teaching the DL

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    teaching the DL


    I have been working with the local highschool athletes in developing the strength program for the past few weeks. I have taught the whole class the proper mechanics of the DL and EVERYONE gets it and can do it very well, except for this one kid. He can't seem to figure it out. Everything he does wether its bent rows, starting power cleans, RDL's and DL's are all done with a rounded back. I'm getting frustrated and he is also getting frustrated because i keep on him about his back.

    We have worked 1 on 1 infront of mirrors to mimic the movement, had him watch a number of different lifters, messed with his stance,(toes out toes paralell, sumo, conventional etc.) We have just used an empty bar we have used an imaginary bar and still horrible form. The kid is only 16 and there are no physical issues that he has told me of.

    My next step is going to be duct taping a broom stick along the length of his back to keep him upright.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips I can use to help this kid, I'm almost fresh out of ideas? Is he just that weak in the low back that its giving up on him? (also he can squat 180 on the smith if that matters)

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    Try getting him to pinch his shoulder blades together hard when he is bent over the bar. This should make his back straighten out pretty well.
    Always open light. Itís not what you open with, itís what you finish with. Louie Simmons
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    I find it helps if I try to look towards the ceiling also, hard to have a rounded back if you're head is looking up.
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    Sounds like he may need some upper back work too, don't neglect that. If he's not strong enough in the upper back to keep his shoulder blades back while holding the weight, he'll never be tight in the lower back so hit the upper back just as hard.

    As far as lower back, some guys have terrible lower back flexibility (myself included). You could try to work on that if you think that's an issue. Put your finger between his shoulder blades and tell him to squeeze it the whole time. If your shoulder blades are pinched tight, it's almost impossible to round out your lower back (again, if you're strong enough in your upper back).

    Other than that, arch back GMs, arch back hypers with a bar on the back, stuff like that. Some higher rep SLDLs with alot of focus on tight form, rather than depth might help too.

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neverstop View Post
    I find it helps if I try to look towards the ceiling also, hard to have a rounded back if you're head is looking up.
    it was either king coan or andy bolton but they said you should never look up or down look straight ahead.
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    thanks for all the advice guys, i think it may be a strength issure in the upper back, he can mimic the movement fine with no weight but as soon as his hands touch the bar he goes all quasimodo, huncback of notre dame, on me.
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    Hot off the presses.....

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/im...g_deadlift.htm

    Has some nice visual cues on how to align with the bar....
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamr9 View Post
    thanks for all the advice guys, i think it may be a strength issure in the upper back, he can mimic the movement fine with no weight but as soon as his hands touch the bar he goes all quasimodo, huncback of notre dame, on me.
    also the zig zag bar or ez bar whatever you wanna call it attach that to a lat pulldown and do lat pulldowns with that i recently started doing it and feel it in my upper back big time
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    definatley work on retracting the scapula..... exercises like cable rows, any pulling motion that doesnt involve bending over

    One thing I do when Im trying to teach someone to quit rounding out is tell them to put their arms out like in a barbell curl position then pull their arms back so the shoulder blades pinch together then i take a broomstick or some kind of dal rod or something and put it behind their back in the crook of their arms where their elbow meets their forearm then I tell them to do a stiff legged deadlift or deadlift with just their body weight.... eventually after they do that for a few reps they will quit rounding out
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamr9 View Post
    I have been working with the local highschool athletes in developing the strength program for the past few weeks. I have taught the whole class the proper mechanics of the DL and EVERYONE gets it and can do it very well, except for this one kid. He can't seem to figure it out. Everything he does wether its bent rows, starting power cleans, RDL's and DL's are all done with a rounded back. I'm getting frustrated and he is also getting frustrated because i keep on him about his back.

    We have worked 1 on 1 infront of mirrors to mimic the movement, had him watch a number of different lifters, messed with his stance,(toes out toes paralell, sumo, conventional etc.) We have just used an empty bar we have used an imaginary bar and still horrible form. The kid is only 16 and there are no physical issues that he has told me of.

    My next step is going to be duct taping a broom stick along the length of his back to keep him upright.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or tips I can use to help this kid, I'm almost fresh out of ideas? Is he just that weak in the low back that its giving up on him? (also he can squat 180 on the smith if that matters)
    He needs to go to a doctor of physical therapist, a rounded back needs be checked up on. And training more without figuring out if he has a back problem, your attempts could worsen the problem. Its very possible than he has a structure problem that can only be fixed by medical caretakers. He could possibly have scoliosis, which is a curving of the spine.
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    You guys pinch your shoulder blades together when you deadlift??

    Dave Tate on this:
    "Mistake #2: Pulling the shoulder blades together

    This is a mistake I made for years. Stand in a deadlift stance and pull your shoulder blades together. Take a look at where your fingertips are. Now if you let your shoulders relax and even round forward a little you'll see your fingertips are much lower. This is why we teach a rounding of the upper back. First, the bar has to travel a shorter distance. Second, there's less stress on the shoulder region. It'll also help to keep your shoulder blades behind the bar. You'll read more on this later."

    Link to article


    I made this mistake when I first started deadlifting also.
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    i'm just trying to get this kid started on DL with out hurting him self, hes not going to total elite anytime soon, his back goes completly round and hes just not getting it, so i was looking for tips...
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamr9 View Post
    i'm just trying to get this kid started on DL with out hurting him self, hes not going to total elite anytime soon, his back goes completly round and hes just not getting it, so i was looking for tips...
    I realize that, did you read the article I posted a link to? It addresses rounding of the back and how to correct it.

    Edit: A helpful verbal cue is chest up if its not a weakness issue.
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    This is just a shot in the dark, but have you noticed what his posture is like when he's standing? Are his shoulders slumped and rolled forward? If that is the case, I would think that would be such a natural position for him, it would carry over into something such as the deadlift where you have to deliberately keep your shoulders and upper back from rounding. Just a thought...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rckvl7 View Post
    I realize that, did you read the article I posted a link to? It addresses rounding of the back and how to correct it.

    Edit: A helpful verbal cue is chest up if its not a weakness issue.
    yea that is one of my favorite articles, of all time.

    its just a wierd situation with this kid as he is good with no bar and once he gets the bar it turns into all sorts of horribleness. we work the DL again on Monday so ill let you know what i come up with
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamr9 View Post
    yea that is one of my favorite articles, of all time.

    its just a wierd situation with this kid as he is good with no bar and once he gets the bar it turns into all sorts of horribleness. we work the DL again on Monday so ill let you know what i come up with
    Yeah, try the chest up cue. It's hard, if not impossible, to round the lower back if you keep your chest up
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    Quote Originally Posted by rckvl7 View Post
    You guys pinch your shoulder blades together when you deadlift??

    Dave Tate on this:
    "Mistake #2: Pulling the shoulder blades together

    This is a mistake I made for years. Stand in a deadlift stance and pull your shoulder blades together. Take a look at where your fingertips are. Now if you let your shoulders relax and even round forward a little you'll see your fingertips are much lower. This is why we teach a rounding of the upper back. First, the bar has to travel a shorter distance. Second, there's less stress on the shoulder region. It'll also help to keep your shoulder blades behind the bar. You'll read more on this later."

    Link to article


    I made this mistake when I first started deadlifting also.
    An experienced lifter? No. I'd use this as a trick to teaching this kid how his lower back is supposed to feel on a heavy lift though, and to build some much needed lower back strength. There's no way in hell this kid will be able to round his upper back and keep his lower back flat at this point.
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