Today’s we are going to be talking about Deadlifts and shin angles, so get you protractors out. Ok, i’m kidding about the protractors, I would hate for anyone to have to use math skills so close to the weekend. After all, isn’t the deadlift just picking heavy stuff up off the ground, we shouldn’t have to think right. That may be the case if you have really good technique on your deadlift, but a lot of us don’t, so we are going to discusss proper shin angles today and I hope this will help improve your form.
First, let’s take a look at the diagram below. Notice the black dot, which represents the butt, is at a different height in each drawing. You should also notice that the higher the butt is in the air the “flatter” the back(torso) and by flatter I mean closer to parallel with the ground. The reason for the different position is due to different lengths of the femur. The femur is your big thigh bone(from knee to hip) for those who weren’t lucky enough to take Anatomy in college. So a shorter person’s torso will be more vertical than a tall person.
That’s all good stuff, but want I’m really looking to show you is that the shin angle stays the same for everyone. VERTICAL. Which means the knee is almost directly over the ankle. This is the correct Anatomical set-up for the deadlift and luckily it happens to be the most biomechanically efficient way to lift a heavy object of the ground. Go figure. We’ll discuss the bio-mechanics of the deadlift next week.
So now we know what if should look like, the question becomes how do we get there. First, I’ll explain it, then I want you to watch the video below and notice how every single one of the deadlifts looks. From a standing position or top of the deadlift, while mantaining a flat back start by pushing the hips back. NEVER BEND THE KNEES FIRST. Push the hips back as far as you can while the bar stays close to the body. As the bar passes the knees you will SIT your butt back and down. Watch how it’s done in the video below and take notice of the shin angle.
Here’ a test. Stand-up and bend at the knees like you were going to pick something off the ground. Is your knee directly over top of your ankle? Is the angle of your shin vertical? Now lets try again only this time, I want you to bend at the waist by pushing the hips back. How is the relationship of knee to ankle now? Is your shine vertical? Pay attention to the hamstring. Which one made it stretch more?
Next week: Deadlift Bio-mechanics. It will be enlightening so don’t miss it.