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I know this is a dumb question, but I really need some help. I would like to incorporate deadlifts into my workouts to increase my sorry squat. My hams are virtually non-existent. The problem is I have never really learned the proper way to do them. Do I rest the weights on the floor after each rep or keep going until the set is through? Pictures in mags don’t really explain this. I lift at home and won’t be able to join a gym until february due to transportation problems so its not like I can just ask someone to show me? Anyone know of any good videos that might show this and other powerlifting exercises such as powercleans, etc? I realize this a very simple question and kind of makes me look bad but I would greatly appreciate any help?

mik:A couple of years ago I purchased Ed Coan’s tapes on both the Deadlift and Squats. They are great! I would just put Ed’s name in a search engine and VOILA!!! Hope this helps!

Try to look up WestSide. Also Dave Tate at Elite Fitness Systems. Do a search on any engine and you’ll find them.

The deadlift is a very natural movement and probably the easiest of the lower body dominant compound movements to teach. Bend down and pick something off the floor with your arms straight the entire time. Now do the same thing without letting your back round…that’s a deadlift. You can also get into other complexities of the lift such as keeping your shoulders back, keeping the bar against your body the entire time, pushing from the heels and squeezing the glutes on the way up as well.

Opinions differ. But I believe it’s best
to reset the weight on the floor after
each rep. The exception is if your form
is so perfect that the ending point (while
going down) of each rep leaves you at the
exact correct starting point as well. In that
case it’s OK to not reset the weight.

For the most part you should strive for
your ending position to be close to the
starting position but chances are it won’t
exactly be.

Your starting position can be described
as feet at shoulder width, knees bent probably
about 45 degrees, back arched (not slumped over.) Head looking straight ahead. Pull the bar with a moderate tension to get body set
up taking up any “slack,” and then lift smoothly, with the first part of the motion being with the legs. Try to focus on
the idea of your head elevating smoothly,
rather than on the bar or straightening your
back at first. Basically, your back (according
to the method I’m giving, not the only method)
is supporting the weight, staying at the same lean and staying slightly arched, in the first part of the rep and then this angle moves towards standing vertical as the rep finishes.

I appreciate very well that powerlifters often
perform the lift differently from this. What I’m describing is a safe method that is also
effective for mass and strength development.

Your hands can both be pronated (palms towards
you) if you have the strength to hold the bar
this way; or alternating grip (one hand pronated, the other supinated, palm away
from you.)

Why not do both - go for continuous reps, as well as doing some heavy re-setted singles. They both have their good points. As far as strengthening your hams and questions on form - read t-mag.com and elitefts.com (Westside Barbell) for answers.

rest the weight on the floor between each rep and focus on using proper form, i.e., bacj fairly straight, hips back, shins pretty vertical. most people who do reps without pausing on deadlifts lose their form completely after the second or third rep. and they start bouncing the bar off the floor for help. high potential for injury. maybe even reset your grip.

I’ve done both, and there is a tendency to lose form in later lifts when doing touch-and-goes. The way to combat this tendency is to make the “touch” very light, SLOWLY lowering the bar to the starting position. This takes concentration, and will help tighten your form for the next rep. If you still have a tendency to lose form, go with reset reps – readjust grip and leg stance on every rep.

Deadlifts are a pretty unique lift. The weight starts on the floor so you have to get the weight moving from a dead start, unlike in the bench or squat. So, if you think of it this way, it’s probably best to reset after every rep. It’s tougher than going touch-and-go, but your form will be better for it.

I have two questions about deadlifting form. 1) should you tighten the abs or push them out. I know this is a big debatable issue and it depends on who you talk to. I’m having a hard time keeping my shoulders back. Most likey its flexiablity. One guy told me to shrug my shoulders up and keep them there for the starting position. 2) Any ideas on this?


DO NOT shrug the shoulders up on deads. You want to squeeze the shoulderblades together (like doing cable rows) and down before you even start the pull. If you let the shoulders go forward, you increase the tendency to round the lower back.

Thanks everyone for all the input. It is very much appreciated.

Heres a Halfway decent site that shows different techinique’s…
just follow the exercise link for “hamstrings” and youll see some different techniques.

For your clean form video check out this link.


Here’s how I deadlift: Begin in a standing position, feet shoulder width with shins almost touching the bar. Take a deep breath and release it as you bend over (with knees slightly bent) to grasp the bar just outside your shins. Take another big breath and tighten your abs(it’s easier to take a big breath in this position), squat down with your back at a 45 degree angle, take up the slack in your arms, retract shoulder blades tightly, squeeze your glutes and sphincter, and then launch the lift by pushing your heels through the floor. Make sure your hips and shoulders rise in unison; in other words, your hips should not rise before your shoulders. When the bar gets just above your knees, thrust your hips forward. I release my breath during this second part of the lift. Keep your shoulder blades retracted through the entire lift. To get out of it, first release the hips backward and squat the bar down to the floor. (If you bend your knees first, you’ll whack the bar on your knees on the way down.) I like to regrip quickly at the bottom before the next rep. What to do if you keep dinging your shins? Use shin guards.