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Deadlifts with Long Legs

A friend of mine has very long legs, he’s also 6’ 6 so pretty tall. He can’t get down into the conventional stance without rounding his back a lot. I told him to work on his hamstring flexibility, but also said he might consider pulling sumo instead of conventional.

Would it be better to recommend doing rack pulls and slowly working down? Or is it just that some people can’t get down into a conventional stance and sumo is better. He doesn’t have access to a trap bar either. Just wanted to help the guy out, so I’m trying to find as much info as I can.

I don’t see why he can’t work on hamstring flexibility AND pull sumo some. It may also be that his body positioning needs adjusting moreso than flexibility. Sometimes guys let the bar get too far out front because it seems easier to reach at first and then everything is out of whack when they start their pull. I’m just an inch or two shorter and I’ve had trouble with that as well.

Sounds like he is fine… just needs to work on mobility.

that includes his calves, hamstrings, hip etc.

The exercise isn’t wrong for him, he is wrong for the exercise, at his current state.

Fix the mobility (there are a million cures out there) and I think it will aid him ALL over the gym/life. (Defranco Agile 8 is a good start)

Pulling Sumo might make it easier for him, out of a flexibility standpoint, but sumo-deads also emphasizes different muscle groups as compared to conventional, or trap-bar.

How are his abs? I’m not 6’6 but early on I had lower back mobility issues because my front-core was shit and couldn’t take over when it was supposed to stabilize my upper-body(which is the function of the abs/core).

[quote]Claudan wrote:
Sounds like he is fine… just needs to work on mobility.

that includes his calves, hamstrings, hip etc.

The exercise isn’t wrong for him, he is wrong for the exercise, at his current state.

Fix the mobility (there are a million cures out there) and I think it will aid him ALL over the gym/life. (Defranco Agile 8 is a good start)

Pulling Sumo might make it easier for him, out of a flexibility standpoint, but sumo-deads also emphasizes different muscle groups as compared to conventional, or trap-bar.

How are his abs? I’m not 6’6 but early on I had lower back mobility issues because my front-core was shit and couldn’t take over when it was supposed to stabilize my upper-body(which is the function of the abs/core). [/quote]

Yeah I have him stretching the hamstrings and hips, calves as well cause when he stretches his hamstrings he feels it mostly in the calf as well. I really would like to see him pulling conventional, as he is doing the starting strength program and I would like to see him put more emphasis on the posterior chain with his deads than the hips. And he hasn’t noticed his abs being a glaring weak point, and neither have I. I think its mostly that he’s just weak all over (only 175lbs at his height). Thanks for the reply btw. I’ll have him work on mobility. I was just curious as to when we would realize wether it is a mobility issue, or an anthropometry one.

The reason I’m so intent on knowing whether its a mobility thing or a body proportion thing is that I want to know whether to have him pull sumo, or start with rack pulls and work on mobility. I wouldn’t have him load the rack pulls heavy, just light weight and work on grooving the movement and increasing ROM.

He’s 6’6, 170 lbs? That’s insanely underweight.

I like the idea of starting with rack pulls, and increasing range of motion every session, and will likely be more effective than static stretching. This should be easy enough to accomplish. It wouldn’t hurt to post a video here as well.

1 Like

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
He’s 6’6, 170 lbs? That’s insanely underweight.

I like the idea of starting with rack pulls, and increasing range of motion every session, and will likely be more effective than static stretching. This should be easy enough to accomplish. It wouldn’t hurt to post a video here as well.[/quote]

Yeah I think I’ll toss up a video… Haha stay tuned. And yeah he looks like he’s starving to death. I’ve told him a million times he needs to eat a shit ton more food. Typical response in saying that he already eats a lot. So frustrating trying to get skinny guys to eat more… Reminds me of myself not long ago

Just my 2 cents, but I am transitioning to conventional dl’s for the first time because sumo is killing my hips. I’m 6’1, and fat, but I noticed I tend to set my stance and straighten my back, then pull myself into position with the bar. I have been faster off of the floor than I ever was in sumo.

His problem really sounds like weakness, but preloading some tension might help. I’d say lots of ab and extension work so he doesnt break.

I don’t know how tall you are, but it’s worth mentioning that his conventional deadlift set up might look quite different from yours due to different back/femur lengths, as you can see in this diagram from Rippetoe. I’m 6’4" and when I set up with my shoulder blades over the bad it looks totally different to a friend who’s 5’10".

Diagram

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:
I don’t know how tall you are, but it’s worth mentioning that his conventional deadlift set up might look quite different from yours due to different back/femur lengths, as you can see in this diagram from Rippetoe. I’m 6’4" and when I set up with my shoulder blades over the bad it looks totally different to a friend who’s 5’10".[/quote]

Thanks for the help. I do know that different people have different angles when they Deadlift. Although that’s something I struggled with for awhile. I use rips check list for the markers of a good start position of the Deadlift, and as long as all those are met the back angle looks how it looks. With this guy he physically cannot grab the bar without rounding his back, and by rounding his back I mean a ton. Not sure if it’s because he is so talk that he can’t get into position, or that it is exacerbated by the fact he is so tall. I appreciate your input btw

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:
I don’t know how tall you are, but it’s worth mentioning that his conventional deadlift set up might look quite different from yours due to different back/femur lengths, as you can see in this diagram from Rippetoe. I’m 6’4" and when I set up with my shoulder blades over the bad it looks totally different to a friend who’s 5’10".[/quote]

Thanks for the help. I do know that different people have different angles when they Deadlift. Although that’s something I struggled with for awhile. I use rips check list for the markers of a good start position of the Deadlift, and as long as all those are met the back angle looks how it looks. With this guy he physically cannot grab the bar without rounding his back, and by rounding his back I mean a ton. Not sure if it’s because he is so talk that he can’t get into position, or that it is exacerbated by the fact he is so tall. I appreciate your input btw [/quote]

No probs. I’m by no means an expert, just throwing in my 2p as a tall guy :slight_smile:

Maybe he needs to learn to hip hinge properly? It can feel pretty unnatural at first.

Never hurts to work on mobility anyway.

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]Diddy Ryder wrote:
I don’t know how tall you are, but it’s worth mentioning that his conventional deadlift set up might look quite different from yours due to different back/femur lengths, as you can see in this diagram from Rippetoe. I’m 6’4" and when I set up with my shoulder blades over the bad it looks totally different to a friend who’s 5’10".[/quote]

Thanks for the help. I do know that different people have different angles when they Deadlift. Although that’s something I struggled with for awhile. I use rips check list for the markers of a good start position of the Deadlift, and as long as all those are met the back angle looks how it looks. With this guy he physically cannot grab the bar without rounding his back, and by rounding his back I mean a ton. Not sure if it’s because he is so talk that he can’t get into position, or that it is exacerbated by the fact he is so tall. I appreciate your input btw [/quote]

No probs. I’m by no means an expert, just throwing in my 2p as a tall guy :slight_smile:

Maybe he needs to learn to hip hinge properly? It can feel pretty unnatural at first.

Never hurts to work on mobility anyway.
[/quote]

Neither am I. Yeah mobility is def important no matter which route he goes. I’ll still him on the hip hinge to make sure he gets it

Is there a reason he has to pull full ROM deads? Is he trying to compete in strongman or powerlifting?

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Is there a reason he has to pull full ROM deads? Is he trying to compete in strongman or powerlifting?[/quote]

No, he’s trying to gain some weight and get stronger for basketball. I guess I never thought that it could not be necessary to pull full ROM deads…

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Is there a reason he has to pull full ROM deads? Is he trying to compete in strongman or powerlifting?[/quote]

No, he’s trying to gain some weight and get stronger for basketball. I guess I never thought that it could not be necessary to pull full ROM deads… [/quote]

Personally, I feel like time spent trying to get him able to do a full ROM deadlift is time that could be spent getting him bigger and stronger. At 6’6 with long levers and 170ish bodyweight and no ambition to compete, I don’t really see the deadlift having a lot of value for him compared to a mat or block pull.

SHRUGS AND JAGGERBOMBS!

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
A friend of mine has very long legs, he’s also 6’ 6 so pretty tall. He can’t get down into the conventional stance without rounding his back a lot. I told him to work on his hamstring flexibility, but also said he might consider pulling sumo instead of conventional.

Would it be better to recommend doing rack pulls and slowly working down? Or is it just that some people can’t get down into a conventional stance and sumo is better. He doesn’t have access to a trap bar either. Just wanted to help the guy out, so I’m trying to find as much info as I can. [/quote]

Arm length can be a factor as well as leg length. If his legs are disproportionately long and his arms aren’t then he might have a problem. Another thing is long shins are much much worse for deadlifting than long femurs. So it’s not as simple as just long arms make deadlifts hard. Rich sadiv is a good example, at 6’2 he has arms and legs that look too long for how short his torso is. I think his best deadlift was 794 in the 198 class (!!!) and at that height you can imagine he is very lanky so his leverage is good. Of course he’s also naturally explosive, but that’s something else

Anyway, if you size up your friend and conclude that there’s no way he can reach the bar even if he did a pure hip hinge uninhibited by tight hamstrings, then he might have to consider other options. He might still have problems with sumo deads (i.e. his stance placing his feet wider than the plates on the bar).

Why does he want to deadlift? This isn’t the powerlifting forum so i suppose he’s not a powerlifter. If he’s an athlete that just needs posterior chain work there’s other options

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Is there a reason he has to pull full ROM deads? Is he trying to compete in strongman or powerlifting?[/quote]

No, he’s trying to gain some weight and get stronger for basketball. I guess I never thought that it could not be necessary to pull full ROM deads… [/quote]

Personally, I feel like time spent trying to get him able to do a full ROM deadlift is time that could be spent getting him bigger and stronger.[/quote]

This.

Also, it sounds like you are a beginner yourself. Helping out to your best capacity is cool and all, but watch out for “the blind leading the blind”.

I’m 6’5" and have made of point of deadlifting a lot recently. As you noted, I find doing rack pulls helps me a lot. I do not go up in weight without first doing that weight with rack pulls and then lower the bar to the floor as I get comfortable with the weight. Also, whether it’s mental or something else, I find that warming up on the treadmill while increasing the incline for 10 minutes or so and then doing some seated leg curls prior to deadlifting helps me a lot.