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Dimel Deadlifts?

Looking for a movement to put into my glute rep work slot. Wondering if Dimmel deadlifts would be good? Like this


I lift in relatively upright positions for both deadlift (sumo) and squats so joint angles will match up. Glutes are the limiting factor for my squat and probs my deadlift so bigger stronger glutes sounds good.

If Dimmels are worth a shot what kind of load/intensity, rep ranges and volume ranges would be a good start point? Any benefits from using snatch grip?


Dimels are unlikely to load your glutes to a significant degree, they’re very hamstring-centric.

What makes you think your glutes are a limiting factor? Mechanically speaking, they’re probably not as important as theyre made out to be

I believe Simmons programs them in the 15+ rep range?

In my eyes, snatch grip has the same effect as using a deficit, as it brings the bar further away from the floor. I’d love to hear someone else chime in on this, but personally I don’t see any other benefit

I see. I’ll take solid posterior chain work with carryover whether glutes themselves are the focus or not.

Wanna explain plox? U better have more than just a major in anatomy and physiology (how’s ur curse going btw?) because most people in the industry from professors of bro-science to doctors of physical therapy emphasise dat ass

Along the lines of this video pretty much movement analysis of the squat. Dunno if it’s super applicable to the sumo deadlift as well.

So first, the reasons why emphasising training glutes is really good:

  • Can directly contribute to “stability” in the lower back via a structure called the thoracolumbar fascia
  • The glutes are a strong posterior compressor of the pelvis, which can be useful for heavy squatting

However, where I think the “glutes is king” argument falls short is the fact that the glutes don’t have the best leverage from hip extension coming out of the hole.

The glutes have a very strong moment arm for hip hyperextension, or hip extension from “neutral” to back behind the body. In contrast, they have a relatively poor moment arm for hip extension from a flexed hip position, especially compared to the other large hip extensors. Considering that almost everyone these days has some degree of APT (and developing an APT is a fairly typical response to getting and bigger and stronger), very few people will have the ability to use glutes effectively in a squat.

Of these other large hip extensors, you’ve got the hamstring group and the adductor magnus. The hamstrings likely have a fairly minimal contribution to force production in the squat. This is because they must lengthen at the knee as they shorten at the hip during the concentric phase of a squat. As a result, hamstrings, at best, provide connectivity between the hip and the knee (this is part of something called Lombard’s paradox)

Finally, that leaves us with adductor magnus. Adductor magnus is the 2nd largest muscle in the body, and the strongest hip extensor from a flexed hip position. Additionally, a typically slightly wider-stance “powerlifting” squat, as opposed to a squat style you’d see Olympic lifters use, only serves to increase adductor magnus contribution. This has been verified with EMG, granted, EMG isn’t the end-all be-all.

At an even deeper level, certain movements must take place within the pelvis and pelvic floor to support the movement of very heavy loads. Specifically, the pelvis undergo a motion called counternutation, relative to the sacrum, and the pelvic floor must ascend. We know due to the anatomy trains concepts (fascial connectivity between muscles) that the adductor magnus is continuous with, and therefore contributes forces to, the pelvic floor. Additionally, counternutation of the pelvis is also an expression of the adduction of the hip (I.e. you can’t have one without the other). Therefore, adductor magnus wins again.

Glutes are great, especially for sprinters and jumpers, but for lifters they’re overrated. I think this mostly comes from a vast majority of research available about the biomechanics of the gluteals, and a relative sparsity of information about the adductor group

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Interesting. So we going with I need more hip extension. In deep hip flexion it’ll be coming from the adductor magnus. I always pop out the hole alright. Is more the halfway up squat sticking point where it’s make or break. Is this still adductors?

Is sumo and knees put squats sufficient towards train them? Do all hip extension demanding movement train the adductors adequately/efficiently? Would smashing adductors with hypertrophy work be useful? Don’t have access to a good girl / bad girl machine rn

Potentially? We know from specificity that the best exercises to improve your comp lifts are your comp lifts. You could increase loading on your adductors in squatting by using a wider stance and/or a more bent-over torso. That said, a great way to load adductor magnus that is still specific to PL is a sumo-stance RDL or good-morning

So at 90 degrees hip flexion - roughly halfway up - the pelvis must reach its maximally counternutated position relative to the sacrum, and the pelvic floor must maximally ascend. Yes, adductor magnus will have a role to play in helping you achieve this, but other supplemental exercises like straight bar RDL’s and cross-grip front squats will get you there too. Lower-level drills include bear crawls (for core work) and squats with a pause and full exhale at halfway (only at very light loads, during warm up)

I would say so, yes, although research on this is poor. Exercises that are more hingey will naturally load hamstrings to a greater degree, whilst exercises that are more squatty will involve less hamstrings

Exercises like the good girl/bad girl are likely to have limited benefit. Although the best predictor for force output is muscle volume, this is also fibre specific. The unique architecture of adductor magnus means that its fibres that are best oriented for adduction (good girl) are not the fibres that are best oriented for extension. Hence, the carryover of adduction strength to extension strength is limited.

To possible make an easier to visualise comparison, the lateral deltoid has a different job to the anterior deltoid, even though they’re the same muscle. Hence, hypertrophy in one portion won’t necessarily help improve output from another portion

That said, the good girl machine will help you access the pelvic shape and pelvic floor orientation i alluded to earlier. Thus, it could help, but likely not because the hypertrophy work allowed you to produce more force in hip extension.

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I sometimes throw in Dimel deads. I’ll do a couple sets of 20-30 reps with like 225 on the bar (I’m a high 600 conventional puller) making sure to keep the pace fast. As for glute activation… in my experience most compound movements aren’t going to be great for glute focus without active effort. That said, if you actively focus on squeezing your glutes during your hip extension, they can definitely burn your buns.

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The other thing I like about them is the economy. You probably already deadlifted heavy, so you’re in the process of stripping the bar anyway. It’s easier to toss in a couple sets of Dimels than to go set up a different exercise.

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You deadlift with your feet wide. Doing some work with your feet closer will probably be good for you, as a way to work whatever is the wide stance misses. I saw Yuri Belkin do conventional deads after sumo, so it’s not like it’s a crazy idea.

Snatch grip would keep the barbell higher and closer to your hips throughout the move. I believe this would make it easier to keep tension on your glutes. It definetly makes it easier to maintain neutral or posterior pelvic tilt, if you’re into that.

Louie said Dimmel started with 225, when he was like an 850 squatter. They did a few sets of 20-25, four times per week, for a year. Moving the Dimmels to low 400s pushed the squat to 1000.

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I have used these in the past. I remember learning of them around 2012. I like them and felt the helped build my erectors a lot more than anything else. I did high reps of 20.

Edit: also as noted by @tasty_nate they are great for economy. Nothing beats moving smoothly to your next movement while unloading from the previous.

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You never look vertical in a squat. I mean you personally. You start hinged at the hip, you are never actually upright. Your bar path is also forward. There are guys on here that will argue that sitting back in the squat was a faddish thing that has been debunked. They are wrong, and yes I am choosing this hill. The most powerful and efficient bar path is over the ankle, which means sitting back in the squat for most body types. Your DL setup mimics this, but with a better bar path. You are not using your hamstrings in either lift from what I can see. You are carrying velocity from the adductors to blow past the the hamstrings phase and get to the glutes as quickly as possible. I would estimate that your erectors and hamstrings are the weak points based on the video.
Snatch grip would not likely offer you any benefits on Dimels. It puts your back at a completely different contraction than you deads or squats, and would also lead to a higher bar position for the movement which would in effect de-load the movement sooner for you. You might consider narrow stance Stiff Legs or Good Mornings (Although I think GM’s with an ordinary bar are inferior and limited by holding the bar in place while causing a lot of neck pain. They are way more productive with a Safety Squat bar or an Axle).

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Cossack squat?
Adductor plank?

They train the adductors, sure, but force output is so low you wouldn’t get too much carryover.

You could probably add some Copenhagen/adductor planks between warm up sets or right after sessions, but the effect will be small.

I’m not a huge fan of Cossack squats for… well pretty much anything

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What are your thoughts on zercher good mornings? I’ve been doing them lately and they seem to feel similar to using a safety bar. Pretty comfortable and lots of upper back for me

I love Zercher anything, honestly. But the pain thing in the forearms with a bare regular bar can be tough. The axle feels completely different on Zerchers and is awesome.

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Totally, in lieu of an axle I’ve just been using a bar pad. Luckily I’m not too strong with zerchers so thts doing the trick for now