Not only is the deadlift one of CrossFit’s nine foundational movements, but it’s also something that you do every single day. Picking things up is part of daily life. Learning the deadlift’s points of performance will improve your deadlift technique, fitness, strength and quality of life.
Points of Performance: The Deadlift
Some people shy away from deadlifts because they believe the movement is unsafe. Doesn’t deadlifting hurt your back? No, poor deadlift technique hurts your back. The truth is, learning to deadlift properly can actually prevent injuries in the gym and in your everyday life. Nothing is more functional than picking something up off the ground. Focus on these points of performance to improve your deadlift mechanics, build strength and protect your back.
Stance and Starting Position
Set up with feet about hip-width apart, grip outside the legs, and the barbell in contact with the mid-shin. Shoulders should be higher than hips and slightly in front of the bar; hips should be higher than knees. Core is engaged, and the spine (and head) stays in a neutral position.
Drive through the heels as you pull the bar off the ground. The knees move back, and the bar stays in contact with the body while keeping the core tight and engaged.
Full Hip Extension
At the top of the lift, come to full extension at the hips. Knees should be straight, with shoulders slightly behind the bar.
Return to Starting Position
Send the hips back and retrace the same path of movement in reverse. Core remains engaged, spine neutral.
Drill these points of performance with a PVC pipe or light weight to dial in your deadlift technique. And always stick to loads where you’re able to maintain proper mechanics.
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