T Nation

deadlift

I need serious help with my deadlifts. Heres where i stand, literally…

Feet are about a little more then shoulder width, back arched, hands wider than my feet, head up. When lifiting it’s hard for me to keep my back in the arched position. I think maybe because i am very tall. Any thoughts? Thanks

Joe

You could try looking up towards the ceiling, now not straight up mind you, like focus on a spot above eye level. Make sense?

there is going to be some rounding if the weight is significant. check out my videos to see how i deadlift.

Eye level or not, i know my chin is supposed to be up, like in looking to soar through the ceiling. Goldie where can i see those vids? thanks

Check out Tate’s 10 mistakes article. Combine that with Goldberg’s vid and you’re on your way.

Another option would be going sumo. I’m a taller guy, but still shorter than you, and it feels much more natural to me. My back feels to be in a much stronger position.

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~landon/goldberg/

I’ve had that problem and I’m only 5’10". It’s not so much that you lose your arch, but rather you go into a position where you muscles are extremely flexed and tight. You can’t keep a serious arch the entire time.

And I would not look way up at the ceiling. Maybe a spot 1 foot above your standing height, but that’s it. Any further and you can crick your cervical spine, throwing out alignment of the rest of the spine, and causing injury. Same reason you shouldn’t look at the ceiling while squatting.

I’m shorter than you guys and I’ve still never been any good at deads. Even had a buddy who was really comfortable with them take me through step by step and I still couldn’t get the hang. I finally tried sumo style this last week and it seemed a lot more like a natural movement. I also felt like I was doing a better job of protecting my lower back. Of course now I’m sore like a big dog…

sumo style?

I didn’t know big dogs got sore.

Sumo style is where you’re feet are really wide and you have a closer grip. Many tall guys like it because the distance from the ground to the top of the lift is much shorter. You also tend to use less back and more hip in the movement. Do a search for some pictures.

They do when they deadlift

If your feet are wider than shoulder width and you’re deadlifting conventional, your stance is too wide. Think about the mechanics involved - the wider your stance, the wider your grip must be. The wider your grip, the lower your shoulders. The lower your shoulders, the lower your hips must be to get any leg drive into the movement.

An extreme example of what I’m talking about is the difference between a conventional deadlift and a snatch-grip dead. Obviously, my comments don’t apply if you switch to sumo, since an increased stance width doesn’t require increased grip width.

i am also 6-5 and had this exact same problem. get an anatomy textbook and look at your hips. the reason that you lose your arch is lack of flexibility and or/strength in the hamstrings. you can most likely keep your arch in say-rack pulls, but off the floor you can not maintain it-right?

most taller guys have strong low backs and weak (relatively) hamstrings. your hams are tight so your hips rotate downward, and you waste all of your low back strength fighting your hamstrings to keep an arch. with significant weight your low back simply can not pull both the weight and your hams!

get Pavel’s stretching book, it explains all of this. it took me about two months of consistent daily stretching (yoga) to get enough active flexibility to dead properly. it was well worth it though. i was struggling with 405x1 about 6 mo ago-last week i pulled 405x10, after my heavy strongman stuff!

I watch deadlift video. I think Goldberg swole like boulder. I don’t piss Goldberg off.

I’m 6’1" and built like Lurch, so I do sumos now. I play baseball and I can definitely see a difference in speed and power. My teammates tell me that I’m the fastest guy in the league, I don’t know about that though. Anyway, thanks Ike for pushing the DL’s. - Willie Mays Hayes.

does doing the excerise sumo as opposed to the conventional style have an effect on the workout or will the same muscles be used, thanks.

i meant are the hams used the same amount in both stances?

Sumo and conventional focus on different muscles and joints. The sumo has less emphasis on the lower back and more on the quadriceps if I remember correctly.
Be careful though, since the sumo puts moer stress on the knees and ankles than regular deads.
I’m pretty sure in the sumos you should be pushing your feet out to the sides (without actually moving them) and not straight down as you lift to keep your knees from getting bent out of shape.