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Joseph Shreckhise 12-07-2008 12:32 PM

Deadlift form
I was in at the gym at my college the other day putting my girlfriend through a workout. She weighs about 135 and was doing 95lb deadlifts. The WOD was scaled down from one I saw from the exercise demos, 10 DL and 10 push-ups 10 rounds for time. She is a college athlete (swimmer) and I made the assumption that she was proficient at the deadlift. After lifting the weight several times her back began to round, bad. We dropped the weight down by 20lbs and she did several more reps and the same thing happened. We dropped it down again so she was lifting 65lbs and her back was still rounding. After the workout we did a couple of reps with the dow and she was able to maintain her lumbar curve and hold a consistent back angle until after the weight passed her knees. She went back to the bar and tried it and her back rounded out again. I read Ripptoe's article on the analysis of the deadlift and I think it could be either her hamstrings and glutes aren't strong enough to hold her hips down or her lower back isn't strong enough to lock her spine in ideal position.


Camille Lore 12-07-2008 12:44 PM

Re: Deadlift form
Using bumpers?

Joseph Shreckhise 12-07-2008 12:54 PM

Re: Deadlift form
yep, the plate diameter isn't the problem

Robert Callahan 12-07-2008 01:10 PM

Re: Deadlift form
Sadly being a college athlete does not equate to proficiency at basic strength exercises. In fact most college athletes have very poor if any strength program and are good because of natural talent not their training. I played Div-I water polo and while our team swam a lot for conditioning and were reasonably fast, in the weight room they were rather deficient. Water sports in particular tend to have a lot of weaknesses that do not come through in the pool.

So you are probably right, she has very large weaknesses. If you want to improve her preformance I would start with a basic strength program so that she can develop the muscle that she lacks and be able to do decently heavy DL, Squats, and Presses.


Joseph Shreckhise 12-07-2008 01:17 PM

Re: Deadlift form
Thanks for the advice. Do you have a specific program in mind. I've heard good things about starting strength but don't know much about it. Also, is this something she could correct while doing Crossfit training (while avoiding the lifts that could potentially cause problems) or do you think Crossfit should be something to pursue only after a certain level of strength has been acquired? This would seem problematic as I'm sure affiliates probably have some members who have never workout before?

Joseph Shreckhise 12-07-2008 01:24 PM

Re: Deadlift form
I'm also a college athlete, a wrestler, and I guess our strength and conditioning program is more all-encompassing. We DL, clean, front squat, back squat etc. That could have been a reason for my assumption I guess. Come to think of it though, we nearly completely avoid going overheaed because of the stress that wrestling already puts on your shoulders. We are limited to more rehabilitative excercises like lateral raises and empty can raises and don't get to do anything fun like snatches or OH squat.

Robert Callahan 12-07-2008 01:28 PM

Re: Deadlift form
I would highly recommend the Starting Strength program, or something similar. You could do the WODs and just scale the weight way back in order to work on form, but the gains from this will take much longer.

Several of the affiliates I have encountered actually start people with a basic strength program, or at least a couple days a week of one, in order to get their strength up before jumping into full WODs. After all CF is not just met-cons, it is a strength and conditioning program also.

Either way if you do not have it already, order Starting Strength. It will be worth every penny.


Edit: just saw your second post


Originally Posted by Joseph Shreckhise (Post 464270)
Come to think of it though, we nearly completely avoid going overheaed because of the stress that wrestling already puts on your shoulders.

If it puts stress on the shoulder, all the more reason to have strong shoulders to sustain it! Maybe don't do the over head work in season, but off season is the time to get them strong!!!! And that weight rutine does not sound like most college strength programs I have encountered, you are lucky you have such a solid program! :)

Joseph Shreckhise 12-07-2008 01:41 PM

Re: Deadlift form
I'll have to check that program out then. I guess the "foundations" classes a lot of affiliates are offering are just that, a basic strength/form program. I agree with your comment on shoulders. In fact I sent my S&C coach an article about the neccessity of going OH from the Crossfit journal. Its the one explaining how the trapezius should be contracted to pull the acromian process away from the soft tissues as well as the benefits of OH lifts. He said we might do some snatches and jerks after season but this is my last year so I'll be a full time Crossfitter by then!

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