The Deadlift: A Pulling or Pushing Exercise? 9/27/2019

September 27, 2022
The Deadlift: A Pulling or Pushing Exercise? 9/27/2019


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Deadlift....Pushing OR Pulling?

The Box Magazine says ask the majority of athletes how they would categorize deadlifts, and more than likely they would classify that movement as a pulling exercise and/or back work.... Surprising to many, they are wrong. And thats not the only commonly held misconception about the deadlift.The deadlift is not a pulling exercise; it is a pushing exercise. The difference is not only a function of muscle/joint function but also the athletes mental approach. Youll see why below.

Technique Checklist:

With your feet in the power position (roughly shoulder width), step all the way up to the bar. The setup isnt the same as in the clean or snatch, in which the bar stays over the toes. The bar in the deadlift should be right next to your shin in the start position. Sit back so your feet are flat on the floor and your hips are slightly above parallel. Your shoulders should not be in front of the bar like in other lifts but over the bar. Mental Orientation No. 1: In your minds eye, think of your arms as steel rods, starting at your shoulders and ending in steel hooks at the bar. Ergo, you cannot bend your elbows all the force on the bar is coming from your shoulders through these attached steel rods. Mental Orientation No. 2: Now think of yourself in a leg-press machine in which your torso doesnt move and your feet are on a platform. At this point, maintain tight levers and drive your feet through the floor. Youre not pulling anything; you are simply pushing down against the floor. As the bar breaks away from the floor, keep it in tight. It should essentially drag up your shin, knee and thigh. (Powerlifters often chalk their hands and baby-powder their thighs, so when the bar reaches their thighs, it doesnt grab the skin.) Just as the bar attains knee height, its time for Mental Orientation No. 3: The floor pushing ends and the hip pushing begins. Think hips forward. If your hips move forward, youll have no choice but to extend at the knees and finish the movement. At the top, make sure your shoulders come back to normal position above your

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