I find myself leaning forward often when doing deadlifts. This has got to produce back problems. What is the best way to postion yourself for a good lift? ie, feet postion, stance, grip, ect…

You will improve on your deadlifts when you stop thinking of them as a back exercise and start thinking of them as as a leg exercise. There’s a propensity to lower the weight by leaning forward, instead of bending at the hips and the knees…RESIST…Next, let
your butt drop! . While starting the positive, always remember to press your heels into the floor.

BTW/ You should treat each rep as a single and then re-set before the next rep! (Stance and grip will be based upon whether your doing Sumo or Conventonal.)

Ian King gave a really good description in an old issue of the mag. I can’t remember exactly which one, but I’m sure you can find it with the search engine. I’m pretty sure it was in one of those Heavy Metal articles. He says to imagine yourself pushing your legs right thru the floor… that helped me so much. Good luck dude.

I agree with Joey Z. Deadlifts may be a complete exercise, but to get max strength and power, you have to start by reducing your center of gravity. I’ve always felt more comfortable using a traditional stance. I’ll start with my feet slightly apart with my toes pointing out. Second, roll the bar all the way up against your shins. Third, GET YOUR ASS DOWN!!! Fourth, I usually put the hand I write with facing palm forward. Fifth, keep a high focal point with your head back, just like you would for squats. Finally, drive straight down through your heels, and your back will naturally straighten. Also, wear a good thick powerlifting belt. Good Luck.

I’ve read a couple of the replies that mention getting your butt down. I understand how you would do this with a squat, but how do you get your butt down during a straight-legged deadlift? I am not disagreeing, I am just curious to what I’m doing wrong.

Always have the bar touching your body. Where the scraps on your shins like bagges of honour. Swing your but back and dig in your heels to complete the range of motion. More simply, swing back instead of forward. If you move forward, the bar won’t be touching your body.

Thanos, you are talking about straight legged deadlifts while everyone else is talking about regular bent leg deadlifts, the powerlifting ones. laters pk

Those scrathces are a bitch. Now I have to wear soccer shin gaurds under my sweat pants to avoid it.

Great exercise! For a beginner I’ve found it easier to teach from the end of the movement or the top to the start or bottom. Follow these steps for improved jumping/sprinting:

  1. Feet hip width, maybe slightly narrower than hip width. An “athletic” stance. Use the same stance as if I asked you to jump as high as you can.
  2. Feet pointing straight ahead.
  3. Bar against upper thighs.
  4. Pronated grip with both hands shoulder width apart.
  5. Retract and depress scapula.
  6. Pull belly button in towards spine as hard as you can. Keep abs tight throughout ROM.
  7. Tighten the glutes and rotate your pelvis so that your back is flat. No arch. No rounding of lumbar spine.
  8. Slightly flex your hips and slightly flexing the knees will help get you into a good starting position. Pick a spot about 6- 8 feet in front of you to look at. This is individual depending on height.

Now start the descend. Perform the movement very slowly as form can fall apart as you near the floor.

9. Push your hips out by flexing the hips. Depending on your arm length and eventually with a load, the bar may not touch the upper 2/3's of movement until it reaches the distal end of the quads. Shoulders must be over or slightly in front of the bar. 10. Hold the belly button in. Glutes tight. Keep the back flat. Scapula retracted and depressed hard. "Secure" your upper body to your pelvis as one complete lever. This is the point where you might see some tecnique changes.

At this point, you should be leaning over at an approximatly a 45 degree angle. Back flat. One lever. Weight distributed evenly over both feet. Slightly posterior to the arch. This is very individual just a starting reference.

  1. Flex the knees. Slide the bar down the lower leg towards the floor. Shoulders, hips and bar all move at the same speed. Shoulder and hip angle must remain unchanged.
  2. Descend until the bar touches the top of ankle. Eventually with a load the ROM will be less unless you stand on a block.

A good teaching point is: On the descend, when the technique breaks down, particulary the glute,abs,flat back technique, move back up 2" to where the form was better, correct it, then start to lower the bar again. Only try this 3-5 times. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated. You’ll get it with practice.

Begin the ascend.

  1. Abs in. Glutes tight. Back flat. Scapla retracted.
  2. Contract the glutes hard!
  3. Push your feet into the floor hard!
  4. Slowly, and I mean slowly. Even if it takes 20 sec. Start to straighten the legs.
    In doing the so, your shoulders and glutes will rise at the same angle. Shoulders nor the hips must not rise first. There is no compromise here. Bothe at the same time. You will loose the effectiveness of this exercise if technique changes here.
  5. Around knee height, again, purely individual, bring the hips forward. The back is still flat. The bar leaves the thighs briefly, then touches the quads again as you near vertical.
  6. Stand up 98% of the way. Don’t “lock out”. Keep the tension on the legs and begin again.

You can do this exercise right now! Get a broom stick, hockey stick, shovel or skinny kid brother. Let me know how you made out.

Not trying to hijack the thread but…
Stronski, just out of curiousity, where (if at all) did you receive your education with regards to training, etc?
I seem to be thinking along the same lines as you and was just wondering if you are “formally” educated in the area of Training (Fitness).

BigRob, B.A. in an unrelated field. No formal training. Spent some time in Eastern Europe. Asking questions, listening and watching. Walking up to or calling leaders in the fields of sport, strength training, nutrition, rehabilitation, etc… and asking them questions until they tell me to stop asking. Mostly making observations and acting upon them when I saw consistant findings no matter what the mainstream training or rehab was like. Being around athletes and gyms seeing what works and what doesn’t work. Most of the time the athletes are ahead of the scientists/doctors/proffesors. The answers are usually right in front of you every day. Thanks for asking.

Jay, I can’t stress how crucial “reducing your center of gravity” is to powerful, injury free deadlifting. GREAT point! If the butt is too high, then even if deadlifter starts the lift by pressing with the heels, the lower back will still be forced to pull “too much” of the initial load.

Two months ago I switched from sumo to conventional. I keep my heels about 12 inches apart and the hands about 30 inches apart. Like a golfer, I employ a hitch or trigger to start the lift. While in the bottom position, I drop my butt 2 inches (which serves as a trigger). Then I immediately JAM my heels into the floor; my legs and back straighten, and away I go. I actually look forward deadlifting. (Pretty sick, eh?)

Correction: Just to be exact, got out the tape measure and found that my heels were 9 inches
apart and the hands 28.

It’s funny that you have a lot of the same ideals that I’ve had drilled at me by my professors and you are real-world taught. Anyway, I hope to take it as a compliment. It’s good to know whose threads to pay attention to and whose not to.

Thanks for all the replies. I read each one. I will try these in a few days when it is t-time again. I used to do deads correctly but since reworking them into my program I felt my technique got poor. I think I figured it out now, thanks to you all :wink: My shins get rather scratched up from doing deads (I like the soccer pad idea, that was funny shit). So I was probably subconciously pushing the bar away from my body. Perhaps doing deads with some kind of shin-saving material is ideal to keep the bar really close. And, as I work to my heavy singles I get all crazy. I grab the bar, bounce up and down and scream like Arnold! Well, sort of like that. But right before I go into a heavy lift I think my ass is too high. Thanks for all the replies. I will probably print this thread out. I am in an internet cafe right now, and if I practice this here, the other nations may think that it is some new American relgious tweak out! Thanks again!!!

Big Rob, Take it as a compliment. Thanks.



Note from mod: No need to scream.

some comments: (1) the bar should start over your toes or at least near them. you want to pull the bar into you as well as up. garry frank actually roles the bar towards him when he deadlifts and tries to time the lift. sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. (2) the shoulders should always be behind the bar. (3) many powerliters arch their back during the deadlift.