“Getting really strong is all about lifitng heavy weights and managing the resulting fatigue. Manage it better, you’ll get stronger” – Chris Moore
My knees and hips often sound like a cup of 2% milk poured into a large bowl of rice crispy cereal. Yep, they are snap crackle, popping and in no way is it amusing.
Now more than ever a good “prep” or prime session is needed to activate those sleepy muscles and joints. Especially when I comes to the dead lift.
The dead lift is an essential lift. You literally pull large amounts of weight of the earth. This site is actually named after the dead lift, and it’s my all time favorite lift. At one point the dead lift was called “the health lift” . When done correctly this is a true statement. When done incorrectly, it fits more into the “Health care lift”.
In order to get this lift right, we need to prime our bodies for the movement. Now, we have small kids and raising them isn’t a part-time job. We also need to look at what is the most efficient way. You can’t spend 15 minutes of your 40 minute workout prepping. So, we need to be effective in the short time we have.
Here’s the breakdown
1) Glute bridges
2) Mini Band lateral walk
3) Resistance Band Single leg Romanian Dead lift w/ Row
4) Gorilla Squats
5) Resistance Band Dead Lift
These will activate your hamstring and gluteus maximum (hence the name). These muscles are vital in the lift and they gotta wake up; however, glute bridges also help to stretch the all to often tight hip flexors. Conduct an isometric hold at the top of the movement for 3-4 seconds to enhance the stretch. Complete about 20 reps.
Mini Band Lateral Walk
This will help activate your hip external rotators and abductors. These muscles are often weak due to excessive sitting. For the dead lift we want this muscles activated to help open the hips up a bit.
Resistance Band Single leg Romanian dead lift w/ row
Now we want to further activate the glutes and hamstrings while also integrating some activation of our back musculature. The dead lift is essentially a “pull”. Our muscles involved in pulling (latissimus dorsi, rhomboid, and mid + lower trap) need to get in on this prep action.
This is a great active stretch to open up your hips. Plus, it gets us prepped for the proper hinge hip used to dead lift. The key here is to grab the top of your feet while in a deep squat, than straighten your legs out without letting go of the top of your feet, than return to the deep squat position. Complete about 20 reps.
Resistance Band Dead Lift
Here is where we work on some mechanics. Adding the anchored resistance band looped around the center of the bar reminds you to activate your lats and stay planted on your heels. This is a great warm up, go light. I recommend about 40-50% your 1rpm. Complete about 20 reps, or until the mechanics feel good.
Now lift !!
Now, you should be pumped and primed for your dead lift session. Skip the injuries and mindless warm ups. Now, your prep may look different from mine. You may need additional activation movements or stretches to get you ready. Read your body and do your research. Don’t hit this lift cold. You’ll pay for it in the long run.