Yesterday I talked about bottom position lifts from a rack. Today’s post is going to detail a great technique for tricking your body into thinking that a bottom position lift, such as the deadlift, is a top position lift. I learned this technique from ace CrossFit Los Gatos trainer Billy Bybee.
Top position lifts allow greater weight to be moved because the muscles are able to contract before the positive portion of the lift. As we discussed yesterday, bottom position lifts are much more difficult because the muscles are forced to start from a position of rest. This is why we try to create as much tension in the body as possible before attempting to move the weight.
Using the deadlift as an example, one grips the bar and then proceeds to create tension throughout their entire body by “pulling” in opposite directions; the chest comes up and the hips go back. However, creating tension through this method is often difficult and/or confusing to beginning athletes. Billy’s method, again using the deadlift as an example, is to stand over the bar and slowly bring the body down to the bar, as if it were a giant spring compressing, thus mimicking a top position lift.
While the end result, maximum tension in the body before the lift, is the same, Billy’s compression method allows an athlete who is experiencing trouble creating tension from scratch an alternate avenue to create maximum tension. Another benefit of the compression method is that many beginning trainees find the mental image of a giant spring easy to mimic in their bodies.
A smart athlete, much less a good trainer, explores differing methods in their ongoing quest to perfect technique.
Next time you’re deadlifting low reps, give the compression method a spin. Let me know how it worked.
5 Hang Squat Cleans 155/100#
3 Rope Climbs
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