Deadlifts - Easier For Men?
(posted by Craig) A couple weeks ago, I was giving my usual demonstration for proper deadlift technique before the back & hamstrings track. Getting the form nailed on this part of the routine seems to be a tougher nut to crack with classes than it ought to be. Many times I notice class participants - especially new folks - simply bending over rather than executing the move with the backside leading the motion, knees behind the toes.

And then it struck me - I was thinking of some demonstration I'd seen once where women could bend over and pick up a chair while standing next to a wall, while men would fall forward. So rather than check my facts, I just went with that and proceeded to tell our class full of ladies that it's probably more natural for them to bend over without pushing their butts out than it is for us guys. While demonstrating the motion, I noticed Tami staring at me. "Really?" she asked.

"Oh yes" said I, though it came out with a tad less conviction than I'd hoped. "Haven't you ever seen that little trick where women can bend over and pick up a chair but men fall flat on their faces?"

"No, I haven't."

"You haven't? I thought everybody knew about that. It works because of the way we're balanced - men have more mass concentrated in their shoulders, see, while women have more mass... uh, you know, lower than... men."

Her eyes narrowed slightly. "Why don't you show us?"

Self confidence fleeting, I looked around the room for support - by now everyone had stopped getting their weights together. And while most will tell you they come to our classes for the workout, truth be told it's tasty moments like these that surely must add something extra to the post-class locker room conversation. Small wonder, then, that nobody offered up a hint of support.

I stood against the wall, and bent over. Naturally I fell forward. Then Tami did the same. "So much for your anatomy lesson" she said, as my theory dissolved into that sea of satisfied laughter that comes from witnessing a member of the opposite sex make a complete fool of himself.

I wish I could say I learned a lesson that day, but chances are I didn't. It'll happen again. It always does. I suppose that's why Tami gets so many hugs from our class regulars, and why she always says it's a "lot less interesting" when she has to teach alone.

PS. Here's a link to a question and answer info about the women vs. men bending-over thing. I may've been technically right about the difference in balance, but equating it to ease of doing deadlifts probably wasn't my proudest moment!
3 Comment(s):
On 27 December, 2007, Blogger Reymond said...

Reading ur posts are always fun. Merry christmas and happy new year to you both!!! :)

On 27 December, 2007, Blogger pipera said...

Hi graig thanks for the article on deadlifts. I agree that deadlifts are hard depending on the participant in the class.

Good article!

On 10 January, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im insane i think because i dont find technique hard to get on deadlifts-i think about how many times instructors and trainers have reinforced to me that deadlifts should be just to the knees and no lower,and not to curve the spine on deadlifts-which is what all trainers/assessors have hauled me up for in the past.i find deadrows much much harder to get the target zone right on - even when i know it should be down to the knees,in to the belly button and the belly button or just above it is the target depending on the chorey,i find it really hard to actually squeeze in between the shoulder love to know why people find deadrows or deadlifts easier/harder!


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