Romanian Deadlift: “Nipples Up” Fixes RDL Technique

Although this is my website with my name on it – It’s NOT about “me” and just the way “we” train at Performance University – It’s about sharing valuable training information that’s practical, simple to understand and immediately applicable.

One of the up and coming trainers who knows how to provide simple and effective solutions to complex training problems is Adrian Crowe. If you don’t know who Adrian Crowe is, you certainly will now because this post kicks off a series of posts provided by Adrian, who happens to write an excellent training blog!

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That’s right! It’s Adrain Crowe week here at Performance… because the guest post I got back from him provides killer information on several training topics, with each well deserving of their own post.

Let’s kick things off with Adrain’s article on Deadlifting and how he uses simple queing to fix Deadlift technique for his clients!

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“Nipples Up” Fixes Everything

by Adrian Crowe

A few years back, I watched a seminar video of Coach Dan John discussing the Romanian deadlift. Now, if you don’t know Dan John, just know he’s the best out there at dumbing things way down so everyone gets it! In discussing the Romanian deadlift posture he said something that has really stuck with me: “Get your ass as far away from your mouth as possible!” What?! He didn’t just say that. But think about it for a second and try that cue next time you Romanian deadlift.

Romanian Deadlift

Tell me you don’t feel your hamstrings WAY more!

Note from Nick: How do you know if you’re an exercise-elitist form natzi? Answer: If you feel the need to comment just to point out how the dude in the picture (above) has his head up, and “inform us”  why his neck “should” be in neutral. First off, it’s just a google image, which we had nothing to do with. Second, and more importantly,  no one has proven that looking up a bit (i.e. some neck extension) on RDLs is bad. So relax and don’t mistake your opinions (or that of others) for proven facts. Instead, focus on learning and enjoy the concepts Adrain is sharing!

We trainers have to be good at cuing. I don’t need to give a play by play of each phase of your rep but I damn sure better be ready to speak up when things go awry. When you’re about to do something horrifying I have be able to say something better than “keep your spine neutral, pack your neck, retract and depress your shoulders; good; now drive through your heels, thrust, extend and exhale!” and that’s just the concentric phase of a deadlift. Geez.

Look, when most posture goes out the window it’s on hip hinge movements (think squats/deadlifts), “core” exercises and back training, right? I have one cue that works every time: “Nipples UP!” Now, while you may not want to yell it out repeatedly to your client, I’ve found time and time again it works much better than “chest up.” The same goes for “tailbone out” versus “butt out.” It’s sharper, a stronger image and it sticks better. And think about the action of making the nipples perky: shoulder girdle retraction and scapula depression, an engagement of the upper core region and generally speaking, better head alignment. Two words, you’ll fix a whole bunch! See the video where I show its universal application.

Keep your eyes out for the next post from Adrain Crowe called

When the Deadlift Goes Wrong.”

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