T Nation

Deadlift Mechanics Question


#1

what is the most efficient conventional deadlift technique for someone with a long torso, short legs and average length arms ?

I ask this because I always have deadlifted with feet very close together a slight bend in the knees and some rounding of the lower back. I have lifted some good poundages with this technique but something tells me it isn't the best way to deadlift for someone with my body type (see above). And I have found since losing weight (about 20-30 lbs. over last year and a half) my lower back has been bothering me more and more when I deadlift. I might need to start widening my stance, stop rounding the back and use more knee bend


#2

You could try Sumo or Semi-sumo which some say is cheating...but we won't pass judgement on that.

Also trap bar DL a good possibility if you have access.

If you have video of your form that could be useful for us to help.


#3

I feel more comfortable pulling sumo, and I have a similar body type with a long torso, short legs and average arms. I ran across this post searching the internet when I was having trouble with my deadlift causing pain in my lower back. It might help you out. The question was "How should I deadlift?"

"Ultimately, you have to go with which style is more comfortable, but you can determine which method will allow you to lift the most weight biomechanically. To do so, follow this method.
1. Secure a tape measure to the wall with the zero end at the floor. Make sure the metric side (centimeters) is what you are using.

  1. Stand with your back against the wall. Measure from the top of your shoulder to the floor. This will give you your total body measurement.

  2. With a straight arm and your hand in a fist, measure from the top of your shoulder to the middle of your fist. This is your total arm length.

  3. Raise your thigh to determine where your thigh rotates into your pelvis. Once located, lower your leg to the floor and measure from the top of the shoulder to this point. This is your trunk length. Also, subtract this measurement from your total body measurement to give you your lower body length.

Record these measurements and perform the following calculations:
1. Divide "trunk length" by "arm length".
2. Divide "trunk length" by "lower body length".

The resultant numbers will tell you the following:
1. Arm to trunk length ratio. Example: If your truk is 50 cm and your armi is 65 cm, divide 65 into 50=0.77. This indicates that your trunk is 77% of your arm length or that your arm is 23% longer than your trunk.
2. Trunk to lower body length ratio.

These numbers will help you determine which method, conventional or sumo, will allow you to lift the most weight by biomechanical standards.

CONVENTIONAL
If your trunk to arm ratio is less than 0.82 and your trunk to lower body length is less than 0.55, you should consider the conventional style. With your arms longer than your trunk, you'll finish the pull with the bar below your hip joint.

This finishing position indicates that the initial starting position of your trunk (trunk angle) will be larger (more upright). This would indicate more activity from the quads as well as the hamstrings and glutes. A more upright trunk angle will also create a larger knee angle at the starting position, making the shift of the shoulders, knee, and hip more uniform-that is, they rotate in a biomechanically correct sequence.

SUMO
If your ratios are larger than 0.82 and 0.55, the initial starting angle of your trunk would be smaller (more inclined) and will therefore position you in a biomechanically ineffecient position. With your trunk more inclined, the activity of your trunk and hip extension muscles will have to follow a different, more inefficient pattern.

This will basically result in increased activity from your hamstrings and glutes and decreased activity from the quads. This will also increase stress on your erectors and particularly the lower back and could cause rounding of your upper back. The solution would be sumo."

I would like to hear CT's take on it though because if I remember correctly, I think he's built to squat with a long torso too and the deadlift doesn't lend itself well to him.


#4

Was this from Pure Power Mag?

I did this and got different results than I expected. Have 74% arm to trunk and 50% trunk to lower body which explains why I like conventional better, but I thought I was more suited to sumo. I have a similar printed article at home and after the measurements it said I was more suited to sumo. Maybe I did the measurements wrong.

Thanks for psting that.


#5

Sometimes even when I think I'm doing everything right, my lower back seems to take the brunt of the load. When this happens I do the quick assessment in this article and if I can't do it, I do the correction listed and problem solved. See if it helps.

http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/445/


#6

THIS...

I believe since trap bar deadlifting, my form has increased dramatically. I could barely bend over to pick a bag up off the floor my lower back was so fucked cuz of a disc issue, 12 months off and started trap bar deadlifting... strength has gone through the roof as I the trap bar works solely off leg drive.


#7

It seems like the trap bar would be no different than a squat (perhaps even a safety bar squat) because of how the weight is distributed. I can understand dropping an exercise due to pain issues, but I thought the whole point of doing deadlifts was to stimulate the spinal erectors to be strong for squats, etc...

Do you feel your lower back is stronger as well since changing to the TB?


#8

It seems like the trap bar would be no different than a squat (perhaps even a safety bar squat) because of how the weight is distributed. I can understand dropping an exercise due to pain issues, but I thought the whole point of doing deadlifts was to stimulate the spinal erectors to be strong for squats, etc...

Do you feel your lower back is stronger as well since changing to the TB?


#9

It is weird because I have always been a pretty good conventional deadlifter (645 lbs. at 255 without a belt a few years ago) and a shitty squatter but it seems like I am built to squat as opposed to deadlift. I'm starting to think it could be weak abdominals getting dominated by a strong lower back. I can touch my toes no problem