Maintaining the lumbar curve is paramount when it comes to deadlifting. If an athlete can’t find or maintain a safe lumbar spine position for whatever reason, coaches should know how to make adjustments and set that athlete up for success.
At a recent Coaches Prep Course, HQ trainer Chris Spealler helps an athlete reach the ideal set position. First, he works with a dowel. Then he adds weight to see if the tension provides feedback that helps the athlete self-correct the loss of lumbar curve. If it doesn’t, Spealler suggests elevating the bar using bumper plates, which can help an athlete find a safe lifting position.
Safely loading a new athlete is critical, and being creative in your teaching will help your clients achieve the flexibility and body awareness necessary to progress to lifting off the floor.
Additional reading: Spine Mechanics for Lifters by Tony Leyland, published Nov. 1, 2007.