T Nation

Deadlift Help!

I have no doubt that this has been asked numerous times, but I can’t find anything when I do a search online. I have no trouble “pulling” the weight off the floor, my problem is that my spinal erectors seem to give out after a few heavy sets and round. I think part of the problem is that I have longer legs and short arms/ torso, so my starting position off the floor is almost as if I am setting up to do a stiff-legged deadlift instead of a conventional one.

My back is almost already parallel to the floor in order to reach down and grab the bar. I guess my question is, do I just need to do a good assistance movement like good mornings 3x a week to bring up that weakness? Or, should I switch over to sumo deadlifts permanently, which is what I’m trying to avoid. It’s honestly just not as badass, in my opinion, to pull sumo, even though I can do it without the above issues.

Thanks in advance!

If your back is almost parallel to the floor, why not try lowering your hips?

Yeah, I have long legs and short arms as well, and my advice would be to bend your knees a little more, i.e. lower your hips. It will feel unnatural and weak at first because it requires more quad strength, but it will help in the long run. Quads should get you off the ground, and as they do your knees will straighten and move out of the bar-path. Once you get the bar to your knees they should be nearly straight, and that is when you focus on opening your hips.

If you find this new form difficult at first, try doing some front squats or weighted lunges to get your quad strength adjusted. Worked wonderfully for me, and broke me out of a several years long plateau.

Or you could try doing assistance work for your erectors.

Sumo is seriously badass. Much more technical - harder off the floor, etc…
No idea what that comment even means

[quote]Juggs wrote:
Yeah, I have long legs and short arms as well, and my advice would be to bend your knees a little more, i.e. lower your hips. It will feel unnatural and weak at first because it requires more quad strength, but it will help in the long run. Quads should get you off the ground, and as they do your knees will straighten and move out of the bar-path. Once you get the bar to your knees they should be nearly straight, and that is when you focus on opening your hips.

If you find this new form difficult at first, try doing some front squats or weighted lunges to get your quad strength adjusted. Worked wonderfully for me, and broke me out of a several years long plateau.

Or you could try doing assistance work for your erectors. [/quote]

THANK YOU!!! I have been trying to find someone with similar leverages with some advice like that. You sir, are my hero.

[quote]Rave2.0 wrote:
Sumo is seriously badass. Much more technical - harder off the floor, etc…
No idea what that comment even means[/quote]

No doubt deadlifting either way is badass… however, sumo is a shorter range of motion and it almost feels like I’m cheating. Plus, in the 531 FAQ on eliteFTS, it was asked if sumo could be used as a main movement… Jim’s response was simply: "Conventional is better. Therefore, in my estimation, it is badass… just not as badass as conventional. :slight_smile: I have a lot of love for ALL big deadlifters though. Dan Green is one of my favorite lifters and he pulls sumo.

[quote]alexsimm1 wrote:

[quote]Juggs wrote:
Yeah, I have long legs and short arms as well, and my advice would be to bend your knees a little more, i.e. lower your hips. It will feel unnatural and weak at first because it requires more quad strength, but it will help in the long run. Quads should get you off the ground, and as they do your knees will straighten and move out of the bar-path. Once you get the bar to your knees they should be nearly straight, and that is when you focus on opening your hips.

If you find this new form difficult at first, try doing some front squats or weighted lunges to get your quad strength adjusted. Worked wonderfully for me, and broke me out of a several years long plateau.

Or you could try doing assistance work for your erectors. [/quote]

THANK YOU!!! I have been trying to find someone with similar leverages with some advice like that. You sir, are my hero.[/quote]

Glad I could help.

@Alexsimm1,
Actually his exact answer was “As long as you don?t use equipment. Conventional is better, Jim Wendler.” It is question #38 on the 52 question faq list over at elitefts. I know because I try to switch for a cycle or two a couple of times per year. But I personally don’t really care if Jim thinks it “better” or not. My personal experience always trumps opinions of others - even if the “others” is the creator of the program and knows more than I ever will - except when it comes to me - kudos Jim. I have tried it and it works for me - it boosts my conventional every time and ALWAYS strengthens my hams and glutes. I’d use it year round for assistance but it beats me up too much and I am an old fart.

I will add however that I am a big believer in closing gaps. Put another way, if there is a large disparity in the two lifts, closing the gap almost always addresses a primary strength weakness and WILL improve the main lift - in my own experience. Same goes for close-grip bench and bench - wide and narrow squats. It is actually an effective way to address weakness.

FYI, generally speaking - and I do mean generally as there are always exceptions, if you check out world records and powerlifting meet results, IN GENERAL, the majority of the heavier deadlifts out there are conventional. Moreover, it is also a general belief that gear helps the sumo lift more.
So, even WITH the implementation of gear - sumo numbers trail conventional numbers.
The reason for this is simply: it is harder.
Thus the feeling of “cheating” on the pull is unfortunate for you. In the meantime, I will keep on cheating my way up:)

Try lowering your hips and start using the smith machine so you can work on getting the lower back stronger gradually plus the sumo stance helps alot it will place more emphasis on the hips and less on the lower back.