Deadlift Back Angle

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
This makes some sense, logically... but why would you not want all the muscle mass you have available to contribute to every part of the pull?
I don't see my set up as limiting the amount of muscle mass available for the pull. It simple shifts some of the work from the back to my quads.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
Somewhat off-topic but I'm intrigued as to the technical differences between a deadlift and clean pull. When performing a max deadlift, the shape of the body will change and the back will have a tendency to round (at least minimally) due to the immense weights used whereas a lifter performing the first pull of a clean should be able to maintain a close to neutral spine if they're to stand any chance of getting the bar past the hips. They look different but the intent and the technique are the same, are they not (sumo deadlifts notwithstanding)?
The intent is not the same. The deadlift stops when your body is straight. Once you get past mid-thigh, the lift is basically done. A clean requires rapidly accelerating the bar so you can rack the bar on the shoulders. When you reach mid-thigh, the lift is just beginning. As @Glen mentioned, when you reach the mid-thigh your body needs to be in a certain position, and the purpose of the first pull is to place your body in that optimal second pull position. Once the bar breaks the floor, the lifter and barbell become one "system." This lifter-barbell system must stay in balance. Setting up with higher hips as in a deadlift position can place a lifter's shoulders too far over the bar. You want the shoulders directly over or slightly in front of the bar. More is not better - too far forward and the center of mass of the lifter-barbell system shifts forward. The lifter must then compensate by shifting backwards. When the bar reaches mid-thigh or the "power position," the lifter's shoulders are now behind the bar resulting in less force being applied to the bar. The lifter cannot adequately extend the quads so the lifter use more hip extension. This results in "swinging" the bar in a loopy bar path that moves away from the lifter's body. With relatively light weight, the lifter will usually be able to make the lift and catch the bar in a power clean. If the lifter tries to full clean with this method, you will see either a jump forward to catch the bar, jump backward because the lifter had to really pull back on the bar to bring it back towards the body, or miss the lift altogether. In sum, bad things happen.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
Having trained clean pulls (among other things) last night I can indeed concur. I appear to have made the mistake of confusing the 'clean pull' with the 'clean deadlift'.

This is the sort of thing that gets you shouted at in weightlifting classes.
 

SuperGirevik

Level 3 Valued Member
Today I filmed my final session of my DL singles program and I was wondering if someone could critique my technique. I posted this video in my training log but I figured it wouldn't be seen by many and wouldn't be a proper place to ask for form critiques.


I tried to lower the weight down a little quicker like @Anna C mentioned before. I think my problem is that I'm worried about banging up the floor, so I tend to control the drop and soften the impact. So I made a little deadlift "platform" using hard foam and it helped a little.

From watching the video, I feel like I can still improve on straightening my back more. I'm trying to lift my chest up but I guess I can still do a better. But something that I did notice was that during the drop, the bar ever so slightly goes around my knees. I think I need to shove my hips back quicker and get those knees back before the bar starts to drop.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
I'm not the most skilled DL technique coach, but one thing stood out to me. You seem like you are kind of jerking the bar off the floor instead of smoothly accelerating it or grinding it up.

On a challenging lift, you need to be able to grind it up. That means ramping up the tension and keeping it up through the lift, possibly for 5 seconds or even more. If you gun the bar off the floor like you can with a less challenging weight, it's much harder to keep the tension turned on and grind out the rep. Your body tends to shut down the tension if the initial blast off the floor doesn't get the job done, so learning to keep that tension turned on is a specific skill that needs to be practiced.

In your set up, build up the tension. Pull the slack out of the bar: Pull the bar up so there is no play between the bar and the sleeves/bushings. Ramp up the tension to "lighten" the bar before it comes off the floor. Then squeeze it off the floor as you wedge yourself between the floor and the bar and grind it up. Have the intent to accelerate the bar as it comes off the floor, but don't try to yank it up so abruptly right at the beginning.

You look like you have a lot more in you -- but there's a transitional point where you have to be able to access that low gear grind.
 

SuperGirevik

Level 3 Valued Member
So learning to keep that tension turned on is a specific skill that needs to be practiced.
I used to think that if a weight didn't go up in a few seconds that I had to abort to save my back.

You look like you have a lot more in you -- but there's a transitional point where you have to be able to access that low gear grind.
I'm starting to think that perhaps 405lbs wasn't my "max" and that I've been training too light and thus not practicing staying tense during slow grinds. That video is supposed to be me lifting 92.5% of my max.

Thanks for the pointers. I'll try my best to apply them. Next week I'll be testing my 1RM, so I'll post a follow-up video.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
I used to think that if a weight didn't go up in a few seconds that I had to abort to save my back.
Traditional Conventional Deadlift

With a Traditional Conventional Deadlift, the bar usually comes off the floor well with the sticking point being in the knee area.

Some individual, like Anna demonstrated in the video that she posted a while back, grind it off the floor and have a strong top end pull.

Have the intent to accelerate the bar as it comes off the floor
Compensatory Acceleration, CAT
Dr Fred Hatfield

This means, no matter how heavy the load is, "The Intent"/effort exerted needs to be on pushing/pulling a heavy weight, as hard and fast as you can. Doing so innervates the Fast Twitch Muscle Fiber.

Hatfield devise this method back in the 1980's. Hatfield demonstrated this during a competition...

Dr. Fred Hatfield (Dr. Squat) 1008lb / 457.2kg squat

Hatfield was the lightest lifter, at one time, to Squat over 1,000 lbs.

Generating Momentum

To reiterate, most Traditional Deadlifts have good power/speed coming off the floor. Lifters who can generate power/speed off the floor should do so.

Speed is metaphorically the grease that enables you to slip through your sticking point and maintain enough momentum to finish the lift.

Deadlifter's who are somewhat slow off the floor should strive to accelerate the weight off the floor.

The majority of Traditional Conventional Deadlifters who grids getting the weight off the floor, don't make it past the knees.

Traditional Conventional Deadlifter with this issue need to focus their training on breaking the weight off the floor with Haulting Deadlifts, Stiff Leg (slight break in the knees) Deadlifts, Deficit Deadlifts, Isometric or Functional Isometric Deadlifts off the floor or a little off the floor, etc.

Sumo Deadlifters usually struggle to get break the weight off the floor. Once they break the weight off the floor, many can complete the lift.

Your Deadlift looks good.

Kenny Croxdale
 
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Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I used to think that if a weight didn't go up in a few seconds that I had to abort to save my back.
I know exactly what you mean because that's where I used to be. It's not automatically true, but it can be true. Your back will tell you. If you feel your back moving, losing its neutral position (or some might say, extension) that you are trying to hold it in as you lift the weight, then yes, it can end up straining your back even if you can physically lift the weight. Here's an old video of me deadlifting 3 years ago, and in the last attempt on that video, I felt the strain going to my back so I aborted the lift. For me at that time, it was a wise choice. It wasn't just a matter of not being able to grind it up. I just wasn't strong enough, and my back would have taken the brunt of it even if my muscles could have extended my hips and knees to complete the lift. If you can get a good wedge, hold a good strong back position, and keep applying force then yes keep grinding, and it's OK if it takes a few seconds. But if you feel it going to your back, don't make your back do what it knows it shouldn't do. It might be that you're in a position that's not as advantageous to your back (for example, weight towards your toes, or legs too straight). Neither one of those is the case for you, but you also don't have your back in as strong a position as you could. Set your back strongly as you take the slack out, as @Steve W. describes above. You've studied the SS method, so reference step 4 of that. Or just work on squeezing your chest up more. Other than that, looks pretty good.

What I've found is that by training that ability to hold the back straight/neutral/extended throughout the lift in all reps/sets, I can hold it that way regardless of the weight. I never feel anymore that my back is in danger of being strained, even on a max attempt or really heavy set.
 

SuperGirevik

Level 3 Valued Member
To reiterate, most Traditional Deadlifts have good power/speed coming off the floor. Lifters who can generate power/speed off the floor should do so.
Thanks Kenny for all that info. Always value your comments.

if you feel it going to your back, don't make your back do what it knows it shouldn't do
That's actually a really good safety cue. As long as I'm in my strong position I will continue to lift but if my back feels compromised, I'll abort.

Set your back strongly as you take the slack out, as Steve W. describes above. You've studied the SS method, so reference step 4 of that. Or just work on squeezing your chest up more. Other than that, looks pretty good.
I saw your videos and I like how your back is straight when grabbing the bar. I don't know if it's due to my structure but my back forms a hill when grabbing the bar. But I'll try harder to wedge myself under the bar.

I never feel anymore that my back is in danger of being strained, even on a max attempt or really heavy set
You actually made that look pretty easy (y)
 

SuperGirevik

Level 3 Valued Member
So I reached a new PR @ 425lbs :)


Watching the video, it didn't go up too bad (legs were kind of shaky)... yet every attempt after that one didn't budge at all. It's like my body was done for the day. I posted the video mainly because it shows how my form looks like during a difficult lift.
 

SuperGirevik

Level 3 Valued Member
I'm going to start S&S again and I think I'm going to add sumo deadlifts once per week. I've never done sumo style before, so it should be fun to try it.
 

Tarzan

Level 4 Valued Member
There's some excellent advice here.

Another cue that seems to help people is the "lats in the back pockets" cue when you preload and take the slack out of the bar. I think that was one of Pavel's tips, it seems to help people set the neutral or ever so slightly extended spine before the lift.
 
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