So you wanna pick-up something heavy, but you don’t want to get hurt doing it? Congratulations, you’re actually smart! We’ll go over a few things that should build your confidence for lifting heavier things today.
It should be noted that we’re calling this post “Everyday Deadlift” for a reason. If you’re looking to lift some big poundages in the gym, this article probably isn’t for you. If you’re looking to get the case of water from Costco off the ground in a safer way, then read on!
Getting your back together
At it’s very basic, it’s about keeping our back nice and straight while you lift things, but of course there are details!
Your back is really strong, if it’s in an organized position and braced to do some lifting. With good positioning, our back can transfer the awesome strength of our legs through our torso and into our shoulders, where it can be the most productive as far as picking stuff up goes. After all, we tend to pick stuff up with our hands (& by extension, our arms & shoulders).
A strong back isn’t rounded, or hunched, and it’s also not over-arched or hyper-extended. It’s in a nice neutral, natural position. It’s this position that we want to try to maintain when we’re moving through space in most any physical endeavor, and especially deadlifting.
In the case of picking up something heavy, we want to maintain this nice straight position while getting our hands low enough to get a good grip on whatever it is that we’re moving.
Since our legs are the driving force for picking things up, and not the arms, we’ll do our best to get our legs in a position where they can do the big work. That’s a rather long way of saying get your hips low.
Squatting down with the hips low & back straight will enable you to both get a grip on the object your trying to lift, as well as use the legs to drive that object up and off the ground.
Push the ground down.
Once you get all set up, you want to push the ground down without letting your hips rise excessively. Basically, if you move, the object that you’re lifting has to move as well. A common error is getting all set up, and having the hips shoot up before anything actually moves off the ground. Without realizing it, you do the whole lift with your back instead of sticking with the position, and using the strength of your legs to make it happen. If you’re hips are moving, but the object isn’t, you may be setting yourself up for an inefficient lift.
One of the most important things you can remember is that if it won’t move, don’t force it! If something heavy wants to stay on the ground, let it! Gravity will win every time!
Go get it!
Now go practice with something that feels a little heavy, enough so you can check yourself. Please also realize that if you’re wanting to move some really heavy stuff, nothing can replace a great, in person, coach to help you move better! As awesome as I am, I can only do so much from a blog post!