By Tony Gentilcore
CONNECT THE BARBELL TO YOUR LATS
Admittedly, this seems a bit strange to say given we have two HANDS to grab onto the barbell with.
However the LATS are a key player in “connecting” us to the barbell during deadlifts. It ensures more full-body tension, but also hands ( HA, see what I did there?) us a slight biomechanical advantage via scapular posterior tilt.
Hey…every little bit helps!
Ensuring the lats are engaged also helps with preventing the barbell from drifting away from the body. Not only does this make things harder from a leverage standpoint, it can be injurious to the back as well.
Telling some people to turn on their lats is akin to speaking Elvish, though.
I’ve found two things that help.
The ever popular “squeeze the oranges in your armpits” cue. Works most of the time…
Although if things still aren’t computing I’ve found this nifty trick useful.
A simple drill I like to use is adding a band. Wrap one end around the barbell and the other around something that won’t move – a power rack, or my bicep, for example.
The idea is to resist the pull of the band in order to engage the lats and keep the bar close throughout the duration of the set.
If someone doesn’t know where his lats are, he will after this drill.
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