Crucifix – Part 3

by Roger LaPointe

Crucifix Part 3 – Questions about the Crucifix Lift

Actor John Saxon utilized Kettlebells to develop a symmetrical muscular build.

How about the lower body when doing the crucifix (iron cross)?

The official competition crucifix lift is properly performed with the feet together.  The feet are brought together once the weights are brought together overhead and before the weights are allowed to descend.  As you are learning the lift, don’t worry about the legs.  Get the weights overhead and learn the upper body movements first.   The Crucifix is an awesome movement for highlighting that old physical culture concept of symmetrically balanced physical development.  You see this as topic of apparently huge importance in the older bodybuilding literature, as measured by the amount of print space devoted to it.  However, from a practical issue, no where has it been better highlighted than during a Crucifix Lift.  I thought the 2 Hand Barbell Snatch made this obvious, with press outs, spear fished barbells and other dramatic missed attempts, but it is even more obvious in the crucifix.  No one in the Atomic Athletic Club has properly held out those weights, with their feet together, the first time.  You will be surprised at how much of an impact the foot position will be, as you get closer to limit lifts.  Once you get everything else nailed down, add in the foot placement.

Read the specifics of the competition lift in the USAWA Official Rule Book, which can be found on this website.

What is the best dumbbell for the crucifix?

Man, that is a great question.  I always believe that solid dumbbells are the best, for just about anything.  Obviously, a solid dumbbell is terrible if you need to adjust it.  For training purposes, I am not a big fan of Olympic sized dumbbells.  They are so big that they really limit what you can effectively do with them.  However, if you only have Olympic sized plates, they are clearly the cheapest way to go.  I am a big fan of a rotating dumbbell as well, which is satisfied by the Olympic dumbbell concept.  Standard sized equipment, plates and bars, are much more compact and they are cheaper than the Olympic ones.  We sell a variety of bars, rotating handles, collars, plates and other equipment, including the kettlebell handles that I like for the crucifix.  However, that may not be an invest you are willing to make.


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