacity is what a bodybuilder needs to get to the top.

How did bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

I utilized Bodybuilding.com when I became interested in the sport and haven’t stopped. The forums are the most resourceful place I found because of the interaction between like-minded individuals. The training videos on Bodybuilding.com are fantastic.

Scott’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “In My Blood” by Black Stone Cherry
  2. “Soulcreek” by Black Stone Cherry
  3. “Hurricane” by Theory Of A Deadman
  4. “Crawling” by Linkin Park
  5. “Giving In” by Adema
Contest History
  • 2013 NPC Heartland Classic – 1st Place Light Heavyweights, 2nd Place Overall
Thanks
  • To Jared Ragsdale and Lucas Woods at 316fit for the competition prep guidance.
  • To my trainers, Carla Jecha and Patrick Cowan, for putting up with my mood swings during competition prep.
  • To my amazing girlfriend, Alexandra Wilson, for painting me with Pro-Tan eight times for the competition.
  • To my amazing clients and family who constantly kept me positive while dieting.


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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Scott Is Encased In Muscle!

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Warm upComments Off on Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Scott Is Encased In Muscle!

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5 Re-Mastered Deadlift Cues To A Better Deadlift

If you watch an inexperienced lifter getting ready to perform a deadlift, you’ll see that they usually look like they’re concentrating very, very hard. This is because they’re trying desperately to remember all the cues they’ve read or heard and make their body follow them in exactly the right order. Yeah, the deadlift is that kind of movement.

Read someone’s lips, and you’ll probably see some of the following:

  • Neutral spine
  • Tucked chin
  • Tight lats
  • Feet in, knees out
  • Full hip extension at the top

These are the classic deadlift cues, and they’re totally legit. Unfortunately, thinking them is not always effective in getting people to do them. Somewhere between the Internet and the platform, a lot can get lost, whether from lack of bodily awareness or simple lack of experience. This can result in you struggling and straining to get that bar up, putting stress where it shouldn’t go, and perhaps hurting yourself in the process.

If you’ve tried to use these classic cues and have gotten nowhere, consider having your workout partner shout some of my re-mastered versions at you instead.

A deadlift is a hip hinge. Unlike a squat, where your knees and hips bend about the same amount, in a hip hinge your hips do most of the bending. Because a hip hinge more greatly resembles the way we bend over and pick up items off the ground, many people consider it the ultimate functional movement.

1

Old Cue
Re-Mastered Cue

Use the logo on your T-shirt as a visual cue: Nike, Adidas, or whatever clever saying you saw on the rack at the thrift shop. If you don’t have a logo, pretend there’s one on your chest. If there’s a person standing in front of you, he or she should be able to read your logo throughout the entire rep.

What does this do? It forces you to keep your chest up, and it keeps you from letting your lower back round over. Both are essential for your safety, but also for accessing every iota of strength you have. When things get heavy, you’ll need it all!

If the person in front of you can read your logo, your chest will be up and your lower back won’t round over.

If you’re more of a physical learner, you could reinforce this position by having someone hold a dowel rod at the three points of contact while you perform your reps. Go slow and light, and make sure you can physically feel the rod at all times. If you can’t, pause and make the corrections before continuing.

2

Old Cue
Re-Mastered Cue

Hips Don’t Lie: 3 Drills To Nail The Hip Hinge

There’s a lot of power stored up in your hips. Learn to harness it, and you’ll enter a new world of strength and athleticism!

The tucked chin will typically take care of itself when you master the unweighted dowel rod drill I outlined in my article about nailing the hip hinge, but it deserves repetition because it’s so important.

Imagine you have a ball under your chin—a tennis ball, let’s say. How are you going to keep that ball in place? You’re going to keep your chin down. This will help fix your eyes on one spot on the floor throughout the entire movement. You shouldn’t be able to see the wall in front of you.

Ball isn’t your thing? You can also bite the collar of your T-shirt for a more tactile reminder.

3

Old Cue
Re-Mastered Cue

Lat tension is crucial for maintaining stability in the deadlift. However, firing up your lats may be one of the harder pointers to master, because it can be difficult to know how to “tell” your lats to activate if you’ve never had to before. And unfortunately, all those lat pull-downs you’ve been doing aren’t enough to make this happen.

Many times, the fix can be as simple as having a workout partner poke you in the lats to remind you where you should be feeling tension. However, sooner or later your buddy will get tired of poking you, and you’ll get tired of getting poked. And even poking isn’t always enough to get everyone to maximize lat tension.

If poking isn’t doing the job, a drill like the band deadlift RNT will help drive home the feeling. To perform it, you’ll need a dowel rod and a resistance band, both of which are usually sitting unused in a gym’s weight room. Todd Bumgardner demonstrates this great drill in the video below:

Teaching Deadlift Lat Tension
Watch The Video – 2:27

Make sure you utilize the hip hinge movement pattern, not a squat, as you perform this drill.

4

Old Cue
Re-Mastered Cue

Make sure that your foot stance is appropriate, such as just outside or just inside shoulder-width.

If your knees are collapsing during a deadlift, first make sure that your foot stance is appropriate. A stance that is too wide almost guarantees that the knees will collapse inward, because they have nowhere else to go. Try adopting a narrower stance, such as bringing your sumo stance to just outside shoulder-width, or a conventional stance just inside shoulder-width.

I recommend spending some time addressing the reasons behind why the knees are caving inward, as Bret Contreras did well in a blog post last year. If it’s a real problem, my go-to method for correcting knee valgus is wrapping a mini-band around the knees. As you perform the deadlift, use the band as a cue to keep your knees straight as you pull the bar, and then maintain that tension in the band as you move back down.

5

Old Cue
Re-Mastered Cue

Too many people who think they’re extending their hips are actually hyperextending their back. No bueno.

The solution: Make it less about hips, and more about glutes. Crack a walnut between your cheeks and hump the bar. In other words, fire your glutes at the top of a deadlift and squeeze with all your might. The end.


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About The Author

Sohee Lee holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Biology from Stanford and is a NSCA certified trainer who loves living a fit life and helping others.

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5 Re-Mastered Deadlift Cues To A Better Deadlift

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on 5 Re-Mastered Deadlift Cues To A Better Deadlift


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