One way to deal with this problem is by deadlifting like an Olympic weightlifter—with the shoulder blades pinched and the chest out. It works—if you are contentwith not reaching your deadlift strength potential. Partially protracted scapulae—and a chest that is not inflated—shorten the dis-tance one has to pull and thus increase the amount one can stand up with. Besides,once the weight gets heavy enough, you shall assume this posture—whether you likeit or not. So you might as well practice the way you are going to play from the verybeginning. It is a decidedly bad idea to have different techniques for light and heavyweights. Masters like Andy Bolton understand this. Several years ago I watched himpull 900+ at the Arnold Classic. I also saw Andy warming up with 135 and his tech-nique was identical to that of the big pull. “Act like your light lifts are heavy, so yourheavy lifts will feel light,” an axiom powerlifting great Ernie Frantz nailed a couple ofdecades ago.But what about the pain in the weakened mid-back?—There is neither pain, norweakness, thanks to a generous helping of rows, in Bolton’s methodology. Not onlydo the rows round up the back development for deadlifts, they help the bench pressgo up and the shoulders stay healthy. More on this later.Push your shoulders down away from the ears—an “antishrug”. If you pay attention, youwill get a cramp in your armpits. And your waist will feel more stable.Keep sitting back while keeping your weight over the center of your feet or slightly towardsyour heels.At the point where your “long” arms have reached the bell you are looking at a spot on theground 6-10 feet in front of you. Grip the kettlebell handle, then try to “break” it to increaseyour lat activation. “Break” it from your armpits, not just from your hands. When you findyour lats, your deadlifts will feel stronger and safer.
Push yourshoulders downaway from theears—an“antishrug”.
23Stand up ramrod straight. Don’tthink about lifting the kettlebell butfocus on your feet, visualize stompingthem through the ground. Take a breath and sit back again. Donot think about putting the bell downas this intention is likely to get yourback in trouble. Instead, focus on sit-ting back and use your lats to guidethe kettebell into the precise spotbetween your feet. Keep “breaking”the handle. When the kettlebell has brushed theground, stand up. Inhale on the waydown and exhale on the way up.Repeat for a couple of sets of five. Stand upramrod straight.
24The ascentVisualize a jump with your knees and hips straightening out simultaneously.Your butt should never—ever!—rise faster than your shoulders when you do any kind of adeadlift. It is important to drive this crucial point home early on. When the weights get heavy,it will be very tempting to lead the lift with your tail. Here is why your body makes such a poordecision.