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Easier to Deadlift More Using a Back Dominant Pull?


Why is it easier to pull more using more of your back/using a SLDL-ish stance?
Most people seem to pull less if they have to incorporate more leg/hip drive...


If you don't mean the extreme of really a SLDL but rather a powerlifting-style conventional deadlift instead of a so-called Olympic or bodybuilding style deadlift, I would guess it is because of the hamstrings being able to generate more force in a more-stretched position. Just a guess though.


What I am saying is the hips high stance,i.e SLDL.


I think a lot of people either lack the core strength or the glute and hamstring strength (or both) required to pull with a more upright posture and arched back. I feel like this has a lot to do with the amount of time people spend sitting in chairs... It causes poor hip flexibility and terrible glute activation. People compensate by using excessive amounts of lumbar flexion - so they pull with their hips high and lower back rounded.

Personally, I never had any formal instruction in the deadlift, so I deadlifted with tons of lumbar flexion for well over a year (just because it "felt right" since I had terrible glute activation) without realizing that it was putting me at a high risk of injury. By the time I wanted to change my form, I realized that my spinal erectors were already much stronger than my glutes and hamstrings, and that they overcompensated. Basically, it's often an imbalance between spinal erector strength and glute/ham + core strength.

Hope this helps.


Less distance to pull.


tbh when i lift with more back i feel my spine ripping out, but when i lift with my butt higher in the air then my hams and anus get tighter plus i feel more like ronniecoleman.


Overshare alert: excess information.



Quick hijack...

Bill did you get my most recent PM? Its showing that it hasn't been received and I've been having some PM issues recently..Apologies if you've indeed received and simply have not had time to reply.

end hijack sorry guys.


(Checking now) -- Yes. I'm sorry to be so slow: I'm still severely behind on PM's. Apologies to all on that.


not true, not always at least. i pull a lot stronger from a wider stance with hands close in which does include using some leg/hip drive. maybe some folks just have a harder time with that set up but i think if you can pull better one way, do it.


Back dominant vs posterior chain dominant pulling.

IME it's very common with bodybuilders and people who've been pulling round back for a very long time. I know it doesn't hold true with me.


Your back's not part of your posterior chain now a days?


When I've always referred to it as the hamstrings and hips as opposed to the erector spinae in isolation but you're right.


It has a lot to do with leg/torso length. Take a deadlifter with short legs- specifically, short femurs- his pull will look like his squat. He can generate a lot of force on the bar in a squat postion. This relates to why short legged lifters tend to make better squatters. When a long legged lifter with a short torso does this, he may "start" the pull with his hips low, but the bar won't break the floor until his hips are halfway up.

At that point, he can use the tension in his hamstrongs to jerk the bar up. If a short legged lifter with an accordingly long torso does this, the bar will come way out in front of him and he will have a harder time hauling up the weight. Neither method is wrong- it's just that a heavy weight will prove what is the right method for your build.


Well put. I agree 100%


My experience is exactly the same as yours. I pulled up to 425 with this "style" before realizing I had to get those hips BACK and drive the shoulders up from the start to keep the chest up and back in extension. Which has required improved hamstring, glute, quad, and isometric core strength just to maintain positions at the start. I plan to lift 5 plates this year and I'll succeed just by the good old bend over and yank if I have to, but my "new" goal is to do so with proper form. Which doesn't necessarily mean hips low- it means starting the pull from the correct start position for me and not allowing lumbar rounding.


Some good answers on this thread and it all come down to the fact that people are good at the things they do often. If they never do proper deadlifts (for lack of a better way to phase it) they will always be better at the ones involving more of the back.