When most people think of making their deadlift form better, I doubt they think that they can learn much from the male stripping movie Magic Mike.
I'm here to tell you they are wrong.
It's all too common to see people unable to achieve the proper starting position for a deadlift, with the bar held to the shins, straight elbows, a medium bend in the knees, flexed at the hips, the spine neutral or slightly arched and the chest high.
Any of these elements can be sub par and to write about them all would be akin to writing the sequel to “War and Peace”. Here I'm going to focus on the lack of neutral spine, specifically at the lower back.
Many people can't get in the start position with a slight inward curve of the lumbar spine. Their lumbar spines are instead curved outwards.
If this is you, there are a few things you can do:
1) Don't deadlift – you can get plenty strong enough without deadlifting after all.
2) Deadlift from blocks or a rack – you will find that shortening the range of the deadlift will make it easier to get your lower back in the correct starting position.
3) Sort out your mobility so that you can achieve the desired start position.
The third option is where I suggest you go. It's also where you get to exotic dance your way to a better deadlift.
Set yourself up in your deadlift position and enhance the undesirable bend in your lower back. That's right – bend it more, but just at the lower back so that the pelvis tucks under.
After a few movements tucking your pelvis under, staying in your deadlift position, now lift one side of your pelvis towards the same side armpit before lifting the other side of your pelvis to its corresponding armpit. Rock the pelvis side to side like this a few times.
Having rocked the pelvis backwards and side to side, now try rocking it forwards a few times staying rocked forwards on your last movement. From here rock your pelvis round in circles, going from the forwards position round to one side, through the back position, through the other side and back to the front.
Get this circle going smoothly and you will find yourself doing the pelvic winding commonly associated with Magic Mike and the like.
After the pelvic rocking, you will probably find yourself more able to get in a good, solid starting position for your deadlift, more able to get your lower back into at least a slightly lordotic/arched position.
I know that grinding like this on the deadlift platform can look a little bizarre but your back, your hips and your deadlift numbers will thank you for it.
Magic Mike your way to a better deadlift,
Arton “Nothing wrong with a little bump and grind” Baleci
Float Sting – Athletic Training + Rehab