When you got to learn a new exercise in the gym it is crucial that you get the technique right from the beginning so that your habits are correct and allow you to progress smoothly to greater amounts of weight as your ability increases. Incorrect technique early on can cause incredibly difficulty later when you seek to correct it, and thus learning the basics is absolutely crucial. When seeking to master the deadlift, for example, it's important to understand the differences between the ‘start' and ‘set' position, what each of them are, and why they are each important. In today's article we will review them both and help clarify their differences.
The first position that you must understand is the start position. This is where you must be before you begin to actually lift the bar, and reflects the most important fundamentals of biomechanics so that you can exert maximum strength and pull on the bar from the get-go, using the full power of your body without depending overly on any one set of muscles to the exclusion of the others. To start, the bar must be touching your shin and over the mid-line of your feet. Your back must be in good lumbar and thoracic extension, and your elbows must be completely straight. If you have these basics down, then you are ready to begin pulling the bar.
However, there is also the ‘set' position, which is if you will the ‘attitude' that one must adopt once the start position has been reached. Rather than a mass of blocks, you must think of your body as a coiled spring, and that attitude comes forward when you focus on the positioning of your body. You must be aware of your chest and ass when it comes to setting, and imagine somebody touching your sternum and the small of your back. From there you raise your chest and raise your ass, so that you have some tension in your back. Do not over arch them, but rather prepare yourself as if coiled to leap up, as this attitude will help your rise to a standing position in the correct order.
Thus it is important to achieve the starting position first, but to the move into the set position so as to ensure that your lift is done with the correct attitude and poise. Remember, the only way to ensure a correct and safe lift is to do both of these in the correct manner.