T Nation

dead lift form


#1

Where are your feet supposed to be when you start a DL? I put mine under the bar and try to pull along my shins...however when I get to my knees I have to lean forward, which puts alot of stress on my back.

Is there any way around this?

Also when I start a DL, I have to get very low. My arms are short and I'm basically in a below parallel squat to start off. Not sure how I'm supposed to DL more than I squat given that a DL if an full squat + awkward forward leaning movement (b/c of knees) for me.


#2

You should keep your hips as high as possible. This might be a flexibility issue. Why do you lean forward at the knees? I usually keep the bar close to my shins but not against them. You could also try using the sumo stance, this may work better for you.


#3

For one, try to keep your shins vertical when you're in the start position of the deadlift. I suspect your shins are not vertical and your knees are over your toes or thereabouts. Since your lower leg is now straight, you won't have to get as low at the hips to grab the bar. Also, if your lower leg is straight, you won't have to do the "awkward leaning forward movement" which i bet you are being forced to do to get the bar around and above the knees. Am I right?

Also, they way I personally prefer to deadlift is not along my shins. In the set position, my shins are about 1.5 inches or so from the bar. In other words, the bar is over the middle of my foot at the start position.

Check out #5 in this Dave Tate article: http://www.testosterone.net/articles/194dead.html


#4

brian...you should never be in a parallel/below parellel position on a DL. I've got short, stubby arms, too. Even then, I'd say I'm still only at half-squat depth. It sounds like a flexibility issue, to me!

You should be keeping an erect, slightly arched back the whole way through the pull, even into the lean at the top. I try to have a sensation of "sticking out my chest" during the lift, which forces me into good form. Your ass should also be sticking out (no gay jokes, please). Also, keep your head up. Remember, you pulling the weight straight up, not squatting it! DL's are totally different exercises, because your hams, hips and lower back are being targeted more than your quads. You should also have sore abs if you're new to the exercise.

Check out this website...someone else posted the link a few months ago, and it's great to see how exercises are performed:

http://www.bsu.edu/webapps/strengthlab/Home.htm


#5

Thanks for all replies.

It's not really a flexibility issue. I'm actually very flexible. Maybe it's just me not understanding what I'm supposed to do.

Here's how I approach the bar. Head up. Hips down. Back straight and at 45 degree angle with floor. Back with proper arch.

I just practiced some of what you said, trying to keep my regular form but with my shins straight. The difference I made was to put my hips lower. This allows me to get a little lower without putting my knees over the bar.

Did someone on here say keep hips high? I do those as Romanian deadlifts with less of a range of motion (not down to the floor).

Am I correct that a regular deadlift has back at a 45 degree angle to floor (and not parallel with floor as in RD)?

I will practice these next time at the gym. I'm almost at parallel thighs just practicing at home, which is shallower than before (thus easier).

I don't think I'd be able to DL even close to what I can squat though. Maybe with practice.


#6

i dont know which article it is but there is one by dave tate which describes very common deadlift problems.. it helped me some on really analyzing my lift form, getting shoulders back/pulling bar into you etc..

cya


#7

OK, I've been practicing and looking at form...one more question. I read Dave Tate's 10 point article too. Very interesting.

What is the angle of your back to the ground? I'm thinking (now) that you should keep you shoulders almost even with your hips, which would make your back parallel to the floor. Is that right, or should your shoulders be higher than hips?


#8

OK, I've been practicing and looking at form...one more question. I read Dave Tate's 10 point article too. Very interesting.

What is the angle of your back to the ground? I'm thinking (now) that you should keep you shoulders almost even with your hips, which would make your back parallel to the floor. Is that right, or should your shoulders be higher than hips?


#9

All depends on the relative lengths of your torso, arms and legs but your shoulders will never be below your hips or else you would be stiff legging it and putting tremendous strain on your lower back. The angle for me is about 35-40 degrees when i really concentrate on driving through my heels and using my legs as much as possible. If I used more lower back the angle would get lower.