Deadlift Back Extension? Deadlift Back Extension?

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Thread: Deadlift Back Extension?

  1. #1
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    Default Deadlift Back Extension?

    Hey Rip, I asked this on the main forum but no one seemed to be able to give me a solid answer, so I was hoping your vast pool of experience may be able to shed some light on this for me.

    I have had a few people I know ask me for help on deadlifting, and I put them through the basic deadlift set up. However a recurrent theme I am running into is that they do not seem flexible enough to get into the correct position and then put their back into extension without dropping their hips.

    Now, I am wondering if this is generally a flexibility problem, or something wrong with my ability to cue. "Chest to the wall" doesn't seem to help enough.

    They often feel tempted to drop their hips lower to get into extension, but with any weight on the bar when they attempt to pull the hips will just rise until they get in a mechanically efficient spot and then we are back to square one anyway.

    If this is a flexibility issue, are there any specific hamstring stretches that seem useful. And if it isn't, what is usually done to fix this?

  2. #2
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    When the hips drop, the hamstrings slack due to the closing of the knee angle. This obviously makes it easier to extend the lumbar, but it has shoved the bar forward of the mid-foot. We have found that 1.) knees out in step 3, 2.) getting the lifter off his toes in step 4, and 3.) a couple of sets' warmup effect corrects the problem 95% of the time.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    When the hips drop, the hamstrings slack due to the closing of the knee angle. This obviously makes it easier to extend the lumbar, but it has shoved the bar forward of the mid-foot. We have found that 1.) knees out in step 3, 2.) getting the lifter off his toes in step 4, and 3.) a couple of sets' warmup effect corrects the problem 95% of the time.
    Thanks Rip. Am I correct in thinking that, the more the knees are pushed out in step 3, the lower the hips can drop while keeping the bar over the middle of the foot? Also, should, similar to the squat, an effort to be made to always keep the knees in line with the toes (so shoving the knees out should be predeced by pointing the toes out more than usual?).

    Is there a general stance angle that you recommend in this situation? As from what I am aware the general recommendation is just to point the toes "very slightly out", which doesn't seem compatible with this fix. Though I may just be being retarded.

  4. #4
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    You are correct, toes are pointed out more than very slightly. This allows the knees to drop out into the correct position. I can't find the poster text right now, but it's been posted here before and one of you clever people can find it for him.

  5. #5
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    something wrong with my ability to cue. "Chest to the wall" doesn't seem to help enough.
    Useful cues are...useful. Squeeze the chest up (having them do this in a standing position first) may help more than 'chest to the wall' (I have no idea what this means.) Addressing individual anthropometry is also necessary (toes out more for longer femurs, slightly wider grip for short arms, etc.) However; I cannot remember a time in our seminars or at WFAC when we can't get someone squeezed up into proper position during or after warm ups.

    I coached someone in Southern Canadiana with an extreme kyphosis who could get squeezed up when properly yelled at. He didn't like it, but he did it.

    jp

  6. #6
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    Default Deadlift poster

    I copied this to a word document, just so I would never lose it. Thanks for posting the thing in the first place. I've found it helpful.

    Here is the copy from the poster we have up here in the gym:


    The Deadlift: Perfect Every Time



    1. Take your stance, feet a little closer than you think it needs to be and with your toes out more than you like. Your shins should be about one inch from the bar, no more. This places the bar over the mid-foot the whole foot, not the mid-instep.

    2. Take your grip on the bar, leaving your hips up. DO NOT MOVE THE BAR.

    3. Drop your knees forward and out until your shins touch the bar. DO NOT MOVE THE BAR.

    4. Hard part: squeeze your chest up as hard as you can. DO NOT MOVE THE BAR. This establishes a "wave" of extension that goes all the way down to the lumbar, and sets the back angle from the top down. DO NOT LOWER YOUR HIPS LIFT THE CHEST TO SET THE BACK ANGLE.

    5. Squeeze the bar off the floor and drag it up your legs in contact with your skin/sweats until it locks out at the top. If you have done the above sequence precisely as described, the bar will come off the ground in a perfectly vertical path. All the slack will have come out of the arms and hamstrings in step 4, the bar will not jerk off the ground, and your back will be in good extension. You will perceive that your hips are too high, but if you have completed step 4 correctly, the scapulas, bar, and mid-foot will be in vertical alignment and the pull will be perfect. The pull will seem "shorter" this way.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjangelo View Post
    I copied this to a word document, just so I would never lose it. Thanks for posting the thing in the first place. I've found it helpful.
    I have big feet and when the bar is over my midfoot it is more like 3-4 inches from shin. So which cue should I go for? An inch from the shin or midfoot?

  8. #8
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    Your mid-foot is always about an inch from your shin. Even with big feet, if you think your mid-foot is 4" forward of your shin you're looking at the middle of your forefoot, not the WHOLE foot.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Your mid-foot is always about an inch from your shin. Even with big feet, if you think your mid-foot is 4" forward of your shin you're looking at the middle of your forefoot, not the WHOLE foot.
    Well I don't want to e argumentative or try your patience, but even looking at the picture on page 137 of your book where the bar is over the mid foot, that looks at least 2-3 inches from the shin.

  10. #10
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    I think the perspective of the photo is confusing you. Trust me on this: the bar will be 1" forward of your vertical shin.

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