Bolton Conventional Deadlift Video
I found this video
while looking for deadlifting advice and was interested to note that Andy Bolton advocates pulling with a vertical shin, with the shins touching the bar.
This is an excellent Deadlift tutorial for the Conventional Deadlifter. The Sumo is completely different.
Let's break down Bolton's analysis.
1) Dragging The Bar Up The Shins
a) This ensure you keep the bar close to your body's COG (Center of Gravity); it decreases Torque.
The farther the bar is from you COG, the more it magnifies the true bar weight.
Research by Dr Tom McLaughlin on an 800 Deadlift (circa 1980) by Jon Kuc/242 lb body weight, found that the bar drifted out in front. McLaughlin found doing so magnified the bar weight to around 1600 lbs; Kuc needed to produce 1600 lbs of force to complete the lift, which he didn't.
b) Dragging the bar up the shins increases stability. It is somewhat like performing a lift in Smith Machine; the bar glides up.
2) Bending Your Arms On The Pull
Most know not to do this.
3) Head Position: The head needs to be looking ahead and downward; the eyes focused at the floor about 8 - 10 feet in front of you.
As you pull the weight up, the head should drop down...
Neck Packing keeps you from hyperextending your back in a Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing, Back/Hip Extension, etc.
Most good and great Deadlifters, unknowingly Neck Pack.
4) High Hip Position: The Deadlift involves a Quarter Squat position. That because you can Quarter Squat more than you can Half Squat.
Great Deadlift Auxiliary Exercises are: High Bar Quarter Squats in a Rack, Quarter Step Up Squats, Leg Press, etc.
5) Back Drive Off The Floor
Bolton state you want to use the back and leg to drive the weight off the floor.
With that said, the lower back initiates the drive off the floor, with the legs assisting. The movement occurs so quickly with the back and legs, that it hard is to really see with the naked eye. It's...
The Bam-Bam Effect
In American Football, any sport, something occurs so quickly that it's hard to detect. That is one of the reason that Football used "Instant Replay".
The Olympic Lifting Deadlift
As Bolton's interview noted, he was preforming an Olympic Lifting Deadlift; driving the legs into the floor, essentially Leg Pressing the weight off the ground. A flat back was maintained.
The purpose of the Olympic Lifting Deadlift (First Pull) is to correctly position the bar for the Second Pull.
The Conventional Powerlifting Deadlift
The Conventional Powerlifting Deadlift employs the back to break the weight off the floor with some assistance from the legs.
Some upper back rounding usually occurs. Doing so, enables the lifter to pull the bar back in on top of them, minimizing Torque; ensuring the bar is as close to the body's Center of Gravity as possible.
Lighting Up Your Back With the Conventional Deadlift
When I first started deadlifting, this is pretty much how I was doing it and I would find that my lifts were mediocre at best and that my lower back would 'light up' for days afterwards: In short, it never felt good.
That is true of most Conventional Deadlifts. It is one of the reason most individual's Deadlift once every 7 - 10 days.
As McLaughlin stated in his Deadlift research, the lower back is quickly and easily overtrained.
Heavy Deadlift Training would "light my back up for days, as well.
With that said, I opted out of Deadlifting. In doing so, my Deadlift dramatically increased.
Two effective "Deadlift Auxiliary Exercise" that I found and use are...
1) Good Morning
2) 45 Degree and 90 Degree Back/Hip Extensions
I found that both of these exercise developed back strength with out "lighting my back up" and allowed me to recover faster.
As I have noted in other post, using any of the Powerlifts as a training exercise is counter productive. With each repetition, the muscle become more fatigued; meaning your technique is altered with each repetition as well as you your muscle fiber's firing sequence.
Technique is developed with loads of 85% plus of 1 Repetition Max, with single or double repetitions.
Increasing Deadlift Strength
Auxiliary Exercises that are similar in nature to the Deadlift allow you to increase strength without affecting your Deadlift Technique.
Once I started lifting with my hips a bit closer to the ground, my weights went up and the lift felt better. Now I find myself wondering, am I cheating myself out of a stronger deadlift in the long run by going for what feels easier rather than what is mechanically 'correct', or is the notion of a 'correct' deadlift nonsense?
This means you may be using more leg drive to break the weight off the floor; your performing something closer to a Half Squat rather than a Quarter Squat.
To reiterate, you can Quarter Squat more than you can Half Squat.
Based on what you've posted, it appears your legs are stronger than you back. If so, the Sumo Deadlift is something you should consider. The legs drive the weight off the floor with some assistance form the back.
Sumo Deadlift Firing Sequence: Legs > Back
Conventional Deadlift Firing Sequence: Back > Legs > Back
Take Home Message
Play to your strength.