T Nation

Heavy stiff legged deads

Hey guys I’m having problems with doing stiff leg deadlifts at 308lbs. Its really hard to try and keep my grip at this kind of weight, something about the movement makes keeping the grip a lot harder than a deadlift. If I wear straps then I feel highly uncomfortable with the way my body pulls during the movement. Does anyone have any advice?

I would try Power Straps. These are the ones
that have odd little, rubberlike straps that
seem nowhere near long enough, that barely
wrap around the bar, don’t actually make
even a full wrap. They work very well and
are almost exactly like lifting with no
straps, except for reducing demand on your grip. They are completely different from
traditional straps.

Learn to use the hook grip. Search some “weighlifting” (i.e., Olympic Style Weightlifting" sites for info. There’s one site that has a good illustration, it’s run by the “Cable Bar Guy” hint hint…

As Todd pointed out you can try the hook grip. It is pretty effective, but I’ll tell you, its gonna hurt like hell at first. Basically you wrap your hands around the bar in a pronated grip but you hook your fingers over your thumb, instead of your thumb over your fingers. Once you can overcome the pain, you’ll be able to handle heavier weights.

Thanks guys, but even with the power grip, it bothers me. I think its maybe because I have long hands and fingers, so the bar rests more on my fingers than on my hand (difficult to explain). I’ll see if I can find those Power Straps, though.

Believe it or not, I think that if you use absolutely perfect form, you won’t need that much weight. I see a lot of people who do this exercise incorrectly. And you’ll see them stand on a board or something. But that tells you they are being done wrong. It’s hard to explain the proper form on here, but basically, your hips should go back first. As far as possible. At the same time, you should have your shoulder blades pinched together (this is the hardest part). When your hips go back and you begin to go down, you must keep your shoulder blades pulled together as tight as possible. And the bar should stay very close to your shins. If you are doing this, you will find that you won’t go down nearly as far, and the tension on the hamstrings will be incredible. I think Ian’s leg video shows the proper technique. I learned this from a personal trainer in town. it works, and doesn’t require a ton of weight.

Schiek makes a power dowel that works similar to straps and they work great for me. I think they’re similar to the product that Bill mentioned. I purchase from their website.

I have found stiff legged deadlifts to be more effective using smaller plates. This is because you get a fuller range of motion. Instead of loading on 3 45 lb plates on each side, you could try 4-5 25s, and see that this might actually be more difficult, but easier on the grip. You could also do less weight, standing on a 6" box, but I would not do them on a box if you are using 25s. That much stretch is unnecessary and serves no productive purpose.

Jagin,
I use the alternating one underhand / one overhand grip for heavy stiff legged deads with much success. I switch off every set for which hand is underhand to keep everything in balance. Just like you, I can’t use straps either.

Stiff Legg Deadlifts are a better performed with a higher time under tension and better form. I wouldn’t advocate heavy ass stiff legged deadlifts unless you currently do regulard deads with over 6 hundred lbs. Try super setting leg curls with stiff legged deadlifts. Take 4 seconds to lower the wait keeping your back compeltely straight pause at the bottome for 2 sec feeling the ripping pulling sensation of the hamstrings, come back up but not high enough to lose tension on the hams. I doubt you could do this with 300 lbs. Try 185.

-Tapper

Use chalk, a hook grip, and TAPE up your thumbs otherwise you’ll rip your thumbs to shit.