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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:49 AM   #1
Blair Robert Lowe
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Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

Today besides the GB WOD was set to be my DL BB day. I did notice, I can't remember which set but when I kept my head in alignment with my spine, I could the weight more in my lower back then when I kept my head up ( which would actually be out of alignment with the spine ).

I'm thinking the head up just secures my spine to be more rigid, more tight but not exactly sure. I definitely prefer it this way as I was a bit concerned about my lower back today since my lower right side of my back took quite a bit of mobility and stretching to loosen up ( lots of hip circles and sideways straddle swings on rings besides just pike swings on PB and rings to loosen up that lumbar and some floor wipers to pop my back ).
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:05 AM   #2
Sara Fleming
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

I find when I am coaching the deadlift that if I do not instruct people to keep their head up, their chest caves and their back rounds.

The rounding of the back "exposes" if you will, more surface area of the back. What is going on is the back muscles are becoming elongated instead of contracted and this is basically requiring that you contract more muscles as you lift.

Therefore, as you deadlift, you are not only having to contract your glutes and hamstrings and some of your erector spinae, you now have to add a lot back exertion before you even get to the weight lifting part. It usually looks like a bit of a jerk when the weight is heavy.

So, in my experience, head up keeps chest up which keeps back from rounding. My affiliate owner makes fun of me because I like to draw a dot on the wall with chalk for our clients to look at to remember keep their heads up when I'm teaching the deadlift.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
Gabriel desGarennes
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

NO NO NO. Chin tucked, NO head up. Look, find another cue for chest up, it is not nesecary to look up for chest up
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
Frank Dennis
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel desGarennes View Post
NO NO NO. Chin tucked, NO head up. Look, find another cue for chest up, it is not nesecary to look up for chest up
Why keep the chin tucked, are you expecting to take a shot to the face while deadlifting?

Seriously, I've not heard this before. I don't actively keep my head up while DLing, I focus on keeping the back tight and my head seems to just fall into spinal alignment. My coach hasn't corrected my form in this aspect, I've had no pain and my loads keep increasing.

Am I doing something wrong, is this a simply a preference, or am I doing what you use this cue for? When I think "chin tucked," I think like a fighter, closing the space between your chin and neck as much as humanly possible.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:01 AM   #5
Sara Fleming
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

When I say "head up", I'm thinking "look forward" as opposed to down at the floor. I also use the cue "chest up", but that doesn't always work for all people. I would never instruct someone to look up at the ceiling. Maybe something has been lost in translation here. Blair asked specifically about heads, not chests.

When my folks look down at the floor, their backs round, their chests cave in, and their form is lost, they lose their balance, all kinds of bad things happen. They tend to do this when they fatigue. The key to maintaining good form a lot of times, in my experience, is fixing that gaze as it is the front end of the spine.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:02 AM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

I think of holding a ball with my chin, this pretty much assure neutral head position.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
Gabriel desGarennes
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

Yeah sara, i thought u meant look up. I find telling someone to tuck the chin allows them to have a neutral gaze ( nto directly down but like 9 feet out and down) and still squeeze their chest up.

What we can agree on is that noone wants you to crane your neck backwards.

Is someone has trouble with the chest up que, stand them up and show them the chest up position. Then bend them over and have them squeeze their chest up.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:32 PM   #8
Donald Lee
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

I'm pretty sure having your head up helps with having the proper arch in your back because of some neuromuscular phenomenon. As long as you're not hyperextending your neck, I don't see a problem with having your head up.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:29 PM   #9
Ryan Jones
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

Keep your spine straight from your arse to the top of your head, don't look up, don't look down, use whatever cues you need to do so.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Head up in DL vs Head neutral in alignment in DL.

the top of my head is flat and my gaze is horizontal. this is pretty common what you'll see many CF'ers DL.

this is old, from last year and hopefully my snatch still isn't that bad. it's also how I pretty much DL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwl2Fab9dmM

w/f safe. probably has some pretty crappy music in the background.

maybe I'll have to thumb through SS again. honestly, so long as my back doesn't hurt, I could care less. I waddle around enough after heavy DL that I don't feel like walking like a hunchback today.
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