Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Deadlift

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[Daughter Jennifer, who lives and trains in
Austria, demonstrates the Exercise of the Month, the Deadlift.]

Can there be a more basic power lift than the deadlift? You bend, grasp a weight and stand up with it, a simple, direct power move requiring overall body strength. Yes, there are some things to know about proper form, but let’s not get overly analytical, either.

Before we begin, note that in the video Jennifer is working with well over 200 pounds (she has been training all her life). If you are a beginner, and especially if you are woman beginner, or if you are unfamiliar with the lift — start with a much more moderate weight. Then train for awhile to get used to the lift before putting yourself to any sort of power lifting test.

Here’s how to do it

Stand behind the barbell at your shins; feet at shoulder about width apart, or slightly wider; hands just outside your legs. Now, looking straight ahead, bend equally at the waist and knees, a bit like sitting down and back into a chair; grasp the bar with an alternate over/under grip.

Keep your back flat (not hunched over), abs tight. Take a breath and then exhale as you straighten your knees and push your hips forward to stand, always keeping the bar close to your shins. Hold for a second in the full standing position; then, with control, bend at the knees and waist to return to the beginning of the lift. Breathe throughout the movement — but stay tight.

To start, use a weight that allows you to complete 8 to 10 reps. Eventually, you may want to test yourself, to see how much you can lift for one rep. Let that come later. For now, practice your form so that it becomes second nature. In the process, enjoy the strength increases in your back, hips, legs, and grip.

1 comment:

Dawg said...

Jennifer could benefit from slightly elevating the bar. Perhaps simply by using Olympic sized plates or by putting a couple of plates under the bar. The reason why is that even though her form is almost spot on during most of the lift her back seems to be slightly rounding in the bottom position.

Cheers and nice blog!