T Nation

Deadlift Form

Here’s a video of a heavy double that I did recently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvrX7LcIJus
My deadlift has never been good compared to my squat, but recently I’ve been making good progress with my squat while my deadlift has kind of stagnated. I recently squatted 465 (depth was good, I have video if you want to see it), while my deadlift max has been stuck around 450.

Honestly, I’m not even sure if I could hit 450 right now. I’m wondering if anyone has thoughts on my deadlift form. I think I might be a good candidate for sumo, but I’m more interested in strongman at the moment, so that isn’t really an option.

Are you that slow off the floor on purpose because holy crap man… pull already.

Also, like almost everyone else that posts… no hips. Hips finish the movement not your back.

Agree with Barge, it’s crazy how slow you initiate the pull.

Why can’t you train sumo-style while also training for strongman? I understand that conventional may have a more direct correlation to certain strongman events, but I don’t see how it could hurt to train both styles. Training sumo can also have carry-over to conventional, so you might end up with a synergistic effect. Some work with sumo style might actually push you through your current plateau. You certainly need to switch something up.

[quote]Barge wrote:
Are you that slow off the floor on purpose because holy crap man… pull already.

Also, like almost everyone else that posts… no hips. Hips finish the movement not your back.[/quote]

Obviously slow, but he’s very much finishing with his hips. He actually looks to be accelerating all the way through the lift. His problem is the opposite, hips are way to low at the start for a conventional pull. He is doing the classic squat up and not using his back enough in the initial pull

I think you’d definitely be a candidate for sumo. If you don’t want to do it for training purposes I’d start getting your hips higher in the initial pull and engaging your lower back more. Maybe throw in some heavy RDL’s.

[quote]tedro wrote:

[quote]Barge wrote:
Are you that slow off the floor on purpose because holy crap man… pull already.

Also, like almost everyone else that posts… no hips. Hips finish the movement not your back.[/quote]

Obviously slow, but he’s very much finishing with his hips. He actually looks to be accelerating all the way through the lift. His problem is the opposite, hips are way to low at the start for a conventional pull. He is doing the classic squat up and not using his back enough in the initial pull

I think you’d definitely be a candidate for sumo. If you don’t want to do it for training purposes I’d start getting your hips higher in the initial pull and engaging your lower back more. Maybe throw in some heavy RDL’s.
[/quote]
Yeah, I agree with this. I would also add that you don’t appear to be pulling the bar back into you. The bar looks to be lined up over your toes or possibly the forward-most eyelets of your sneakers. Should be closer to mid-foot/ankle if possible

Matt Mills, LW Pro strongman and finalist at amateur worlds this year, has had success pulling sumo in his training, may want to reach out to him.

Even if he does train sumo any time deadlift is done in strongman it must be conventional. So you still need to make sure you know how to pull conventional.

And no, he’s not finishing with his hips… he’s finishing with his back. Note that the bar gets pulled back into his hips versus his hips pushing out to meet the bar.

I’m not saying my deadlifts are perfect but watch my finish versus his. It makes a huge difference even though it doesn’t look like much.

lose the straps,mix your grip and don’t hang out so long addressing the bar. dip,grip and rip!

[quote]Barge wrote:
Even if he does train sumo any time deadlift is done in strongman it must be conventional. So you still need to make sure you know how to pull conventional.

And no, he’s not finishing with his hips… he’s finishing with his back. Note that the bar gets pulled back into his hips versus his hips pushing out to meet the bar.

I’m not saying my deadlifts are perfect but watch my finish versus his. It makes a huge difference even though it doesn’t look like much.
[/quote]

I don’t know. Start his video at 0:18 when the bar is at his knees and it really looks pretty good from that point. Yes he has some back movement in there, but for something that close to his max I’d say it’s minimal. The real telling factor is that he accelerates from the point he gets it to his knees all the way to the lockout. There’s no way he’d be able to accelerate through the lockout if he wasn’t getting his hips into it.

Nice dl, but it’s hard to see much from that angle to compare.

Thanks for the comments everyone.
As far as finishing with my hips or my back, I feel it’s definitely both. My back is clearly flexed somewhat through the start of the pull and extended at the top, so the only logical conclusion is that I use my back to finish partially (isn’t this true of anyone who doesn’t pull with a completely neutral back?). On the other hand, I also definitely feel my glutes fire as I finish, so they are working, too.

However, I’ve never really had a problem finishing. Anything that passes my knee will lock out. Will working on the finish help me off the floor? I’ve pulled 550 from my knees and it didn’t do a thing for me off the floor.

On the subject of bar position, the bar starts in contact with my shins. It looks like a big gap when I tension my hamstrings, but I move my shins forward to start the lift. Potentially, I could start with hips higher and shins more vertical (and then I could pull the bar closer). I’ll play around with that.

I think I’ll try sumo pulling for a while and see what that does for my conventional pull. Any contact information for Matt Mills?

Thanks again for the comments.

[quote]serial lifter wrote:
lose the straps,mix your grip and don’t hang out so long addressing the bar. dip,grip and rip![/quote]

Lol

[quote]Silyak wrote:

On the subject of bar position, the bar starts in contact with my shins. It looks like a big gap when I tension my hamstrings, but I move my shins forward to start the lift. Potentially, I could start with hips higher and shins more vertical (and then I could pull the bar closer). I’ll play around with that.

I think I’ll try sumo pulling for a while and see what that does for my conventional pull. Any contact information for Matt Mills?

Thanks again for the comments. [/quote]

Yeah, shins are in contact w the bar because of the high degree of ankle flexion. Shifting your weight back would cause your shins to go more vertical and force you to pull the bar back to keep balance.

Matt’s on facebook and writes for a website. I don’t know if they’re competitors w/ this one, so I won’t post for fear of my post being deleted. His gym is Lightning Fitness in CT, you can check their FB page as well

[quote]serial lifter wrote:
lose the straps,mix your grip and don’t hang out so long addressing the bar. dip,grip and rip![/quote]

I’m curious, what is the benefit of losing the straps? What are they doing that is resulting in the difficulty he’s having?

speaking from a purely powerlifting perspective and background if you cant hold on to the bar(without straps) you cant pull it.also all that time bent over messing with those straps seems like it would hinder explosiveness ,form, and rhythm.the man said his interest are in strongman and i guess straps would be appropriate for lifting a wagon full of rocks or whatever for max reps,but he wasn’t doing that, he was doing a heavy deadlift for a double,which to me isn’t a real deadlift if you are lashed to the bar.hell i’m an admitted gear whore but you gotta draw the line somewhere.

Lol so a Squat Suit and Bench Shirt are fine but straps are just to damn far really lol? Come one man.

[quote]serial lifter wrote:
speaking from a purely powerlifting perspective and background if you cant hold on to the bar(without straps) you cant pull it.also all that time bent over messing with those straps seems like it would hinder explosiveness ,form, and rhythm.the man said his interest are in strongman and i guess straps would be appropriate for lifting a wagon full of rocks or whatever for max reps,but he wasn’t doing that, he was doing a heavy deadlift for a double,which to me isn’t a real deadlift if you are lashed to the bar.hell i’m an admitted gear whore but you gotta draw the line somewhere.[/quote]

If someone can hold on to the bar without straps but uses straps so that they can pull double overhand in training, is that an issue?

As for being bent over for a long time hindering explosiveness, form and rhythm, what about in a case like this?

solid pull.strapless too:)

I’ve always been puzzled by people that like bench shirts and squat suits but throw a tantrum about straps. Do you really think people get more out of straps than a bench shirt. Most big pullers I’ve seen spend a fair bit of time bent over before pulling. Olympic lifters do, too.

In any case, I’ve pulled 455 with a mixed grip no straps and had no problem with grip. I use the straps in training for longevity.

[quote]serial lifter wrote:
solid pull.strapless too:)[/quote]

I thought so too. I am glad we agree that being bent over doesn’t necessarily mean negatively impacting your pull. For some that employ a “dive bomb” style of deadlift, I can definitely see it being a negative thing.

Absolutely strapless too. This was in a meet, so it wouldn’t have been allowed.

One downside I’ve seen to using straps is that you can typically use a little more weight because the double overhand position lets you get a little longer.

If you pull with a hook grip it’s probably not an issue.

When I strap in 90% of the time it is still with a mixed grip. If I try to double over it I round my upper back way to much and cant lockout