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  1. #5121
    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    What makes you think it's inherently safer and more efficient to look down when you deadlift? I know the double-chin deadlift is being pushed pretty hard these days by Mark Bell and his boys at the Power Project, but I'm not really sure that proves anything. What I do know, however, is that a neutral or Pez-dispenser head position is preferred pretty much everywhere outside the States.
    Neutral neck, when bent over, means you're looking down. That's what I'm advocating. And what Rip advocates.

    "When you are in the correct position, stare at a point 12-15 feet in front of you on the floor so your neck can assume its normal anatomical position. You might need to think about keeping your chin down, too" (from Starting Strength, Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    Mark Rippetoe:

    And that was a max effort competition lift many decades ago. Not sure if Rip's model has changed over the years or if this was just a form hiccup as a result of a 1RM, but assuming the latter, another pertinent Rippetoe quote from his Q&A forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe
    If a 1RM displays absolutely perfect technique, it wasn't a 1RM.

  2. #5122
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Neutral neck, when bent over, means you're looking down.
    Is it possible that we have different definitions of a neutral head position? It would explain a lot.

    To me, a neutral head position means that you're not arching your neck up or down. Obviously, you'll be facing the floor if you keep your head in a neutral position and your hips high. On the other hand, if you keep your hips low you'll be facing the mirror. Some people prefer to deadlift with high hips, whereas some people prefer to keep the hips lower. And this is where I think people should do what feels natural to them.

    I should point out that I'm not really a fan of the Pez-dispenser head position (neck arched up), but if the lifter needs the cue to keep his chest up and lower back neutral, then so be it.

  3. #5123
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    6 hours of squirrel hunting, chopping wood for my 35 degree low tonight (WTF?), 2 hours of covering the veg for a frost....moved in the calf, horse blankets out of an attic I almost died getting into, pulling all the sheep in with the help of the German Shepherd

    Life was a workout today. Tomorrow might see a gym.
    "They now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry." - Thomas Jefferson, 1826

  4. #5124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    Is it possible that we have different definitions of a neutral head position? It would explain a lot.
    I think that term has a definition irrespective of our opinions on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    To me, a neutral head position means that you're not arching your neck up or down.
    Sort of like where you'd hold your head if there was a tennis ball under your chin...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    Obviously, you'll be facing the floor if you keep your head in a neutral position and your hips high.
    We're getting somewhere now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    On the other hand, if you keep your hips low you'll be facing the mirror.
    If you keep your hips low when doing a deadlift, you will either raise them before the bar leaves the floor or you will swing the bar out so it can go around your knees. On a heavy deadlift, the latter is not an option, so the former happens. Every time. The laws of physics and the anthropometry we share dictates it be so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    Some people prefer to deadlift with high hips, whereas some people prefer to keep the hips lower. And this is where I think people should do what feels natural to them.
    Some people prefer to set up for the deadlift with their hips lower. You can't pull a heavy bar off the ground without your hips rising first. Because your shins are in the way of the bar. And if you can move the bar out from your feet to clear your knees, it wasn't heavy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    I should point out that I'm not really a fan of the Pez-dispenser head position (neck arched up), but if the lifter needs the cue to keep his chest up and lower back neutral, then so be it.
    I like "Show me your tits" as a cue for keeping his chest up and the tennis ball thing I mentioned earlier as a cue for keeping the chin down (neck neutral). But we all get to like what we want.

  5. #5125
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    Dead Lifts: 285lbs, 2x5
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  6. #5126
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    If you keep your hips low when doing a deadlift, you will either raise them before the bar leaves the floor or you will swing the bar out so it can go around your knees. On a heavy deadlift, the latter is not an option, so the former happens. Every time. The laws of physics and the anthropometry we share dictates it be so.
    1) How far the knees go over your toes depends a lot on your body proportions. Some people have to do what resembles a stiff legged deadlift to clear the knees, while others can keep their torso much more upright.

    2) There are several deadlift variations, ranging from sumo deadlifts to stiff legged deadlifts. Most powerlifting federations allow you to lift pretty much any way you want, and the style you choose has a tremendous impact on your torso angle.

    3) There are several types of deadlift bars, ranging from the classic barbell to the trap bar. A trap bar deadlift allows you to keep your torso much more upright without having to worry about your knees.


    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    Is it possible that we have different definitions of a neutral head position? It would explain a lot.
    I think that term has a definition irrespective of our opinions on the matter.
    We might have the same definition of a neutral head position, but I doubt we have the same definition of a head down position. I define it as as trying to touch your chest with your chin. An inversed Pez-dispenser if you will. You, on the other hand, appear to define it as looking at the floor, which can be achieved in several ways. For instance, by bending at the hips and/or the neck.

    It occured to me that we were talking about two different things when you asked Knifegill to carry an imaginary tennis ball under his chin, while keeping his head down. Head down, head up and neutral are mutually exclusive head positions if you ask me.

  7. #5127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    1) How far the knees go over your toes depends a lot on your body proportions. Some people have to do what resembles a stiff legged deadlift to clear the knees, while others can keep their torso much more upright.
    The bar is always above the middle of your foot, which is ~1 inch from your shins when standing upright. As Rich pointed out, if your knees are further, i.e. if your hips are low, you will either move the bar around the knees during the pull, which is highly inefficient and potentially unsafe, or your hips will shoot up before the bar breaks away from the floor.

    The back angle is determined by the femur to back length proportions, as well as arm length. Long arms and short femurs will produce a more vertical back angle, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    2) There are several deadlift variations, ranging from sumo deadlifts to stiff legged deadlifts. Most powerlifting federations allow you to lift pretty much any way you want, and the style you choose has a tremendous impact on your torso angle.

    3) There are several types of deadlift bars, ranging from the classic barbell to the trap bar. A trap bar deadlift allows you to keep your torso much more upright without having to worry about your knees.
    Your torso angle does not change the fact that the cervical spine is to be left in a neutral position. The classic deadlift always produces a downward gaze for this to be true.

  8. #5128
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    1. a bastardized simplifit routine: 5 sets of 5 reps of 1-pull up + 1-push up + 2 squats. 10 second rest between sets.
    2. parallel bar dips: 3 sets of 10 reps
    Few but ripe.

  9. #5129
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    The bar is always above the middle of your foot, which is ~1 inch from your shins when standing upright. As Rich pointed out, if your knees are further, i.e. if your hips are low, you will either move the bar around the knees during the pull, which is highly inefficient and potentially unsafe, or your hips will shoot up before the bar breaks away from the floor.

    The back angle is determined by the femur to back length proportions, as well as arm length. Long arms and short femurs will produce a more vertical back angle, for example.
    1) Stand up
    2) Do a conventional deadlift with an imaginary barbell
    3) Now do a wide sumo deadlift

    Did you notice how the angle of your shins changed, and how your knees barely had to travel forward when you did the sumo deadlift? That's what I mean when I say "knees over toes". Bar placement was never brought up. Now, consider what happens if you change the ratio of femur to tibia. For instance, what would happen if your femur was twice as long as your tibia? Not very likely, I know, but I'm sure you can see how it changes the lift completely.

    Body proportions. I's one of the main reasons why deadlifts and squats look wildly different from person to person, even when they try to use the same variation of the lift.


    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    Your torso angle does not change the fact that the cervical spine is to be left in a neutral position. The classic deadlift always produces a downward gaze for this to be true.
    By classic, I assume you mean a conventional deadlift. And I agree with you - you'd be looking at the floor when you started pulling with a neutral head position, but you'd be looking at the mirror by the time you locked out. And you'd most likely be looking at the mirror from start to finish if you did a sumo deadlift. But in neither case would you be 'head down' seeing that your head position has nothing to do with the torso angle (as you also pointed out).

    Again, I think we're discussing semantics here. Head down, to me, is a very specific cue to bring the chin closer to the chest (also called 'making a double chin' in the world of powerlifting), and that can't be done by changing the angle of the torso. I just think Rich interprets 'head down' differently. More of a downward gaze as you said.

    Anyway, I think Knifegill has put us all on ignore (and rightfully so), and I have better things to do than bicker with random people on the internet about deadlift head positions.

  10. #5130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    1) Stand up
    2) Do a conventional deadlift with an imaginary barbell
    3) Now do a wide sumo deadlift

    Did you notice how the angle of your shins changed, and how your knees barely had to travel forward when you did the sumo deadlift? That's what I mean when I say "knees over toes". Bar placement was never brought up. Now, consider what happens if you change the ratio of femur to tibia. For instance, what would happen if your femur was twice as long as your tibia? Not very likely, I know, but I'm sure you can see how it changes the lift completely.

    Body proportions. I's one of the main reasons why deadlifts and squats look wildly different from person to person, even when they try to use the same variation of the lift.
    Your knees don't travel much forward regardless of whether you're doing conventional or sumo, and that's the point. You mentioned earlier that some people's knees will go forward a lot more, or that some like to deadlift with hips low, both of which are incorrect.

    In regards to anthropometry, that's certainly true - to an extent. The hip angle will vary a lot on the deadlift, the ankle angle, not nearly as much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    By classic, I assume you mean a conventional deadlift. And I agree with you - you'd be looking at the floor when you started pulling with a neutral head position, but you'd be looking at the mirror by the time you locked out. And you'd most likely be looking at the mirror from start to finish if you did a sumo deadlift. But in neither case would you be 'head down' seeing that your head position has nothing to do with the torso angle (as you also pointed out).

    Again, I think we're discussing semantics here. Head down, to me, is a very specific cue to bring the chin closer to the chest (also called 'making a double chin' in the world of powerlifting), and that can't be done by changing the angle of the torso. I just think Rich interprets 'head down' differently. More of a downward gaze as you said.
    I think we're in agreement here. Cervical spine in neutral alignment, and the back angle dictates the neck angle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kharnath View Post
    ...I have better things to do than bicker with random people on the internet about deadlift head positions.
    That's an odd thing to say on an internet forum...

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