Cool Deadlift Tip – Best Way To Lockout the Deadlift
Cool Deadlift Tip
Best Way To Lockout the Deadlift
One of the biggest mistakes when I see someone trying to perform deadlifts is over pulling the lockout. Nine times out of ten it is just a form issue. But sometimes it is a strength issue. They aren’t strong enough to lockout the weight without losing their neutral lower back position (bracing while maintaining the natural arch in their lower back) which causes them to round their back. If you remember my popular “How to Deadlift Without Wrecking Your Back” video, you’ll know that there is a very specific technique once you start the second pull.
The second pull is defined as the phase once the lifter reaches their knees. In the beginning, the lifter is just focusing on locking the weight out instead of forcibly contracting the right muscle groups to finish the movement. In the end, tension is lost at the lockout when they try to “regroup” after the pull and they “relax” OR the pull is done too far just because they don’t know any better.
Over Pulling the Lockout
The lifter typically ends up finishing the movement by hyperextending their lower back and relaxing their upper back (rounding forward) at the lockout. Again, this is sometimes a form issue where they over pull the movement and they don’t know how to keep full body tension throughout the entire duration of the movement.
Tension must be maintained through the breathing and bracing. Not only taking the tension out of the bar before the movement is started, but transferring this tension throughout the arms into the lats, down the spinal erectors and across the hips, glutes and hamstring.s
Once movement is engaged, do not think about pulling, but rather pushing the ground away.
Locking Out the Weight
Once the barbell reaches the knees, the lifter should only think one thing.
“Straighten My Body Out”
That is it. You are still pulling the weight but it is a coordination with extending the hips. The pull for most people becomes dominant. When in fact, like I said, it is a coordination of both. By focusing on the hips, in addition to the pull, the lifter can immediately improve their lockout. Everything begins with tension and ends with tension. This tension starts with taking the “slack” out of the barbell before the movement even begins and it ends when the bar is back on the floor; NOT at lockout.
Once the bar gets past the knees, the lifter should forcefully contract their glutes and hamstrings while bracing the spinal erectors and abdominals. The head should be in neutral (i.e. in line with the spine) and the body should lock into place.
Supplemental Exercises to Improve Lockout
By Smitty on January 30th, 2011
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