T Nation

Getting Deadlift Off the Ground

I’ve been deadlifting since January and since then, have progressed to about BWx1.7

I have noticed that I can lockout any weight I can get off the ground. Is there any training I can do to help increase strength in the lower portion of the deadlift? Please don’t say keep deadlifting, I’ve been deadlifting for several months and my progress has stalled.

Any help is appreciated

not sure, but deadlift is legs/back so id say squatting, zerchers, rack deads, and romanian deadlifts

Stand on a box that allows the bar to almost touch the tops of the feet. Keep your form the same as you would if pulling a regular deadlift, only now you must get the hips much deeper to initiate the pull. Everything
stays the same! You will find you will have to use much less weight to perform this lift.

You need to improve your quad strength for the bottom portion of the lift (That’s not to say that your other muscles arent important in the bottom portion of the lift.).

I would do front squats or lunges or bulgarian split squats in addition to your normal heavy back squats.

Obviously keep deadlifting but maybee back off on the weight a little and work on setting some rep records with lighter weights. When you get back to heavy deadlifts I think you’ll be suprised at how much stronger you are.

Another thing you might try (I think I got this from Thib)…if you have access to a power rack, set the pins low (use a platform if necessary as well), setup the bar to pull from the floor as your norm and perform some iso holds (pull the bar into the pins, trying to pull through the pins). Keep you ROM within the first 3-6 inches to help strenghthen your body for getting out of the hole.

Also, see

to build some hip/posterior chain strength.

just my .02

Deadlift from a deficit explosively. Make sure your form is still proper. As you get stronger it is easy to develop bad habits and compensate them up until a certain point.

Box squats seemed to help me with my dead lift from the floor. But then again they say any squatting helps deads. So theres that…

Strangely enough, my squat strength has been going up well as of late. I’ll give deficit deads a try but I don’t have the equipment to do box squats or the level of development to be trying those fancy pin pulls.

Thanks anyway

I like deficit deads and also snatch grip deads helped me get my speed off the ground a lot faster. Zercher squats from the bottom position also work really well for me.

A few things that have helped me with that problem:

  • Pulling lower, from a box, like others have suggested. You’ll have to lighten the load a bit to get it off the ground.

  • Having a trainer or an educated friend or fellow gym-goer check your form, or make a video of it and post it here.

  • Try sumo-style deadlifts. Sumo styles are actually harder to get off the ground, but the alternate stimulus can help you grow.

  • Do some trap bar deadlifts, if you have access to a trap bar. They’re kind of a cross between a deadlift and a squat and I’ve found that they can help in bridging the gap between the two if one is acting up.

  • Of course, other types of deadlifts can provide a different stimulus, and help you grow. Over the next few weeks, try substituting normal DLs for Romanian DLs, snatch grip DLs, or trap bar DLs. I’ve often found that pushing my strength past a sticking point takes working the muscle group differently. My bench press was stuck at 185 for the longest time. Then I started doing dips and incline presses, and my flat bench got way bigger.

Best of luck man! Report back and tell us how it goes.

I tried sumos for a set or two the last time I DL’d, I felt them really hard in my hamstrings and glutes. I’ll stick to deficit deads for tomorrow’s session. How big should this deficit be? About 4 inches or more?

Xab said it best.

In my experience deads from a deficit with a snatch grip works wonders on the upper back and getting weight off the floor. At first you will have to lower the lbs, but once you get used to it you’ll be handling close to the same weight as your normal deads. Then when you switch back the bar will seem really high and your former sticking will not longer be an issue.

Speed deadlifts are also pretty common. Pull as fast as possible with about 50-65% of your 1RM. I did these for a while, they felt totally useless while doing them(your only doing 1 rep with a light weight), but when I went back to test my old 1RM it just flew up.

I believe they are more commonly used with chains, to increase the weight at the top. I don’t have alot of knowledge about powerlifting though.

[quote]hardgnr wrote:
Speed deadlifts are also pretty common. Pull as fast as possible with about 50-65% of your 1RM. I did these for a while, they felt totally useless while doing them(your only doing 1 rep with a light weight), but when I went back to test my old 1RM it just flew up.

I believe they are more commonly used with chains, to increase the weight at the top. I don’t have alot of knowledge about powerlifting though.[/quote]

yep, the chains and/or bands teach you to “outrun” the added weight. This speed will help you get the weight moving. You can’t move a heavy weight slow…think about that for a min.

I heard the back/body won’t lift what it can’t grip (some kind of neural inhibition maybe??) so strengthening the grip and/or using the mixed grip on your really heavy sets should help

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
hardgnr wrote:
Speed deadlifts are also pretty common. Pull as fast as possible with about 50-65% of your 1RM. I did these for a while, they felt totally useless while doing them(your only doing 1 rep with a light weight), but when I went back to test my old 1RM it just flew up.

I believe they are more commonly used with chains, to increase the weight at the top. I don’t have alot of knowledge about powerlifting though.

yep, the chains and/or bands teach you to “outrun” the added weight. This speed will help you get the weight moving. You can’t move a heavy weight slow…think about that for a min.
[/quote]
Don’t they just make the weight heavier at the top? And that heavy slow thing, I don’t get it. I move very heavy weights quite slowly on a regular basis, as long as F[up] > F[down] the acceleration can lim–>0 and it’d still move.

[quote]ros1816 wrote:
I heard the back/body won’t lift what it can’t grip (some kind of neural inhibition maybe??)[/quote]

I think this is called proprioceptive feedback and it basically tells the back that the weight is too heavy to lift. Not sure though.

But this could actually be the case here because you said that your squat strength has been going up so I think that the problem is not in your legs. You could try to work with your grip strength.

You weigh 150 and can’t even pull 300. Shut the fuck up and deadlift. I don’t see what the fuck you think you can accomplish pissing around with other lifts when you can’t even pull 300 off the ground.

[quote]Oroborus wrote:
StrengthDawg wrote:
hardgnr wrote:
Speed deadlifts are also pretty common. Pull as fast as possible with about 50-65% of your 1RM. I did these for a while, they felt totally useless while doing them(your only doing 1 rep with a light weight), but when I went back to test my old 1RM it just flew up.

I believe they are more commonly used with chains, to increase the weight at the top. I don’t have alot of knowledge about powerlifting though.

yep, the chains and/or bands teach you to “outrun” the added weight. This speed will help you get the weight moving. You can’t move a heavy weight slow…think about that for a min.

Don’t they just make the weight heavier at the top? And that heavy slow thing, I don’t get it. I move very heavy weights quite slowly on a regular basis, as long as F[up] > F[down] the acceleration can lim–>0 and it’d still move.
[/quote]

That formula is true.

Now try it with a max dead lift. Exert only enough force to make it move from the ground, and continue the lift at the same rate.

Let us know how it works.

[quote]Oroborus wrote:
StrengthDawg wrote:
hardgnr wrote:
Speed deadlifts are also pretty common. Pull as fast as possible with about 50-65% of your 1RM. I did these for a while, they felt totally useless while doing them(your only doing 1 rep with a light weight), but when I went back to test my old 1RM it just flew up.

I believe they are more commonly used with chains, to increase the weight at the top. I don’t have alot of knowledge about powerlifting though.

yep, the chains and/or bands teach you to “outrun” the added weight. This speed will help you get the weight moving. You can’t move a heavy weight slow…think about that for a min.

Don’t they just make the weight heavier at the top? And that heavy slow thing, I don’t get it. I move very heavy weights quite slowly on a regular basis, as long as F[up] > F[down] the acceleration can lim–>0 and it’d still move.
[/quote]

It really depends on how you set the stuff up. I usually set it up so that I’m picking up chains / tensioning right off the bat. The ideas is that in a deadlift the weight at the floor is usually the hardest point. Due to body positioning and leverages changing during a lift that same weight gets “easier” as you progress toward the lock out. Lifting with chains and or bands makes the lift harder thru the lift.If you decellerate(sp) the weight will come back down When you go back to straight weights it will “feel” easier.