[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Definitely a good tip.
Another tip, not directly related but still on the same subject of deadlifts so this seems a good place to put it, is being very aware of knee angle.
There is no one “correct” knee angle but it is very much a variable that should be controlled instead of allowed to drift.
Broadly speaking two descriptions that have some common use are “powerlifting style” and “Olympic style.” Not that the deadlift is an Olympic lift, but on account of how Olympic lifters tend to deadlift when doing it for training.
In the powerlifting style, the knee bend is no greater than a half-squat: that is to say, the top of the thighs are at at least a 45 degree angle to the ground. There can be even less knee bend than this.
In the Olympic style, there’s more knee bend than this.
The powerlifting style puts more emphasis on the hamstrings than the Olympic style does; the Olympic style puts more on the quads than the powerlifting style. I wouldn’t make that the reason for picking the Olympic style though, as the Olympic style standard deadlift is still hardly the quad exercise to rely on.
Different individuals will have their best lifts with somewhat different knee angles typically. It’s individual.
Letting your knee angle unintentionally change with time leaves open the possibility that you may not be increasing how hard the muscles are having to work even though weight and/or reps are going up. It could be that you have gained no strength at all but have just drifted into a style that allows better performance. So the “gains” weren’t gains. Or alternately an apparent disappointment of no greater weight or no greater reps might not be due to no progress, but rather to unintentionally drifting to a knee angle that is harder work.
Better for that reason to be consistent.
Secondly, being inconsistent in this regard I think impairs skill development, because the motion is going to have to compensate in different ways for the differing knee angle. So no set, mastered “routine” develops, but rather it’s kind of improvisation every time, which isn’t best.
In any case and for whatever the reason, being keenly aware of knee angle and being quite deliberate and intentional about what it is, is quite helpful.
Having a mirror and closely observing start position helps in doing this.[/quote]
Bill, for my own clarification - I assume when you refer to a 45+ degree bend as a “powerlifting style,” that you are talking about a conventional stance? I deadlift sumo and the tops of my thighs are almost to parallel.