Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 6 of 365: Upping Your Deadlift IQ - Pt.2

Alright.  You now know how to set yourself up in a solid position to perform a deadlift, right?.  You should also know that you need to create peak tension in the "system" before you initiate the pull...right?  Good!
Now that that is all clear, we are going to detail the actual lift and what it goes on as we stand up with the barbell!
Yesterday, we started to hit on the fact that once the tension is created, the next step is the initiation of  the "leg press" response as we maintain our tight and rigid body line.  Sounds pretty simple, right?  Well, it is if you practice perfect pulls enough, and if you know what muscle groups are doing what and when, so let's talk about that...
Knowing the primary muscles involved in the deadlift is more important than you might think, so ask yourself, "Do I know the role of the hamstrings....quads....glutes?"  IF the answer is, "Yes", than you can stop reading right now.  But, if you aren't really on!

First, let's define the primary actions of the each of the muscles listed above.
  • Hamstrings: Flexion of the knee, and extension of the hip.
  • Quads: Knee Extension, partially responsible for hip flexion.
  • Glutes: Hip Extension
Hip Extension
Knee Flexion...Knee Extension

Now that we are clear, it should make this discussion a bit easier.
Getting back to the deadlift...the initial lift off the floor is caused by our hamstrings being strong enough to stabilize our pelvis so that the quads can do their jog; knee extension.  This is where the "leg press" idea comes in. IF the hamstrings don't do their job, the quads will still do theirs, causing the famous, "stripper-pole-deadlift".  NOT what we want!

So, now we know the hammies and quads have a very important roles to play in the early phase of the deadlift, but as we progress through the movement, the roles and responsibilities change.  Once the bar starts to move, and passes the approximate level of the knees, the quads are almost done doing anything other than maintaining the work that has been accomplished.  This is the case until the very end of the lift, where we now must straighten the legs to complete the lift.  The hamstring, on the other hand, now becomes more active in the sense that they are now teaming up with the glutes to execute hip extension!  This "power couple" basically allows us to stand tall with the weight, as long as our back(our entire back) is doing it's job of staying rigid and tight.

That's pretty much it.  Hahaha!  A lot more to the deadlift than you thought, huh?
That's you know, and now you can become even stronger through your deadlift know-how.