Pro Tip: Don’t Drop Your Deadlifts

Did you know it was recommended to not drop the bar from the top of the deadlift? Why, you ask? The deadlift is a very functional movement for our everyday lives. Think about how we pick things up from the floor. Do we typically drop them or set them down? As you build your solid form in the gym this will also help us outside of the gym in real life situations. 

Eccentric Strength

An eccentric contraction is also known as a lengthening contraction. Being able to control the weight as you lower it is key to working on your explosive movements. In the deadlift, it is the lowering phase of the lift. The eccentric strength will focus on elongating your muscles through your hamstrings and glutes by maintaining tension throughout the movement. Eccentric contractions strengthen your muscle fibers, making it one of the most effective parts of the exercise to specifically stimulate growth in size. In addition to strengthening your muscles, eccentric training helps strengthen your tendons and ligaments, which decreases your risk of injury. 

Time Under Tension

Time when your muscles are loaded. When you drop your deadlift from the top, you are cutting that time in half. It is important for all of us to think about what we are trying to get out of each movement? Do we do a pull-up to only pull one way then drop from the top? If we are striving to be a well-rounded athlete then we need to focus on the goal of each movement. The concentric and eccentric phase of each movement and this will build your overall muscle strength.

Why is this so important?

Five years ago I was in what felt like my prime for CrossFit. I was hitting new PR’s all the time, performing complex movements I had never done, and really feeling like I could do anything. I was doing a deadlift workout with high volume reps and dropped every deadlift from the top because I thought that was ok form and completion of the movement. 

Then I hurt my back. I took the time off to recover and found myself ready to get back into it. Soon after, I got pregnant and during labor, my back was so weak I threw it out. After I had my little girl I was determined to get my back to a better place. Correct form to prevent injury is key. 

Now when I deadlift, although I can’t lift the same weight I used to, I’ve never felt better doing deadlifts AND I’m pain free. I am not worried about getting injured on every rep because I am working those muscles properly and concentrating on the FULL movement. It takes time to get used to but I encourage you to make a conscious effort and I bet you will see a difference. Small changes can make big gains!! Good luck!