Build Your Deadlift

Deadlift

When it comes to deadlifting, the image that most commonly comes to mind is that guy or girl in your gym ripping a loaded barbell off the ground.  And for some, that is their end goal.  To pull as much weight as possible off the ground.  But for others, that’s not their goal.  They just want to look and feel awesome in their everyday life.  Deadlifting from the floor may not be for you, but hinging in some capacity will build strength around one of the fundamental movements we do every singe day.  The barbell deadlift is one variation of a hinge, and one that may not be the right fit for you, but you’re in luck.  There are countless other ways to hinge, we just have to explore your movement capabilities to find the one that is the best fit.  Like Cinderellas shoe…or the porridge in Goldilocks.

Fear

What if you avoid the deadlift because you already hate the very idea because of all the horror stories you’ve heard from friends, neighbors, or that one guy who couldn’t move for a week after picking something off the floor.  If the very idea of deadlifting sends your spinal discs running, then maybe you should read on about building from the ground up.  With a properly executed deadlift or hip hinge you can do wonders for creating a resilient back.

“What’s In a Name”

How did the deadlift get its name?  Without a doubt it came from picking up the dead during the plague.  100% true story.  Probably.  Maybe not.  But here’s a Monty Python clip anyway.

 

Deadlift From the Ground Up

When it comes to executing a solid hinge/deadlift, this is the thought process that I go through, especially if we’re working on building back from an injury, like something in the low back.  We start from the ground up.

Patterning Drills

These two patterning drills teach us what constitutes a good hinge vs a sub optimal hinge vs a squat.  The quickest and easiest way to execute this is to start from a kneeling position, then progress to standing.

Tall Kneeling Hinge– This is a great place to start as there is no risk of injury in this pattern, and it takes some of the miscues at the ankles and knees out of the equation.  What we get is a solid patterning drill to set us up for success when we move to a standing position.

 

Band Assisted Patterning– This drill is good for two things, teaching a solid bar path, and the band creating some reflexive tension in the lats and core.

Band Pullthrough– While the above drill was great for bar positioning, and teaching lat tension, the pullthrough utilizes a band to actually pull you into that hip hinge position we’re looking for.

Let’s Add Some Load

Kettlebell Deadlift– A great intro into a loaded hinge, the kettlebell keeps the weight centrally located between your legs.  This eliminates any problems that mobility restrictions may play in not being able to do it.  What you can also do to create an easier transition into loaded hinges is elevate the kettlebell so that there is less movement required.

The one drawback to the kettlebell is that you can only load so much before it becomes easy.  At AMP, our heaviest bell is 48kg or about 105lbs.  So there is a bit of a ceiling.  You could extend that by using two bells, but at a certain point we may need to progress to a new lift.

 

Hex Bar–  The Hex Bar is a great progression and can be a good starting point mostly because of the way it’s designed.  Since the weight is on the outside of your body, it’s easier to maintain an upright position, which means a lot less stress on the back.  That can ease a lot of people fear right off the bat.

 

Elevated Surface– This is our first barbell lift.  It is important to note that you may never get to this point, and that’s ok.  Not everyone is built to use a barbell.  With the Hex Bar, the load was on the outside, the barbell creates a new challenge with the bar/load in front of you. This presents a slightly different approach, as if there are mobility restrictions, you may not get to the bar without compensations.

Before you lift from the floor, lets see how you do with an elevated surface.  Now this can be off of blocks as shown in the video, but you can also perform rack pulls if your gym allows it.  Either way, the elevated surface will create an exercise requiring less range of motion.  The decrease in requisite range of motion makes for an “easier” exercise.

 

The deadlift can have a tendency to make people cringe.  It’s probably the one exercise that is met with the most fear and trepidation because it has the reputation for being injurious to the back.  However, when you go through the progressions laid out before you, there should be no need for concern.


6 Ways to Rock a Deadbug

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Dead-Bugs aren’t the most exciting drill. To most, they look pretty boring.

But, they’re so cool (to us) that they are a staple in our warm-up at AMP. That’s how important Dead-Bugs truly are.

This isn’t an article where I rant about why you need Dead-Bugs in your life and why they’re super awesome. (Well maybe it is, but only just a little bit). I promise I’ll get to all the really cool stuff you clicked here to see. Progressions, all the progressions.

The first key is making sure you take them slow and CONTROL the movement.  Too often we see warm-ups where these are rushed and all over the place.  Get away from being a struggle bug.

YAWN

Dead-Bugs may not be too exciting, they can be rather monotonous and the epitome of boring when it comes to exercise selection. With that in mind, don’t discount them yet.

Let’s turn our attention as to why you should love them. Mostly, Dead-Bugs look like ‘nothing’, but pack a mean punch when done correctly, and mainly because they can also tell a lot about how much control a client has over their own body.

They also make a great choice when teaching clients how to maintain a neutral spine position, and encourages more of a posterior pelvic tilt. Let’s face it, most of us live in an anterior pelvic tilt (extended position), and this exercise is the antidote.

Most importantly though, the Dead-Bug is a great teaching tool for how to brace your core while going through contralateral limb movements.

 

Keep Reading over at Mobility-101.com


Sprains, Strains & Automobiles

So you’ve pull/strained/sprained/torn a muscle. You took the appropriate steps to allows the afflicted area to heal. The pain has significantly decreased, but you still feel tension or loss of range of motion. Why? Seen below is an example of what happens to muscle fibers when trauma or injury has occurred to the site. There are multiple grades of straining a muscle.
Grade 1: Stretching. While stretching a muscle you notice and increase in length of the muscle or muscle group; why? This is because you are literally causing small tears in the muscle spindles and the surrounding collagen. Once these adhesions are broken up or torn, the muscles ability to lengthen increases.
Grade 2: Mild or Micro-tears. As seen above the muscle is still intact although certain sections of different fibers have torn apart, thus causing pain and inflammation on the site. Micro-tears occur from working out, have you ever felt sore for days, this is what your muscle is going through. At AMP are constantly installing that a healthy nutritious diet and the appropriate amount of recovery to match your workouts is integral to any program. Micro-tears will occur less often and heal faster than those who are spotty about their recovery and nutrition. These tears are more serious than a grade one but not a complete tear of the muscle.
Grade 3: Complete tear of muscle fiber or a ruptured ligament. As seen in example one, this type of strain is serious and impact a great deal of the muscle. These can feel like a broken bone, presenting with an inability to load the affected joint. There may even in fact be swelling and bruising on site. These are serious and need to be looked at by a doctor or medical professional.
In the third example we see the most common of scar tissue build up. In society today, people either travel, commute or sit at a computer for work. It’s inevitable that we will come across over stretched tissue, more than not it occurs in the upper back. Look at your posture right now. Rounded forward over the phone, tablet or screen. With the tissue overstretched it cannot contract organically and thus is shut off from oxygen. This causes cell damage just as any trauma would.
What happens after the tear is amazing. Our bodies are instantly aware of the trauma and begin laying down fibers to fill the gaps, these fibers are dense and layered haphazardly in order to quickly repair the damage. Unfortunately, these fibers need to be trained to align and work with the rest of the fibers so the muscle can restore not only normal range of motion but strength as well. See that yellow area? Unless the fibers align with the rest, they are unable to contract with the rest, they sit there like a small block of concrete doing nothing. When scar tissue is rehabilitated through specific massage techniques the fibers align and contract. CONTRACTION=STRENGTH.
If you’re dealing with such an issue. Get down to AMP in Massapequa Park and come let our Sports and Medical Massage therapist fix you up. Don’t live weak and in pain! Do something about it!

 

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Do You Have Your Accountabilibuddy?

Your accountabilibuddy is you! Are you holding yourself accountable?

Your immediate answer may be “Of course I do.” However, is that true? Today we are going to take a hard look in the mirror and see if you truly are holding yourself accountable. By now you are familiar with the basic principles of how to eat properly and are on top of your training. So what is holding you back? Perhaps you have stored this information away, although you can recall it, you haven’t quite implemented these facts into your life wholeheartedly. These principles come into play every so often when you motivate yourself to start fresh, but why did you stop to begin with?

A teacher holds their students accountable for applying and proving that they have learned the information at hand, now is the time to hold yourself accountable. Yes, your trainer may check in every so often to see how your diet is going, however, that is out of concern and their willing spirit to help. Once you leave the gym, you are accountable for every choice and every option you make. That one glass of wine, that one cookie; it will make a difference. So from right now and moving forward: No more lying to yourself, no more compromising, you owe your body the best of care. You deserve to fuel your body properly and see the benefits that this course will have for you.

The same holds true when you come in to train or attend a class. If you are not giving 100% of what you have that day, you are not holding yourself accountable. You are cheating on your work out. No more shorting the reps,no more taking the ‘easy’ way out, if you can do more, DO IT! You will only see progress from the hard work you invest in yourself.

Ask yourself:

  • Aren’t my goals worth the effort?
  • Am I being completely honest with myself?
  • Why am I cheating myself?

When it comes to anything in life, whether it is your diet, your training, or your goals, YOU are the only one who can hold yourself accountable. YOU are the only who can make a difference in your life. YOU are the one who can make the changes needed to improve your life and get you closer to your goals. START TODAY!


Knowledge is Power

What is wisdom?

No we are not talking about ancient proverbs or philosophies, we are talking about your health and fitness goals. What? Wisdom when it comes to health and fitness? That’s right. How many times have you asked your trainer a question about diet or exercise, perhaps it was even about your training goals, dozens of time, right? It may have even been a question you’ve asked many times. Now that you have that information, what have you done with it. Whether you have gained knowledge through on of AMP’s experienced and knowledgeable trainers, or have done research on your own. You have now gained knowledge, even if it has been the 5th, 10th, or 20th time you have asked.

“Knowledge is power.” -anonymous

While the aforementioned quote is very true, how can you make that knowledge powerful in your life. This is where wisdom comes into play. Wisdom is the ability to apply experience and knowledge. While the first step to improving your life may be gaining the knowledge, it cannot end there. Taking action with that knowledge that you have gained, is the next and most imperative step.

Imagine a new driver, they are informed with how the car operates and agree that they understand. That person now goes out driving the car. If they do not refill the gas tank with gas, you can imagine what will happen. Eventually, the car will run out of fuel and the driver will be stranded. Imagine his frustration when the vehicle stops working. You may laugh at his ignorance. He was given the knowledge, why would he not replenish the fuel supply when it was running low? This person was not wise. They had the integral knowledge, why would they not act on it? You may even call this person stupid. It would be a shame if the same were thought of you, simply because you didn’t not properly absorb and apply the information you had attained.

You cannot achieve results from simply having knowledge, you must have the wisdom to apply this knowledge in your life. No amount of advice from your trainer, no ‘meal plan’ is going to work if you cannot take the information to heart and apply it in your life. Do not waste the knowledge, do not become like the ignorant driver. Apply the knowledge you are given and you are guaranteed to see the results you are attaining for.