The Deadlift. Developes a butt of steel and vice-like grip.

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The mighty deadlift.  Leads to a mighty strong bottom and walnut cracking hand strength.  Works all the muscles down the back of the body, from the back of the neck to the heels.  Whilst in Phoenix recently, I had a short training session on the deadlift with Nathan Baxter, the 5th strongest man in the world.  And Mark Rippentoe above says pretty much the same thing.

  • Feet the width apart as if you are going to jump up in the air.  Toes forwards.
  • The bar runs across the top of the arches of your feet, so stand about 1″ back from the bar, not where your toes are as some on youtube are advocating.
  • Tip from the hips, strongly lifting the bottom up and away from the heels.  Iit is worth getting to grips with an excellent Romanian deadlift first.
  • Grasp the bar and roll your shoulders back.  Rippetoe says to strongly expand your chest.  Essentially, both mean you must engage the lats and mid traps.  As you do this, the slack will be taken out of the bar and it nearly leaves the floor.  Keep your upper back tight, so the spine is very long.  Any rounding of the back will result in your local chiropractor getting a little wealthier.
  • As you engage the upper back, the knees will bend a little bit and the bar be moving towards the shins.
  • Take a big belly breath in.
  • Stand up as if on a leg press.  Push the whole world away with your feet.  The bar will brush up the shins, so it is very important to feel as if you are bringing the bar into you.
  • Squeeze your bottom like billy-o at the top.  If good, the weight will be to the back of the feet and never the forefoot.
  • Keep the upper back strong as you put the bar back down.
  • Stretch your spine from coccyx to crown.

As the weight gets heavier – and the deadlift is for very heavy weights – then a mixed grip can be used.  That is with one hand over the bar and the other under.

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