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Progression for a better deadlift


Continuing the idea of the last article (“Progression to a better squat”), we are moving forward to another key movement.

In order to avoid any discomfort caused by an incorrect execution or using a heavy load we need to get over our ego and focus on learning the hip hinge pattern using the 5 regressions below.

The hinge movement is one of the most common ones, both in sport or real life and can be executed in two ways: bilateral (on two legs, i.e deadlifts), and unilateral (only on one leg) – these can be performed using dumbbells, kettlebells or even elastic bands. The deadlift is a key part of any training program due to its importance when talking about strength, power, muscular hypertrophy or improving postural deficiencies. Mobility and each person's anatomic characteristics need to be taken into consideration when creating a training program as they influence their biomechanics.

When talking about deadlifting we mostly refer to the conventional or sumo deadlifts and both options come with their advantages and disadvantages.

The conventionals deadlifts require a higher range of motion (ROM) and a better mobility which might be difficult for a tall athlete or a person with mobility restrictions. This exercise has higher flexion degree of the hip, this increases the stress on the lumbar spine. The posterior muscles (hamstrings & erector spinae muscles) are engaged, which has a better hypertrophy effect than the sumo deadlifts.

Doing the sumo deadlift, reduces the stress on the spine as range of motion is reduced and the trunk is almost vertical. In this movement the focus is on the adductors and quads, while the erector spinae muscles are involved less.

In order to avoid injuries and choose the most suitable option for everyone we have presented 5 examples that will help consolidating the basic hip hinge movement.

1. Dowel Hip hinge:

This is suitable for athlets that have difficulties in keeping their back in a neutral position during the descent. Using the stick, restricts us to stay in the correct position, as the lumbar, torso and the back of the head need to be in permanent contact with it and so we can focus on the coordination of the hip hinge and the knee flexion (the tibia has to stay perpendicular on the ground).

2. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift:

As the load is anterior positioned the movement must start at a hip level in order to keep the load as close to the body as possible, until the wrist reaches the knee area. This engages the latissimus dorsi for a better stability, while the hamstrings and glute muscles are the agonist muscles. This movement is easier than the one with the barbell as a smaller load is used and the ROM is reduced - which helps in consolidating the hip hinge due to the minimum knee movement.

3. Dumbbell elevated deadlift:

It’s time to move forward and start the lift at the ground level. The dumbbell should be placed on top of 2 discs so that the distance between the ground and the final position is shorter, reducing the risk to compensate the lack of mobility or bad technique by curving the spine or any other part.

We can use a heavier load as soon as we control the first 2 exercises, this has a better response in terms of muscular hypertrophy.

4. Trap bar deadlift:

Having the body up right and the load closer to the center of mass reduces the stress applied to the lumbar spine. Therefore, the load used can be increased which helps in building strength and muscles with the effect of increasing the spine stability during movements. The main muscles engaged are the quads and the upper trapezius muscles.

5. Elevated deadlift:

The main characteristics of the movement are similar to the elevated dumbbell movement, the main difference being the fact that the barbell is situated in front of us which engages more the spinal extensors.

The main highlight when talking about deadlifts is that the movement starts with the leg muscles contraction (“pushing the ground away”) followed by the contraction of the glutes for the hip extension.

Hopefully after going through this article you will go a step back and check whether you can execute correctly all the above regressions before jumping back to classic or sumo DLs.

Lift big because "Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general" Mark Rippetoe


Cum ziceam si in articolul anterior "progression to a better squat" pentru a evita orice disconfort creat de o executie gresita sau de folosirea unei greutati mult prea mari trebuie sa lasam ego-ul deoparte si ne concetram pe invatarea miscarii de flexie-extensie a bazinului (hip hinge) folosindu-ne de 5 regresii pe care o sa le vedeti putin mai jos.

Miscarea de flexie-extensie este una dintre cele mai folosite miscari in sport dar si in viata de zi cu zi si poate fii executata in multe moduri: bilateral(aici se incadreaza si clasicele indreptari), unilateral(pe un singur picior) iar ca si incarcatura pentru ambele variante putem folosi gantere, kettlebell-uri chiar si benzi elastice. Aceasta miscare isi are locul in orice program de antrenament datorita importantei sale atunci cand vorbim de forta generala, putere, hipertrofie si corectarea deficientelor posturale. Cand obiectivul este executia corecta, trebuie sa luam in calcul constructia anatomica a fiecaruia si mobilitatea, lucruri ce influenteaza biomecanica in momentul introducerii lor in planul de antrenament.

Atunci cand vorbim de indreptari cu bara ne gandim la cele clasice si sumo deadlifts, ambele variante avand atat avantaje cat si dezavantaje.

Indreptarile clasice necesita o amplitudine a miscarii mai mare si o mobilitate mai buna, lucru mai dificil atunci cand vorbim de o persoana inalta sau cu restrictii de mobiliate. Avand unghiul de flexie al bazinului mai mare, presiunea aplicata zonei lombare este crescuta. Datorita pozitiei, musculatura posterioara (femuralii, erectorii spinali) este solicitata lucru ce are un efect hipertrofic mai bun decat in cazul indreptarilor sumo. Pe de alta parte cele sumo, unde picioarele sunt departate au o amplitudine a miscarii redusa, in plus pozitia aproape verticala a trunchiului reduce stresul aplicat coloanei. Aici activitatea musculara este predominanta in zona cvadricepsilor, adductorilor si mai putin asupra erectorilor.

Pentru a evita aceste probleme sau pentru a putea alege o varianta care ni se potriveste, am prezentat 5 exemple pentru a ne ajuta sa invatam miscarea ce sta la baza lor: hip hinge (flexia-extensia trunchiului)

1. Dowel Hip hinge:

Potrivit pentru o persoana care are probleme de coordonare si in mentinerea unei pozitii neutre a spatelui in timpul flexiei. Datorita batului ce ne obliga sa avem o pozitie corecta (zona lombara,toracala si partea posterioara a capului sa fie in permanenta in contact cu batul) ne putem concentra pe coordonarea dintre flexia soldului si cea a genunchilor (tibia trebuie sa ramana perpedinculara pe sol).

2. Dumbbell romanian deadlift:

Avand greutatea aplasata anterior trebuie sa incepem miscarea din zona bazinului pentru a tine greutatea cat mai aproape de corp, pana cand incheietura mainii ajunge in zona genunchilor. Aceasta influenteaza si activitatea marelui dorsal pentru o mai buna stabilizare, in timp ce muschii agonisti sunt femuralii si fesierii. Varianta mai usoara decat cea cu haltera deoarece putem folosi o incarcatura mai mica iar amplitudinea miscarii redusa ne ajuta in consolidarea hip-hinge-ului datorita miscarii minime la nivelul genunchilor.

3. Dumbbell eleveted deadlift:

E timpul sa incepem miscarea ridicand greutatea de pe sol. Prin amplasarea ganterei pe 2 discuri reducem distanta parcursa intre sol si pozitia finala, astfel scade riscul de a compensa lipsa mobilitatii sau a tehnicii prin curbarea altor zone ale corpului ex: zona lombara sau toracala. Putem folosi o greutate mai mare daca stapanim primele 2 variante, lucru ce ajuta atunci cand urmarim hipertrofia musculara.

4. Trap bar deadlift:

Avand pozitia trunchiului mai dreapta si incarcatura situata aproape de centrul nostru de greutate reducem stresul aplicat zonei lombare. Acestea ne permit ca greutatea pe care o ridicam sa fie mai mare, lucru ce influenteaza cresterea fortei si implicit intarirea muschilor ce au ca scop principal stabilizarea coloanei in miscare. Muschii principali recrutati sunt: cvsdricepsii si partea superioara a trapezului

5. Elevated deadlift:

Avem aceleasi caracteristici ca si la dumbbell eleveted DL insa trebuie sa luam in considerare pozitia halterei care este situata inaintea noastra (deasupra mijocului piciorului) lucru ce solicita mai mult zona lombara. Ce este necesar sa stim atunci cand executam o indreptare cu haltera sau cu orice tip de incarcatura este ca miscarea incepe prin contractia picioarelor ("impingem solul departe de noi") urmata de extensia trunchiului prin contractia fesierilor.

Sper ca dupa ce ai citit acest articol sa te dai un pas in spate si sa vezi daca poti executa corect toate regresiile prezentate inainte sa treci la executia cu haltera.

Lift big because "Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general" Mark Rippetoe


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