By STEVE KPA
If you are reading this article, chances are you enjoy or are forced to enjoy the practice of picking up heavy objects and putting them back down on a regular basis. It’s a simple task that you as a Crossfitter perform almost daily, even outside the gym. Benchmark WODs such as Diane, Grace, and Elizabeth all possess a deadlift movement. Herein, however, lies the problem: habituation has reinforced oversight of the crucial set-up.
What is a deadlift?
As defined by Wikipedia.com, a deadlift is a weightlifting movement where a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground from a stabilized, bent over position into a fully upright position.
Why are deadlifts important to CrossFit?
Aside from the obvious high volume and high intensity practice of this lift in CrossFit, the deadlift actually serves a purpose separate of being an excuse to grunt like a caveman or hog all the bumper plates. It is an exercise essential to strength, movement, and stability.
Also, both the highly-advanced Olympic lifts (clean & jerk and snatch) are a staple in CrossFit. These high-velocity lifts are posterior chain intensive, making the deadlift a crucial part of any strength-building phase leading into an Olympic lifting cycle or program.
Since both the starting and finishing position of the deadlift are the same, it is vital that the set-up is properly executed in order to obtain the optimal benefit of the lift and to prevent the chances of injury.
What is the proper set-up position to begin the deadlift?
- Setting up too far from or too close to the barbell;
- Rounded lower back;
- Starting in a full squat position (hips are too low);
- Starting with little to no bend in the knees (hips are too high);
- Looking down;
- Failure to breathe properly (not engaging the abdominals).