Donald Trump, Jr. recently posted his new deadlift personal record on Instagram, and it was atrocious. Like, we-watched-this-yesterday-and-our-backs-still-hurts atrocious.
While Junior was candid in his Instagram post admitting that his form was all off, we didn’t realize how off it was until we clicked play on the video. If it doesn’t make you cringe, we don’t know what will.
“At the extreme ends it gets tougher to stay perfect,” he captioned the post.
We have some bad news for you, Donald Jr.: That’s not what that’s supposed to look like. True, PRs aren’t always pretty, but this one is a different story. We appreciate that you admitted “the form went to hell,” but you should know that you likely herniated countless other people’s disks just by posting that video for the world to see, if not a few of your own.
We asked the Men’s Health fitness editor, Ebenezer Samuel, for some tips on what exactly went wrong during Junior’s deadlift PR. Samuel said that his starting position, his shoulders, and his neck were off, but a few simple tweaks could turn Trump Jr.’s 375 deadlift PR into a much safer lift—and a much more pleasant viewing experience for all.
Samuel said that Trump Jr. set himself up for a back-wrenching PR from the very beginning.
“He didn’t tighten or compress his core at the start of the movement,” Samuel said. “People break later in the movement all the time, but if you don’t start from a good position, that’s even more likely to happen.”
Lesson one, Junior: Engage that core from the get-go.
You’re not the only one who was staring at that hunch that is Donald Jr.’s lower back the entire time, cringing. But Samuel says that’s not the only part of the back he should be worried about.
“The lower back rounding is bad, but the upper back isn’t much better,” Samuel said. “When you set up and first grab the bar, you should squeeze your shoulder blades and tighten your back muscles; this helps protect your shoulders and reinforce good posture.”
Lesson two, Junior: Tighten your shoulders to help maintain good posture.
Finally, Samuel said, Junior’s neck position was completely off.
“That neck position is high and back,” Samuel said. “He should be looking at the ground, just slightly in front of him, so his upper spine stays neutral.”
Lesson three, Junior: Keep your whole spine in one line, from your neck down to your butt.
To be clear, it’s good that Donald Jr. is crushing goals and staying fit. But even if his deadlifts actually make us gasp in pain and his self-reporting makes us scratch our heads, at least he’s in shape—more than his dad can say.
By Reegan von Wildenradt; images courtesy from Instagram / @donaldjtrumpjr