As it always happens in every meet, a few kids today, at the South American WPC Championship, missed the deadlift. Most of them failed to lockout with straight legs and hips.

I had the chance to try and help some at the warmup area, where we were waiting to be called to the platform. It was then that I came out with the three commands (actually, shouting in their ears) to be repeated and remembered as a quick fix to the deadlift:

1. Quads

2. Butt

3. Shoulder blades

The deadlift is a double extension pull, potent at the liftoff and hopefully stable along the path up to lockout. There are several critical items that will either improve, optimize or screw up the deadlift in each of the three phases of this lift (liftoff, knee-pass and lock-out).

Any relaxation of glutes, lumbar region or scapulae in any phase will result in a general screw-up. But a miss during the knee-pass usually means more of a lumbar control problem.

Not locking out properly usually means failing to control the double extension to completion. I found out that telling the kids to contract the quads makes them straighten up the knees whether they want it or not.  They often forget the hip snap because people fail to use the word BUTT to them (but since I’m a motherly figure, I can do it with little undesirable consequences as to their dignity).

But they should never forget the shoulder blades. Never, ever.

Actually, no one ever should.


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A vida é pentavalente: arranco, arremesso, agachamento, supino e levantamento terra. Life is a five valence unit: the snatch, the clean and jerk, the squat, the bench press and the deadlift.