So last week I was knee-deep in research and clients and teaching a course, so unfortunately the blog posts weren’t too forthcoming. Super fail on my part. The good news is that in getting everything done, I was able to bang out two presentations for the forthcoming Muscle Imbalances Revealed: Upper Body series, which will be released August 9th, by the way.
One of the cool things I found in doing research on some of the biomechanical measurements of spine performance for the Advanced Core Conditioning seminar was a picture of Pavel Tsatsouline doing a variation of a deadlift in Dr. Stuart McGill’s lab.
This move is kind of similar to a Zercher squat where the bar is held in the elbows, but this was the first time I’ve seen it in a deadlift form, and I was curious. Would my back be able to handle the extreme range of motion , and would I even be able to touch the ground with the plates, let alone keep from blowing my sphincter across the opposite wall?
The really big challenge with this is the fact that as my forearms are 17 inches long, I have to get my torso 17 inches lower to make contact with the ground. Top it off with the fact that I really don’t want to try to pick the weight up from the floor in that extreme spinal position, and the fact that my mid-erectors haven’t felt that beat up from a 5 set workout in a few months, all from just one plate a side, and I have a brand new love. Sorry Lindsay, you’re taking a back seat for a little while.
Now of course this is a bit of a more extreme version of a very tough exercise, so before you give this one a try, make sure you have a very good handle on how to do a proper deadlift. I’m not saying I’m an expert by any means, but I’ve been doing them for the past 15 years, and have worked on the technical aspects and mobility required for quite a while, and I have a fairly good idea of when things are moving right and when they are not.
If you ARE going to give this one a shot, start with about 1/3 the weight you would use with a conventional deadlift. The last bit of the range of motion is pretty tricky, especially if you’re over 6 feet tall. Take a slightly wider than normal stance to allow your hips to sink into the movement properly, and resist the urge to allow your lumbar spine to flex and your shoulders to stretch forward to help you hit the ground. Make it about the hips and the back will get the job done.