Lowering the Deadlift and Wednesday’s WOD.


So yesterday, we did heavy Deadlifts and one of the most common faults that we see is a curved (not arched)  back…especially on the way down, but after it starts it usually continues. Here is a little description of a proper return from the top of a Dead.

The Forgotten Part of the Deadlift
The lift doesn’t stop when the bar is at the top. CrossFitting chiropractor John Zimmer provides advice on how to properly deadlift to avoid injury.
By John Zimmer    December 2011

Think about it. Chances are, when you pick something up, you are inevitably also going to have to put it down. When you drop the bar from the locked out position at the top of the Dead, you miss out on a whole lot opportunity to build muscle endurance, conditioning and increase work output. “CrossFit prides itself on its training methods having athletic transferability, and learning how to properly set down a heavy weight has far more practical application than dropping it from the waist.

“Expending the energy to control the descent of the bar to the floor may not only save time, but it may also save energy. Our muscles have more eccentric strength than they do concentric strength. They can bear a load about 10-40 percent greater when contracting while being lengthened (the eccentric phase) than they can when contracting while being shortened (the concentric phase). Expending a small amount of energy to control the descent of the bar to the floor might yield a greater return in terms of the advantages gained by the stretch-shortening cycle and from elasticity of the plates in contact with the floor from the touch-and-go method during high reps. However, the lifter should not use the arms, shoulders or hip flexors to accelerate the bar to the floor in an attempt to bounce the bar off the ground.
The stretch reflex can be an advantage at the end of a controlled descent. The hip extensors and the hamstrings are being stretched as the bar reaches the floor. That can be used as a pre-stretch to then contract the hip extensors and hamstrings as the lifter takes advantage of the touch- and-go of the bar from the floor. This should be a controlled descent to the floor with anticipation of the floor and the beginning of the next rep. The quicker the transition from the eccentric phase to the concentric phase, the more energy is available for the concentric contraction. This is true for high-rep deadlifts, for the dip and drive beginning a push-press or jerk, or in a countermovement arm swing before a max-height jump.”…

If you’ve ever been to a competition when deadlifts for reps are involved, chances are you’ve seen the old “bend and bounce.” The lifter begins the return by bending at the waist, keeping the legs straight, and reaching with the arms. This pulls the shoulders toward the floor and the chest down and forward, and it rounds the low back. At best, subsequent lifts look like a series of straight-legged deadlifts. This movement puts greater strain on the smaller muscles in the low back and hamstrings, rather than the bigger muscle groups such as the glutes and hip extensors. At worst, the next rep looks like the Hunchback of Notre Dame starting a lawnmower.”

A proper return is as follows: Keep the chest up and the weight back on the heels.
Reach the butt back. The return should be hip initiated, similar to the hip initiation to begin a squat.
The lats stay activated to keep the bar close to the body and over the center of gravity.
Keep reaching the butt back until the bar clears the knees.
Once the bar clears the knees, the knees come forward as the bar is lowered.
Ideally, the lifter finishes in a strong pulling position to begin the next lift.

So…there you go! How and why to control the bar on the way down  and also how to do it!!!

That being said any comments on what these guys doing right and/or wrong in these photo??? Are they lifting or lowering?



For Wednesday:

5 rounds for time of

8KB Seated Press

10 Scorpions

12 Rollouts

14 Jerks (115/85)



Hmmm…thinking these are both pics of a DL being lowered. If the first photo was of a lift, then his hips would already be more forward considering placement of bar above knees..or maybe there would be more blurring in the photo because we have to pop our hips forward so quickly. It looks like Phil is doing the “push butt back” thing in order to start lowering the bar. The second pic is likely lowering the bar, too, because of the incorrect form (curved back)….you couldn’t possibly lift that much weight with your back like that.

Total guesswork on my part.

Comment by Alexis B — January 10, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

Mobility WOD