3 Things That Will Change The Way You Deadlift
Do these 3 things to take your deadlift to the next level
It’s one of the greatest tests of strength and it’s as old as the very first human ego combined with a drop of testosterone. Lets face it everyone who has ever touched a barbell wants to deadlift big and when you do the feeling is unlike anything else. The moment you lock out a PB deadlift the surge of energy that runs through your blood is unexplainable.
Unfortunately many don’t get to reach their true deadlift capabilities due to not doing one or all of the following 3 things during the deadlift and the crazy thing is most people don’t know it’s happening. They will do it for years and years until a coach witnesses it and points it out and BAM jut like that they feel like they can lift more.
So here are my tips as a former world deadlift record holder on the top 3 things I always see people doing wrong when they come to get some deadlift advice:
1) Tighten the lats
The lats play a major role in keeping trunk stability as you pull and keeping the bar close as the bar lifts off the floor. Not to mention they are a pretty damn big muscle which when used along with the rest of the back musculature you can REALLY produce some solid force and tell the bar what to do.
When you get into position to begin lift off close the gap between your tricep and armpit. This cue will tighten the lats. Basically squeeze your tricep (inner arm/armpit) into the side of your rib cage. The other cue you can think of is imagine someone has their hand under your armpit and you want to trap their hand there by squeezing your arm to your side.
Hold this and then begin the pull and watch the difference in how it feels.
2) Keep the bar close
Is your sticking point just off the ground or a few centimetres after the ground? This is a direct follow on from the previous point. A LOT of people miss deadlifts that they otherwise should have pretty easily gotten just because as they lift off the ground the bar is not close enough to the body.
You must do everything within your power to keep the bar close to the shins as you are going up. Not scraping the shin because that just adds extra friction where it’s not needed but definitely super close.
If you begin by tightening the lats as per point 1 and then continue this cue as the bar is coming off the ground then you will get through your sticking point much easier.
3) “Pull back” instead of “hips through”
This cue really changed things for me when I discovered it. Now normally when someone gets past the knees with the bar you hear the crowd yelling “HIPS” or “HIPS THROUGH” commanding the lifter to push their hip through so they can lock out the deadlift.
I noticed sometimes when I used this cue what it caused me to do was prematurely just push the hips through causing my shoulders to still remain forward and upper back staying rounded.
This made the lockout impossible.
I changed the cue to think of it as “pull back”.
So when the bar passes the knee I literally think I am pulling the bar backwards my hip bone so I can “pull it over and into” my stomach. This cue makes it much easier to think about the lockout and the fact that the force needs to continue to be applied to the bar so it can keep moving at the top rather than focusing on bringing hips through.
These are just 3 of the main things I figured out over time and I have applied these same principles to our lifters at Adonis Athletics to get them to also smash through their deadlift plateaus and understand the lift better and make it feel more second nature. Hope it does the same for you.