posted on October 15, 2020
When performing the squat and deadlift, we’ve all heard and incorporated the basic cues. Things such as “back flat”, “chest up”, and “eyes straight ahead”, are amongst the list of things which we focus on during each training session, and at this point they have most likely become second nature. There is however one cue that we often miss which could have a tremendous impact on our progress within these two lifts, and that is “head back”.
A majority of the time (especially when the weight begins to get heavy) we lose track of what our body is doing as we become focused solely on lifting the weight. When this happens, one of the first things we might notice is that our head begins to stick out far in front of the weight, which then causes our body to follow. When performing the squat and the deadlift, we want as much of our body in line or behind the bar as possible. By doing this, we can keep a majority of the weight centered over our body which will increase our likelihood of completing the lift while decreasing the risk of injury.
The next time you squat and deadlift, record yourself from the side. When you go back and watch the video, look at how you moved, and then take a look at your head position prior to, and throughout the entirety of the lift. If you notice that your head is drifting out, pack it up! This is how…
Squat: On the squat, make sure that this is something that you are focusing on as you unrack the bar. As you descend into your squat, drive your head back into your neck & traps about 50%. Then as soon as you start to ascend out of the bottom, drive your head back 100%. What you will find is that you are now able to better initiate the movement with your sternum coming up first as opposed to having your hips shoot up first.
Deadlift: On the deadlift, this is a technique that we want to apply from the very beginning. As we bend down to grab the bar, we should already be working on getting our head position where we want it. Then, as soon as we begin to initiate the pull, we want to pull our head back into our traps as hard as possible. When done correctly, this will assist us in making sure that our sternum rises first, and then our hips, instead of the other way around.
Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Stay strong, my friends.