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Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:06 pm
by KenDowns
My training partner tells me that I can do a ram-rod straight back from set-up to lockout on deadlift, but that by the time i've got the bar lowered down my back is so rounded it's hunchbacked.

As my partner is still learning as much as I am, he was unable to detect exactly where it was going bad, and my kinesthetic sense does not seem to be developed here, since I cannot tell where it begins to go bad.

So I guess I'm asking if there are commonly known mistakes that lead to rounding back on the way down? I'm thinking that at the moment descent begins I must be letting my shoulders go loose, which would be the first step to having posture collapse, then mentally I just want to put the bar down and it all goes to heck. That's my best guess anyway.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:56 pm
by Proper Knob
How do you deadlift? By that i mean do you 'touch and go' as done by Jim Wendler here -

http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/training-log ... 183&tid=63" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

or do you pull from a deadstop a la Jason Pegg as done here -

http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/training-log ... 74&tid=173" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:02 pm
by mark74
Check if you're starting the movement at the knees instead of the hips.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:22 pm
by Jungledoc
You need to start with an arch, and lock your "core" tight throughout the movement. For most people "ramrod straight" isn't neutral, but actually is already flexed.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:41 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
do you wait for the bar to hit your knees before bending them, i.e. Romanian Deadlift it down the first part. (I hope this is not bad advice)
I may be doing the same thing as you, I've ignored form on descent, perhaps

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:46 pm
by jlmoss
From what SS says, on the way down, it should just barely miss your knees as the bar crosses below them. I think your original assessment would be the most logical place to start looking Ken. Laying down on the floor as the SS book describes is a very good way to practice a good kinesthetic sense. I remember reading it the SS book early on and started practicing it myself when you mentioned something about it just recently, I think in your journal. It has helped me out a lot on the squat.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:08 pm
by jml
Soften (slightly unlock) your knees, then push your butt back (bend at the hips) until it gets to your knees (like an RDL), then bend at your knees as well to set it all the way down.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:29 pm
by KenDowns
@knob: I aim to do it like Wendler, inasmuch as he does not seem to need a reset -- he hits bottom with perfect form to start up again. Pegg drops it and doesn't seem to care about how he goes down, I feel like I'm doing that but I don't want to.

@mark: I begin descent by breaking only at the hips, but the bar only goes down an inch or two before I break the knees. I think this is wrong because it is not the opposite up the lift, where knees and hips lock simultaneously.

@jlmoss: Yup, the laying on the floor thing I've really only used for lower back, but he points out it works to give a sense of upper as well.

@Doc: By an arch do you mean the normal curve of the upper back when you are standing up straight? Is the curve I see in the Wendler video posted by knob what you mean? If so, I'll show the Wendler video to my training partner and ask him to compare me to that.

I'll tape tomorrow's session and post it, that might make things easier.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:30 am
by KPj
Oscar_Actuary wrote:do you wait for the bar to hit your knees before bending them, i.e. Romanian Deadlift it down the first part. (I hope this is not bad advice)
I may be doing the same thing as you, I've ignored form on descent, perhaps
This is great advice.

I teach people RDL's before I teach to pull from the floor. Basically, for the same reason that I use Goblet squats before back squats - easier to teach, easier to learn, plus the transition to back squat/DL is really straight forward.

Problems lowering the bar are actually quite common. I think it's because to get down there correctly you need to think of pushing the hips BACK, where as, at first, in your head, you think about lowering the bar DOWN. Therefore, you just put it down without much thought, really.

What actually happens is bending the knees too early, which means you need to shoot the bar out in front of you to stop it hitting your knees. Since you're holding a heavy bar and can't "front raise" it, your body needs to change to allow you to clear the knees. So your weight shifts forward a little and back rounds to make it happen.

The answer is not bending the knees until the bar clears them. RDL's are great for teaching this.

KPj

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:23 am
by mark74
KenDowns wrote:@mark: I begin descent by breaking only at the hips, but the bar only goes down an inch or two before I break the knees.
Tight hamstrings?

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:53 pm
by KenDowns
I made a few videos and tried to stitch them together and had some trouble, will try one more time before leaving it to tomorrow...

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:30 am
by hoosegow
Just drop the bar - problem solved.

Re: Shoulders and Back during deadlift descent

Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:26 pm
by Jungledoc
hoosegow wrote:Just drop the bar - problem solved.
You mean you don't time your eccentric carefully in order to maintain a proper tempo? I'm shocked.