T Nation

Deadlift Problem

I posted a question on squats and got pretty good feedback so here is one on deadlifts: I have a classic “swimmer body type,” at 5’11.5 my arms are 6’5 and I have short legs. My cousin who is 6’4 looks the same height as me when we are sitting because its as if someone had pasted a 6’4 torso on 5’11 legs.

Deadlifting and rack pulls are by far my favorite exercises, mainly because in my semi beginner state they are the only exercises I can use halfway decent weight on (405x2 on DL and 585x4 omn rack pulls from 2 in below knee.)

The problem is I often feel like I’m pulling through the balls of my feet because my arms are so far forward. This then tends to make keeping my back straight somewhat difficult. If any of you have this problem or have any ideas as to stance, grip, or DL variation I could try that could help, I’d really appreciate it.

The only way you can get solid form advice is if you can post a video.

There are however there are some very common beginner form issues that you are likely to suffer from. I suspect that you need to get your shoulders behind the bar, chest up and butt down and then pull with hip extension without raising your butt too fast. This will allow you to push with your heels. If your shoulders get in front of the bar because you have raised your butt too quick, you will find yourself on the balls of your feet.

Is there a gap between the bar and your legs when you pull? There shouldn’t be. If your shoulders are behind the bar then you can pull “up and back” which will drag the bar up your legs.

pics of 5’11 bod and 6’5 arms

i’m stoked

Holy chimp man! Forget BB, you need to be a deadlift specialist. The next Lamar Gant. You lucky fellow…

Get a video camera and set it up beside yourself while deadlifting. Lower the weight until you can keep perfect form and then add weight from there. This is the only real option if you are working alone and want to improve your form. Once you can see what you’re doing it will just become a game of trial and error with certain cues.

Also you can post your video here for advice from a very successful raw powerlfiter/BBer: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_senior/feedback_from_meat?id=3002873&pageNo=0

Also here are some good articles on deadlifting from this site:

Good luck

I guess I have to find a camera lol. As soon as I find one I’ll post a Dl video so my horrible form can be critiqued.

OP, I have to same problem. I’m 6’ with a 6’7 wingspan. I never felt comfortable doing conventional Deadlift either. Long arms, freaking long legs and short torso made it awkward. Widen your stance, try it sumo.

*Edit : Misread the part about the long torso and short legs…Like other have said, make sure you find a stance that don’t place your shoulder over or in front of the bar. Raise your hips and shoulder at the same time, it will keep your chest up and your back straight. Keep the bar really close to your legs (it should be touching your shins at the beginning).

After that, you can use your bodyweight as a lever to pull the bar. That’s the part where you keep the weight on your heels. It makes a good difference.

Now waiting for your vids/pics…

Why does nobody have a camera!?

[quote]hungry4more wrote:
Why does nobody have a camera!?[/quote]

They steal your soul.

If your arms are that long, wouldn’t it be beneficial to do deads on a slightly raised platform ala deficit deads?

keep looking up

I would guess there could be another reason why you are pulling through your heels, i.e. your glutes are not working very well and when your body is asked to do something its first instinct is to use quad.

Pull the bar so that it’s almost above the middle of your foot. Then you lift.
I like Kvatch’s Xplanation.