T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


#1

Hi im new to this forum thing. Pls comment on my form and technique.


#2

Welcome to the forum. Your lift looks good overall. If it doesn’t negatively affect your lift, you could bring in your stance a tiny bit and pull with your arms straight down to start at a slightly more favorable back angle. I’m not sure how the narrower stance would affect your leg drive though.


#3

Thank you i appreciate it.


#4

Oh yes, my concern is that i deadlift with my feet pointed out a little as I feel i generate more power from the bottom. As such my knees trail out a little. Will the better back angle from the narrower grip width be more advantageous than the torque i get from pointing out my toes?


#5

There’s nothing wrong with pointing your toes out, for some people that’s the best and most comfortable stance. Your stance is a bit wide, but there’s no hard rule of where it should be. Try bringing it in a bit and see where you feel the strongest. As for your grip, definitely bring it in. The only reason to use a wider grip is if you have huge legs, it increases the range of motion and makes the lift harder, especially off the floor because your back is at a lower angle. Snatch grip deadlift or SLDL are a useful exercise as well, but you don’t want that to be your regular deadlift technique.

One other thing, you are better off pausing every rep on the ground. Touch & go deadlifts are good for bodybuilders because they increase time under tension, but for powerlifting it can be bad because you will become weak off the floor and your form is more likely to break down as you fatigue.

Good luck!


#6

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with pointing your toes out, for some people that’s the best and most comfortable stance. Your stance is a bit wide, but there’s no hard rule of where it should be. Try bringing it in a bit and see where you feel the strongest. As for your grip, definitely bring it in. The only reason to use a wider grip is if you have huge legs, it increases the range of motion and makes the lift harder, especially off the floor because your back is at a lower angle. Snatch grip deadlift or SLDL are a useful exercise as well, but you don’t want that to be your regular deadlift technique.

One other thing, you are better off pausing every rep on the ground. Touch & go deadlifts are good for bodybuilders because they increase time under tension, but for powerlifting it can be bad because you will become weak off the floor and your form is more likely to break down as you fatigue.

Good luck![/quote]

I agree with the first part but not with the second. I don’t think that touch and go are bad, although I don’t do them myself. Richard Hawthorne has been very successful lifting that way and so has T3hPwnisher, one of the stronger deadlifters on this forum. It’s only bad if you don’t know how to maintain good form.

IMO, the time under tension is good for conventional lifters where increased upper body static work is useful because they generally rely more on back strength than sumo lifters. Of course there are other ways to increase upper body strength so I’m not saying this is the best way. I also don’t think a person will necessarily be slower off the floor by using only this movement. If you can do more work with touch and go, in comparison to a dead stop, it’s an overload movement similar to the comparison of touch and go bench vs paused bench. Some people can train strictly touch and go and transition to paused bench just a short time before a meet.

The only reason not to do touch and go is if you can’t maintain good form or a slight bounce throws off your positioning.

Edit: Times where your form is likely to break down isn’t always a bad thing, although it can be a make or break moment. If you’re in an extremely fatigued state you have the opportunity to figure out your strongest position to grind through. I definitely don’t advocate for it to be a common thing.


#7

[quote]shaunthemeek wrote:
Oh yes, my concern is that i deadlift with my feet pointed out a little as I feel i generate more power from the bottom. As such my knees trail out a little. Will the better back angle from the narrower grip width be more advantageous than the torque i get from pointing out my toes?[/quote]

That’s what you’ll have to find out on your own. It’s possible the closer grip width can be advantageous by reducing ROM but it’s also possible that leg drive is stronger with the wider grip, although the former is probably more likely when you get to big weights. Try the closer grip for a training cycle or at least a few weeks and if you don’t notice a difference then the original position might be better. You can still keep your knees pointed out when moving your feet in a bit.


#8

[quote]lift206 wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with pointing your toes out, for some people that’s the best and most comfortable stance. Your stance is a bit wide, but there’s no hard rule of where it should be. Try bringing it in a bit and see where you feel the strongest. As for your grip, definitely bring it in. The only reason to use a wider grip is if you have huge legs, it increases the range of motion and makes the lift harder, especially off the floor because your back is at a lower angle. Snatch grip deadlift or SLDL are a useful exercise as well, but you don’t want that to be your regular deadlift technique.

One other thing, you are better off pausing every rep on the ground. Touch & go deadlifts are good for bodybuilders because they increase time under tension, but for powerlifting it can be bad because you will become weak off the floor and your form is more likely to break down as you fatigue.

Good luck![/quote]

I agree with the first part but not with the second. I don’t think that touch and go are bad, although I don’t do them myself. Richard Hawthorne has been very successful lifting that way and so has T3hPwnisher, one of the stronger deadlifters on this forum. It’s only bad if you don’t know how to maintain good form.

IMO, the time under tension is good for conventional lifters where increased upper body static work is useful because they generally rely more on back strength than sumo lifters. Of course there are other ways to increase upper body strength so I’m not saying this is the best way. I also don’t think a person will necessarily be slower off the floor by using only this movement. If you can do more work with touch and go, in comparison to a dead stop, it’s an overload movement similar to the comparison of touch and go bench vs paused bench. Some people can train strictly touch and go and transition to paused bench just a short time before a meet.

The only reason not to do touch and go is if you can’t maintain good form or a slight bounce throws off your positioning.

Edit: Times where your form is likely to break down isn’t always a bad thing, although it can be a make or break moment. If you’re in an extremely fatigued state you have the opportunity to figure out your strongest position to grind through. I definitely don’t advocate for it to be a common thing.[/quote]

It’s more likely that some guys are good at deadlifting in spite of doing touch and go reps. You have guys like Matt Gary who take it to the other extreme and train deadlifts for singles only, him and his lifters get results as well. I can’t think of a good reason for touch and go deadlifts aside from time under tension. What about touch and go deficit deadlifts? Even worse with a deadlift bar. If anything it would make more sense to pull from a deficit and not touch the floor between reps if you want more time under tension.

In my own experience, I used to do touch and go deadlifts but I found that I got weak off the floor - anything I could pull to my knees I could get at least 3 reps but add 30-40 lbs. and it wasn’t going anywhere. I started pausing every rep and made more progress that way, and I started listening to guys like Mike Tuchscherer who say to never do t&g deadlifts.

And since you mention touch and go bench, I’m actually equally strong with a 1 sec. pause so it’s no overload for me. I still train both though, from what I understand t&g reps will help you to use the stretch reflex more when you do paused bench.

I’m interested to hear some arguments in favor of touch and go deadlifts, if anyone has one then I would be more than glad to hear it.

lift206 - no hard feelings, I see some people on this forum get their feelings hurt anytime someone disagrees with them.


#9

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
It’s more likely that some guys are good at deadlifting in spite of doing touch and go reps. You have guys like Matt Gary who take it to the other extreme and train deadlifts for singles only, him and his lifters get results as well. I can’t think of a good reason for touch and go deadlifts aside from time under tension. What about touch and go deficit deadlifts? Even worse with a deadlift bar. If anything it would make more sense to pull from a deficit and not touch the floor between reps if you want more time under tension.

In my own experience, I used to do touch and go deadlifts but I found that I got weak off the floor - anything I could pull to my knees I could get at least 3 reps but add 30-40 lbs. and it wasn’t going anywhere. I started pausing every rep and made more progress that way, and I started listening to guys like Mike Tuchscherer who say to never do t&g deadlifts.

And since you mention touch and go bench, I’m actually equally strong with a 1 sec. pause so it’s no overload for me. I still train both though, from what I understand t&g reps will help you to use the stretch reflex more when you do paused bench.

I’m interested to hear some arguments in favor of touch and go deadlifts, if anyone has one then I would be more than glad to hear it.

lift206 - no hard feelings, I see some people on this forum get their feelings hurt anytime someone disagrees with them.[/quote]

Of course there are no hard feelings. I’m trying to provide an unbiased perspective because I don’t use the movement myself but I understand why people choose to.

Richard Hawthorne’s core philosophy is based on building core strength. His entire training is based on doing tons of volume to make sure his core never fails. Saying he is good at deadlifts despite deliberately choosing to train that way discredits his way of training and the plan he took to become a world record holder. You said that you can’t think of a reason besides time under tension, and that is precisely the answer even if it isn’t that important to you. His reasoning is that he will never fail a weight based on core weakness. My guess is that a weak core will put limits on your strength. Similar to adding a belt and lifting more, even though your legs haven’t changed, because the stability allows you to maintain position.

At this point you’re saying it’s Richard’s words vs. Mike’s and you’re siding with Mike. If you ask them both how important core strength is, they’ll tell you similar things. Mike believes in technical proficiency and that’s why you don’t see him deviate much from competition technique. Richard believes core strength is highly correlated with technical proficiency. The approach they take might not be similar but that doesn’t matter because the end result is the same - world record results.

That’s good that you made progress because you’re doing what works for yourself, which everyone should be doing. And that’s good you gave touch and go a try - you found out it doesn’t work but that’s not true for everyone else. Same goes for bench. My pause is very similar to my touch and go but I’m not going to say touch and go is useless because I have a friend that can hit 315+ touch and go while hitting around a 280 paused bench at 165lbs.

Making a comparison to deficit touch and go is not the same because now the ROM is different as well as the intensity.

Touch and go deadlifts may be a bad CHOICE for some but that doesn’t make it a bad lift.


#10

There’s no question that core strength is important, that goes without saying. And you can’t really discredit Hawthorne’s training if it gets him world records either. If I’m siding with Mike T it’s because I already figured out that t&g wasn’t working for me and he only confirmed it. I suppose this is a case of individual differences, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all. To Mike’s credit, he is also coaching several high level lifters, including some who have world records of their own, so there must be something to it.

When you think about it, saying that t&g deadifts are good because they allow you to get more reps is like saying half squats are good for the same reason - and there are successful lifters (mostly old timers) who use those in their training as well. You know, I saw a video with Louie Simmons where he was saying they don’t squat for reps at Westside (nothing more than triples) because the weakest muscles fatigue first. This is the same type of thinking behind Matt Gary’s singles-only deadlifting, work on perfecting technique and don’t grind reps with bad form. My argument against that is you need muscular endurance to get through maximal lifts because they can be very slow, if you never fatigue the weaker muscles in training then you won’t be able to grind out heavy attempts.

So maybe there isn’t really a right answer to this. Whatever allows you to train and get stronger while perfecting your technique without developing weaknesses is the way to go. Every coach will have a different opinion. But now what do we tell the OP?


#11

Well I’m glad that you have considered the other side of the argument. I personally think he should continue with what he’s currently doing until he finds no more benefit or finds very little carryover to a competition lift. He just has to know that options are available and to choose what he prefers based on results, like you and I have done. Shit if someone just hit a world record deadlift by doing only 12" deficit deadlift work, I would definitely try to understand the reasoning and approach even though it likely wouldn’t work for me.

I’m glad you kept an open mind for this discussion. I used to only follow a few well known powerlifters in the past and that limited my understanding of some areas in strength training. It wasn’t until the past year or two where I began doing more research and branching out to other ideas. I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all because I’m always open to learning. Things start to make more sense when you keep searching for info from as many credible sources as possible.


#12

I read this on EliteFTS and thought of this discussion:

?He pulled conventional sets where he stopped the bar before it hit the floor in order to develop static strength and tightness in the start position. When using sumo, he always did every rep as the first one. Jarmo said that bouncing the bar off is a waste, especially in the sumo style.

Nothing against what you were saying, just another thought on that topic.


#13

Only small thing I see is you are “overlocking” the weight out. Don’t hyperextend your back. Just stand up with it. Also with your shoes, make sure your sole is stiff and doesn’t have an elevated heel. A squishy soled shoe will give you grief eventually. An elevated heel wil generally will make a guy fall forward a bit. Deadlifting is all about “getting under the bar”.

You may find this interesting and helpful. Keep up the good work man.


#14

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
I read this on EliteFTS and thought of this discussion:

?He pulled conventional sets where he stopped the bar before it hit the floor in order to develop static strength and tightness in the start position. When using sumo, he always did every rep as the first one. Jarmo said that bouncing the bar off is a waste, especially in the sumo style.

Nothing against what you were saying, just another thought on that topic.[/quote] The article was called “Finnish Deadlift Secrets”.


#15

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
I read this on EliteFTS and thought of this discussion:

?He pulled conventional sets where he stopped the bar before it hit the floor in order to develop static strength and tightness in the start position. When using sumo, he always did every rep as the first one. Jarmo said that bouncing the bar off is a waste, especially in the sumo style.

Nothing against what you were saying, just another thought on that topic.[/quote]

I’ve never thought about pausing the eccentric portion. It sounds a lot harder than a normal pause deadlift, or even a double pause.