The Doctor and the Deadlifter: Part 1

By Jesse Burdick and Kelly Starrett

In CrossFit, HD Videos, Mobility, Powerlifting

July 23, 2012

Video Article

The language of strength and conditioning is the language of human movement. So says movement and mobility guru Kelly Starrett, who also founded San Francisco CrossFit.

In this video, Starrett and powerlifter Jesse Burdick demonstrate how they’re saying the same things with different cues in the set-up for the sumo deadlift.

“The most effective positioning is the same language you’ve been using with all your friends,” Starrett says to Burdick.

The goal is to simplify the variables, Burdick notes.

“It’s efficiency in movement,” he explains. “We try to make it a single-joint motion as much as we can, the strongest levers are moving the weight in the shortest range of motion that we can.”

As always, the goal is to neutralize the spine by squeezing the butt, bracing the abs, taking a big breath and arching as hard as possible, Starrett says. From there, he wants to extrapolate the best practices “and try to translate it into something that means something to my mom or means something to me.”

6min 12sec

HD file size: 121 MB
SD wmv file size: 74 MB
SD mov file size: 33 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional audio: Additional reading: CrossFit Radio Episode 148 by Justin Judkins, published Dec. 1, 2010.

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8 Comments on “The Doctor and the Deadlifter: Part 1”


wrote …

It would be nice to see him at least make one lift.


replied to comment from Marc-André Faille

Agree. Start by showing us the lift and then spend the rest of the time on mechanics.


wrote …

Lotta build up with no payoff. Lame.


wrote …

I loved this.

I've been watching the MWOD videos since they started so I'm used to "Kelly speak" but this gives me some insight into Jesse's reasoning for why he does the things that Kelly talks about.

I don't care if they do a lift at all, I can see Jesse deadlifting all over the internet. I care about what's in his head.

Agree that it's too short, but that would be the case if it were hours long.


wrote …

What Craig said


wrote …

It says part1.... Doesn't take a genius to work out there'll be a part 2!!!


wrote …

It says part1.... Doesn't take a genius to work out there'll be a part 2!!!


wrote …

Confused about "arching" hard. Isn't that over extension? Other than that, loved the video. Part 2 is coming everybody.

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