Welcome back to another Full Affect Fitness article everyone! Today I will be giving you my tips for the deadlift! These are simple cues that I find help me increase proficiency with the lift.
I am not telling you how to deadlift. That is very individual and something where self-research is a good idea. Hiring a qualified coach can be even better!
Without further ado, here are a few cues that I find help my deadlift performance!
Not Too Fast, Not Too Slow:
You may have heard of the classic grip and rip. That’s where you reach down, grab the bar and rip it from the floor all in one quick motion. I do not recommend this. It does not give the average lifter time to properly set up and brace for the lift.
With that being said, many people suggest pulling the slack out of the bar. While this is a good idea, I find it doesn’t benefit me either. This because, if I apply force to pull the slack out of the bar, it tends to make the weight feel heavier for me. I am applying force and using energy for something that isn’t moving and I don’t like that.
That strategy may very well work for others, however, I like to find a happy medium.
What I like to do is get in position and grab the bar. I get braced and set up. Once I have my breath and my brace is set, I don’t waste much time. I don’t rip the bar from the floor, but I also don’t gradually pull. I apply maximal force while staying in proper position and maintaining my brace.
I find this is a great balance between executing the lift with proper technique but not wasting energy and creating a mental mind block. How do you get set up for the deadlift? Let me know in the comment section!
Many people recommend the cue of pushing the floor away while simultaneously pulling the bar. While having the mentality of pushing the floor away from you and finishing the lift with by pulling the bar up is a solid suggestion and may work well for some, I feel it offers some limitations.
First off, to push the floor away from you, it would require knee extension. That would be done by the quads. I find if you focus too much on this, you can apply too much emphasis on the quads and lose the tension from your hamstrings, glutes and lower back.
Just the same as focussing too much on pulling the bar up can put too much emphasis on the lower back, glutes and hamstrings and take focus away from the quads.
Focussing on creating tension through all of these prime movers when you brace and initiate the lift is how I feel I am best able to transfer force from my muscles into the floor to move the weight. I don’t lose efficiency from any one muscle group as I am not focussing on a specific movement that requires a particular muscle group to carry out that motion.
I simply get in a good position, brace and apply tension to the primary movers, apply force and ensure that I maintain that solid position. I find this allows me to best utilize all the different muscle groups and it seems to take care of the different areas of the lift without thinking about “do this now” and “now do this”. It just happens.
Keep The Bar Close and Use Your Leverages:
This adds to my previous point of letting things develop naturally. If you have the bar too far out, it is going to place the load in a position where your lower back is taking the brunt of it.
When starting the lift, why would you want your back doing most of the work when you have all these wonderful prime movers such as the quads, hamstrings and glutes to help?
When you keep the bar close to you, the quads, hamstrings and glutes are all in an effective position to contribute.
The movement naturally starts with a lot of simultaneous quad and hamstring work. The lower back is used throughout the exercise to maintain stability and help move the weight, especially during the mid-range and lockout of the lift.
When you keep the bar close, you allow the quads to naturally do a lot of the work at the beginning, with good help from the hamstrings. The glutes can then effectively leverage from the position the bar is in to effectively finish the lift through hip extension.
Then, of course, when you keep the bar close to you, your lower back is in a strong position, especially since the quads, hamstrings and glutes are all significantly contributing.
That’s All Folks!
Well, everyone, those are the tips I have for the deadlift! These are things that I actively think about during the lift, but more often than not, just naturally happen. After the fact, I think, oh ya, that makes sense and it seems to be working well!
So… I figured I’d share! Let me know what you think in the comment section and I’ll be sure to respond!
Here are some other articles that may be beneficial for your knowledge!
Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for the use of this information after reading.