Back strong and beltless.
As many of you may already know, I am an advocate for deadlifting beltless. Recently though however I was lifting in a close friends gym in South Africa, The Yard Athletic, when one of the strength coaches there asked me why I lifted beltless considering the fact that I compete. “You know all the guys you are lifting against are wearing belts, it makes sense that you are all on even ground”.
I was always so confident that lifting beltless was the best for general fitness, and I still agree. In my opinion unless you compete then you should do your time lifting without any aids like belts and wraps. Once you get to a certain level and want to give completion a crack, then there are ways to slowly integrate belted lifts.
I started in incorporate belted lifts about 4 weeks out from the competition and what I noticed was how they forced an amazing abdominal contraction because you have something firm to push your abs against.
This abdominal contraction should be happening anyway but having some bio-feedback really helps to maximally contract so this got me thinking about how I could integrate this into our clients lifts. So I started using string with clients and had amazing success.
The string gives you feedback to que the brace. At the top of the deadlift you breathe deep into the string, which is roughly over your belly button, then as you break the bar and brace, forcefully push out into the string.
You will feel an amazing amount of support if done correctly.
Please give the string a go next time you lift and let your trainer know so they can talk you through it. They can also place their fingers under the string at the back to feel that you are executing the whole process correctly.