T Nation

Bottoming Out In Deadlifts?


#1

Hi guys,

I have a problem... starting deadlifts (in the hole) is very difficult for me. Once I get up to my serious working weight, I simply get stuck in the hole, and I have to kind of bend over and break proper form to get the bar up.

Does this mean I have a weak posterior chain? If so, what can I do to build up strength there so I can start deadlifting seriously?

I'm a beginner, been lifting for about 9 months, took a 4 month break which ended some 3-4 weeks ago for swimming, and as a serious skinny bastard, my numbers aren't very high, but I am seeing very pleasing progress in my physique and in my lifts, but I just need those deadlifts.

Thanks,
Dan.


#2

Glad to read you need the deadlifts... I think we all do!

Please give us your #'s so we can properly adress the situation but if you DL 135 or more...

You can try a few things. First, try dl-ing with 35 lb pates or 25 lb plates on the bar in order to start the DL from a lower position. Switching back to 45's will seem easy by comparison. Also -and this may need to wait until you are more "seasoned"- you can try lighter, faster deadlifts in the 3-5 rep range to build speed off the floor.

As I said though, you may just want to leave the latter suggestion for "later".

There's no good reason for you to have stalled in the DL yet.


#3

It might be a technique problem, try pretending that there is a fish hook under your chin next time you do deads. Also, keep your shoulders and traps firm.

If you think it's just because of weaknesses, I find the exercises that gave me a good base for this workout were heavy BB Rows, I think they really trained my back to be straight under pressure. I never really had any problems doing deads, but that heavy BB Row form could help.


#4

I love rows, but sadly, that's not the problem. In fact, the problem is that I can't do deads with my working weight while I keep a straight back. It's not that my back rounds over, it's that I need to lean forward a bit, and I think this activates my quads more.

Anyways, derek, thanks for the tip, I'll try that next time. What about RDLs and glute-ham raises? Are those the most common exercises for stronger glutes and hams?

My 3-rep deadlift max is 165, which I can do without much difficulty. When I do 3x8, and I get 45s on the bar, that's when I really see a problem, especially after the first few reps. This wednesday, I tried 3x8 with 145, and it was by the end of the first set and the start of the second that I said, my deadlifts are shit, I better get some help on this.

If it's at all significant, I squat well more than I deadlift. My 3-rep max is close to 200, and I can do 3 x 8 with around 170.


#5

Do them off a 6" box and move quickly. Also if your form suffers back the weight up and move up only when you can.


#6

You also may want to try reversing the 3x8 by doing 8x3 and see what happens.