Deadlift and bar path - video included

Danj64

My Fourth Post
When deadlifting, I know it's recommended to keep the bar path straight and to drag the bar up your legs. However, once I get to my knees, I find my legs are nowhere near straight enough to drag the bar up my thighs. If I were to do this, then the bar would be traveling back instead of straight. Is this an issue with my form or just anatomy?


Thanks!
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Danj64, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

What's visible looks fine but please video from about 45 degrees to the front, or at least far enough in front so that the plates don't obscure what you're asking about.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Raising the camera off the floor can help, too, e.g. on a chair is definitely better, about waist high is probably ideal.

-S-
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I like it when you agree with me, @Anna C. (Read out loud and it rhymes, sort of.)

😀

I was a poet and I didn't know it.

-S-
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
When deadlifting, I know it's recommended to keep the bar path straight [and to drag the bar up your legs.
Deadlift Bar Path Trajectory

In the Deadlift the bar path should be pulled back on top of you, not straight up.

Pulling the bar back on top of you positions it closer to your body's Center of Gravity, COG.

Pulling the bar straight up positions the bar slightly out farther from your Center of Gravity.

Torque

The farther away the bar is from your body's Center of Gravity, the greater the Torque.

Torque magnifies the weight on the bar beyond it true load.

John Kuc's 1600 lb Plus Deadlift Attempt

Kuc was on of the great Deadlifters of the 1980's. Kuc's best Deadlift at a 242 lb body weight was 870 lbs/395 kg.

McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Bio-Mechanics/Former Powerlifter) wrote a series of Powerlifting and Deadlifting article on the bar path in the Deadlift, Squat and Bench Press for Powerlifing USA magazine based on his research.

McLaughlin's research examined one of Kuc's Deadlift attempts with around 860 lbs, where Kuc allows the bar to get a little to far out in front of him.

McLaughlin determined the Torque of the bar being slightly out in front of Kuc magnified the bar weight to over 1600 lbs.

Needless to say, Kuc missed that Deadlift attempt.

Dragging The Weight Up

This provide two benefits...

1) It ensure that you are keeping the bar as close to your body's Center of Gravity as physically possible.

2) It provide greater support for your stabilizer muscles.

Dragging the bar up is similar performing a lift on a Smith Machine.

The bar gliding up "The Rails" of your legs, like it glides up the guide rods on a Smith Machine.

...once I get to my knees, I find my legs are nowhere near straight enough to drag the bar up my thighs. If I were to do this, then the bar would be traveling back instead of straight. Is this an issue with my form or just anatomy?
Traveling Back With The Bar

That is precisely what you want; to pull the bar back.

Pulling it straight up slightly increase the Torque, magnifies the true weight on the bar.

That means you need more force/strength to finish the Deadlift. It guarantees your Deadlift will be less than it could be.

Is this an issue with my form or just anatomy?
Poor Coaching

The issue comes from some poor coaching on how to Deadlift.

You body is instinctively wants to do the right thing, pull the bar back on top of you.

However, your are overriding it by trying forcing the bar to travel in a straight line, slightly farther away from your body's Center of Gravity.

Your Video

It hard to determine what you doing from the angle of the video.[/QUOTE]

Summary

To reiterate, pulling the bar back on top of you (traveling back with the bar) ensure you keep the bar as close as possible to your body's Center of Gravity and allows you to slide the bar up "The Rails" of your legs, like a Smith Machine.
 
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Danj64

My Fourth Post
Hey everyone,

I uploaded another video but from a better angle. Weight is a bit lighter at 165 lbs. Please let me know if I can do anything to improve.

 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Looks great to me, @Danj64 ! Set up is good, bar path looks great, lockout and descent are good as well. You're on the right track... Keep lifting. Are you following a program?

Minor point: you can (don't have to) tilt your head down a bit and look up through your eyebrows for a little less neck extension.
 
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Danj64

My Fourth Post
Looks great to me, @Danj64 ! Set up is good, bar path looks great, lockout and descent are good as well. You're on the right track... Keep lifting. Are you following a program?

Minor point: you can (not don't have to) tilt your head down a bit and look up through your eyebrows for a little less neck extension.
Thanks Anne. I’m just following a beginner program I found on bodybuilding.com called fierce 5.

I also wanted to ask for some advice in regards to feeling dizzy after finishing a rep of the deadlift. Is this just a cardio issue because I’m holding my breath too long ?
 

Anna C

> 6k Posts
Elite Certified Instructor
’m just following a beginner program I found on bodybuilding.com called fierce 5.
I hadn't heard of it, but a little googling and found this page. It looks like a decent program. I particularly like this statement, "As a beginner, you should increment weights every workout. As an intermediate, you should increment weight every week." I agree. Simple programming works really well for many months. So, let us know how it goes!

I also wanted to ask for some advice in regards to feeling dizzy after finishing a rep of the deadlift. Is this just a cardio issue because I’m holding my breath too long ?
Most likely it's just another adaptation your body will figure out how to do as you get more practice. Just take a short break between reps if you need to.

You might play with your breath technique and see if it helps. When you take a breath and hold, close the throat and "exhale against a closed glottis" (Valsalva), practice keeping the pressure below your neck and not in your head. Don't ask me how... I'm still working on it. But it is a pressure you can manage if you practice, and you can practice this anytime, not just when you're lifting. Mostly you want to be creating pressure in your abdomen by bracing the abdominal muscles and creating downward pressure with the diaphragm, while also tightening the pelvic floor. Some people call this the "cylinder" that helps keep your spine stable while lifting.
 

GeoffreyLevens

> 1k Posts
You might play with your breath technique and see if it helps. When you take a breath and hold, close the throat and "exhale against a closed glottis" (Valsalva), practice keeping the pressure below your neck and not in your head. Don't ask me how... I'm still working on it. But it is a pressure you can manage if you practice, and you can practice this anytime, not just when you're lifting. Mostly you want to be creating pressure in your abdomen by bracing the abdominal muscles and creating downward pressure with the diaphragm, while also tightening the pelvic floor.
My "best" personal cue is to inhale big and while holding breath, imagine someone just launched a hard punch at my mid section. There's a reflexive brace to protect against that; hold it and go
 
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