T Nation

Alternatives to deadlift

I can’t deadlift. There’s nobody here who can teach me. And I don’t want try to learn from the internet or videos - too high risk of getting injured (I’m only 16).

So, until I find someone who can teach me to deadlift - which exercises should I perform for the back? I’m currently doing hyperextensions, chins and stifflegged deadlifts (I think I’m doing them right…).

I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you because I was probably the same way when I was 16. Let me just say the you should be doing them. If you can’t, you’re probably trying to move too much weight. Nonetheless, here are a few suggestions: bentover rows (barbell, one arm, and t-bar), seated rows, pullovers, and definitely keep chins. You seems to be training hamstrings with back, so you could also include good mornings.

I am not bagging on you, but the deadlift is the on loft with the most real life carryover. take your gains in nibbles. You don’t get 20 lbs stronger just because you put 20 expra pounds on the bar. So does this mean power cleans and power snatches are out for you too? Do you bench? lousy tech on the bench is more prevelant IMO than a deadlift.

The key is to keep the weight low enough so that you can keep your back at least flat. My daughter does them, I taught her on the phone and told her to look around the internet for an .avi showing the form. It’s not rocket science but it is very worthwhile. Hyperextensions are great to do after deads to keep your lower back from being the weak link, which it most probably is.

Do a search on T-mag for Ian King limping series, he gives a thorough run through of technique.

This may be a dumb question, but I haven’t done a deadlift routine yet. But how many reps do you do? Is it just 1 lift(1 rep) then you rest and go again?
Please clarify. Thanks.

Matti, I was the same way at when I started lifting at 16. I was afraid I would hurt my back (a back previously injured in a car accident). When I was 17 I found out how important Deadlifts were for overall development. So I read several descriptions on how to do them and tried them out. I’m glad I did too. The pain I used to have in my back is now pretty much gone. Now at 18, I love deadlifts!

The only thing I would recommend is to start out light. I started out doing no more than 40lbs. Depending on your current development you may want to start lighter or heavier than that.

Mike, you can do 1 rep per set. But personally, I like to go with 6-10 reps per set.

Yeah, but when you do 6-10 reps how do you do them? Return to starting position and repeat 6-10 times or do you keep your legs straight and just use your upper body or what? Do you have a site explaining the additional reps?

Depends on which type of dead you’re doing. For SLDL, I’d recommend starting with the bar at hip level or just a little below. For standard dead, there’s a lot of discussion as to whether reps should be treated as singles, with hand resets between reps. Myself, I do touch-and-gos on my deads, but my touch is VERY light, so I keep the form tight. There is a tendency to not bend the legs enough on the return and use all back on touch-& gos.

The Ian King article was great. I think I got it now: low weight, back flat and “push the legs trough the ground”. Aaah… my gym sucks (not the equipment, the people in it). I’m training in my school and 95% of the people who train there are what you would call “punk kids”. I’m the only one squatting there… “you shouldn’t squat, you’re too young”. My athletics teacher told me that I shouldn’t deadlift… “unless you want to become a powerlifter”. Yeah, right. Thanks guys.

Mike, like brider said, it depends on the type of deadlift you are doing. For conventional deads, you keep your back straight lean forward and bend at the knees, and pick the weight up. Then you reverse the movement to set it back on the ground. With straight leg deads, you keep you legs straight and bend as far towards the ground as you can while still keeping you back straight.

If your trying to learn to dead lift start with sumo deadlifts and after a year of pulling switch your form. Sumo are less likely to have your back in a compromised position if you get lazy or faigued.