OCF Movement Academy: Deadlift Prep

Ain’t no party like a deadlift party, because a deadlift party don’t stop! 

All seriousness deadlifting can be a lot of fun, it’s super functional, for most of us it’s our heaviest lift, and yet for some it can be intimidating due to not warming up properly and having sound mechanics. 

You get to the gym and you see that it’s deadlift day. 

Or you’re working on your own and you want to do some hinging of some sort (Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing, Rowing)

First, get your body temperature up with some light bike or run for 2-3 minutes.

Next start at your head and work your way all the through your joints for mobility (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, t spine, hips, knees, and ankles. 

Before you start putting your weight belt, spilling chalk all over the place, and slamming weights, prep your body for the work ahead.

Why Deadlift Prep?

Deadlift prep is a series of movements that reinforce certain movement patterns, and activate muscles in the fashion you’ll be using in any hinge movement (RDL, Deadlift, KB Swing, Row etc).  

This is also a great way to check in with your body and see how your body is moving that day.  I’d rather find out my glutes are not firing properly in my prep than on a heavy set of deadlifts. Wouldn’t you? 

What is Deadlift Prep? 

Here’s what to do and why 

Quadruped Hip Extension Hold

Quadruped is a fancy word for table top/ all fours position.  Once in that position ensure your knees are directly under your hips, hands under your shoulders, arms locked out, and neck neutral.  

From there flex your foot and pull your heel into your butt.  You may already feel the hamstring and glute turn on here.  

Once your heel is squeezing into the butt, raise your knee off the ground until knee and hip are one line.  Keep squeezing your heel into your butt the entire time, flexed foot staying strong. 

Hold this for 15 seconds.  

Your leg may cramp here.  Try not to come out of it, breath into it and hold.  

You’ve lived through more challenging things. 

Repeat for 2-3 sets per leg 

Staggered Leg Good Morning

The stagger leg good morning is a great way to reinforce the hinge pattern, while checking in for any left to right imbalances. 

This movement may or may not be performed with a PVC or barbell.  If you’d like to do it without any tools place your hands behind your head and spread your elbows apart to help with posture. 

Step your right leg out a foot distance ahead.  Make sure your toes are pointed forward as well.  

As you hinge into your right hip, bend your left leg pushing your knee forward slightly.  Keep the right leg locked out, foot pushing through the ground in each rep.  

As you come up to your standing position squeeze your butt to ensure full hip extension. 

Perform 5 reps with each leg, repeat for 2-3 sets 

Be sure to check in and notice any differences between your right leg and left while you’re hinging.  You may need to focus more on one leg to get full range of motion.  

When you move onto deadlifting use this insight to help with form, and loading. 

Single Arm Farmer Carry Hold 

We’ve got the glutes and hamstrings on.

We are hinging properly. 

What’s left? 

The Single Arm Farmer Carry Hold

This is one of my favorite movements to ensure core engagement as well as proper posture at the top of the deadlift. 

Grab a kettlebell, stand up tall, pull your shoulders down and back and hold. Watch for any breaks in posture of any kind. Leaning side to side, or forward. The most important thing to watch here is your shoulder. It should stay back in one place the entire time. This is the same type of hold that you want at the top of the deadlift.  Shoulders back, tall posture, butt squeezed, core tight, and spine neutral. 

Perform a 20 second hold per side, and repeat for 2-3 sets. 

After you’ve performed the deadlift prep for 2-3 sets grab your barbell and get after it. 

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