I know this is a great exercise, I've read a lot of good things about this exercise, but how am I supposed to keep my back straight when doing these off a podium. My hamstrings are reasonably flexible, I can do good mornings close to parallel and touch the ground stiff-legged, but snatch deadlifts off a podium seem impossible. I ain't even talking about reversing the bar back to the ground, which seems even more impossible (isn't that a like a romanian deadlift with A LOT of rom?) Anyone doing this movement? Do my long legs prevent this movement?
On snatch deads you are going to have to really sit back and down to get in the right positions. You can't really SLD them.
Why do you assume that you shouldn't round your back? There are many strongman lifts that require the back to be rounded in order to get the implement off the ground. For that reason, I used to do snatch deads on as high of a podium as I could use to help me with my strongman lifts. My back was really rounded, but I got very strong from it due to the disadvantaged starting position.
If a podium is too large a jump you could try pulling from the floor using smaller plates as a progression to pulling from a deficit...
Hamstring flexibility is probably MUCH less of a factor here than hip flexor flexibility.
Hi Arnoud - I post over on Dr. Squat's forum too, saw your question here.
Is there any way to take a video of you doing the deads, or even a pic of the starting position? It's a LOT easier to figure out using visuals, but some ideas that are usually culprits:
1) Calf flexibility, specifically soleus. You have to dorsiflex considerably at the ankle to get down low enough to get into proper position, MUCH more than most powerlifting movements. My knees are usually about 4 inches in front of my toes on snatch grip deads off a podium and full squats.
2) Glute inflexibility. Have you checked out the Get Your Butt in Gear series on this site? The stretches mentioned would give you a good idea of how your glute flexibility is doing; even if your hamstrings are flexible, you won't get into proper position if there's some tightness or adhesions in the glutes.
3) Tight shoulder internal rotators. If these are tight, it's going to pull your shoulders forward and thus round your back with a snatch grip in the deep position.
4) Adductor tightness. Not usually a problem, but it would effect hip flexibility in a deep squat position.
One of those is probably the problem - let me know if all these are loose/stretching doesn't help the problem.
Have a good one,
thanks everyone for the replies, especially buffolakilla for the really in- depth reply. Yep, I post on drsquat too, though barely, mostly check the board for posts from todd wilson.
Anyway, the reason why I chose snatch deads on a podium is because full squats gave me knee pain. I've seen pics (I'll try to get a pic of me, but I'm afraid it will be tough) of people performing them, and there is much less rom in the knees (crosgrove and poliquin have pics on this site) and the hips seem paralellel. Especially in the pic of poliquin you see his hips are parallel and his back is straight, though barely straight. The hips really sit back, therefore I figured hamstring flexibility was the culprit.
By the way, glute flexibility is a problem, so thanks for the recommendations.
I come from an OL side of things so I always have an arch in the back. I don't feel comfortable giving advice on rounded back lifting, because none of my lifting is in that position.
No problem - glad to be of help.
The picture in the Poliquin "limping" series looks the best of pics on this site. Slight arch, head up, pelvis properly turned with the lower back.
CT's pic of form is good too, though he's an admittedly "stubby" guy so it won't look the same for most folks.
Have a good one,
You're probably boned in regards to long term health if you keep up the heavy round-back lifts. You're MUCH better off strengthening the back when it's supported from the front, a la back extensions with your stomach supported on a GHR pad. That way you minimize the sheer.
I compete in strongman too, I understand the dilemma. Remember that longevity is key to success in strength sports. If there's a safer way to get strong, it's a better way.
Maybe snatch-grip deads are not the best choice if you are looking for an alternative to full squats. Have you tried hack squats, or trap bar deads? Seems like both would hit the legs better and could be done from a deficit much easier. Also, single-leg exercises may be better options.