International Journal of Exercise Science 5(3) : 183-195, 2012. The purpose of this study was to determine if either of the two deadlift starting positions would yield a more efficient movement than the other; (1) the traditional Olympic lifting and deadlift starting position with the barbell over the metatarsalphalangeal joint and under the acromioclavicular joint or (2) an experimental alignment with the bar over the navicular bone and under the most inferior and medial aspect of the scapular spine. This second starting position, developed as a teaching convention, differs from the historical alignment of toes-barbell-shoulder joint and is also proposed to reduce horizontal displacement of the bar thus minimizing the amount of work needed to complete the movement. It was hypothesized that the experimental alignment would produce a more efficient pulling movement compared to a traditional starting alignment. Efficiency was defined as a barbell path approaching linear movement, with larger horizontal displacements being considered less efficient than smaller displacements. Six intermediate level weightlifters, 23.8 ± 1.9 years of age, 164.7 ± 7.9 cm in height, 81.5 ± 31.9 kg in body mass, completed a series of deadlifts under both alignment conditions with 90% of their self-reported 1RM (169.0 ± 58.17 kg). Posterior horizontal barbell displacement was measured by video-analysis. In the traditional alignment (metatarsalphalangeal-bar-acromioclavicular) displacement was 66.7 ± 12.9 mm and was 37.5 ± 13.7 mm in the experiment alignment (navicular-bar-scapular spine). The noted 43.8% reduction (29.2 mm) in horizontal displacement in the experimental alignment condition was statistically significant (p = 0.0001) and supports the hypothesis in regards to improved lifting efficiency.
Hancock, Shelley; Wyatt, Frank; and Kilgore, J. Lon
"Variation in Barbell Position Relative to Shoulder and Foot Anatomical Landmarks Alters Movement Efficiency,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 5
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol5/iss3/1