After a lot of work on Tuesday comprised of a lot of different movements (in a class comprised of a lot of people), we slowed things down a bit for Thursday’s class. In slowing down the tempo, people were provided with a little more time to spend focusing on achieving and maintaining form, especially through the mid-line.
Deadlifts were Rx’d at one of four weights (95lbs, 135lbs, 185lbs, or 225lbs) with people choosing the weight that was closest to 55% of their max deadlift. The only caveat was that everyone was limited to no more than 12reps a round. This sounds small considering the relatively light weight, and on the first round at least, probably felt it as well. However, the focus was not on numbers, but on maintaining perfect form through out all 12 reps. More on this below.
The handstands and hollow position holds were done for as long as possible. Scaling for the handstands included walking the feet into a comfortable level of incline, or performing a box assisted (knees on the box) handstand. Additionally, handstands could be done facing the wall (similar to walking the feet into position) so long as they were not held till failure for obvious safety reasons. Hollow holds were scaled to one leg pulled in, with people alternating legs on a regular interval. Finally, rest periods between exercises were limited to 30 seconds, with a longer rest interval of 90 to 120 seconds between rounds.
P.C. (POSTURAL CONTROL)
This triplet really emphasizes the importance of maintaining control over the core, and the core (abs, obliques, glutes, low back, and upper) dictate posture. This relationship between core control and posture played out in infinite variations during Thursday’s workout.
Maintaining proper posture in the deadlift will be harped on ad nauseum by any respected strength coach. However, the need to control the lower back position isn’t a one-time deal, nor is it a one-way deal. Lower back and mid-section control isn’t just about creating and keeping the lumbar-arch position. If you don’t have enough control over your mid-section to keep your back from arching in the hollow position, or over-arching in the handstand, you probably won’t have enough control to keep it from rounding during a DL.
A big part of postural control through these three movements, and something we’ve covered in some depth before, is the ability to adjust, and maintain, the position of the pelvis (“HIP TO IT“). A slower and more focused pace, but extremely valuable and rewarding for long term growth. Rest up, and we’ll see everyone on Sunday for some high rep squats (20 RM squats anyone??).