T Nation

I Learned How to Deadlift Properly

I think I’ve finally learned how to deadlift properly. I’ve always given up on it as it seemed too complicated and I didn’t want to mess my back up. So I would always go to the old stiff-legged deadlift since I couldn’t screw that one up.

Well I found that if I bent my legs a little it took stress off my back, and I could handle more weight. If I bent them a little more I could handle even more weight. Well that’s all a deadlift is!

In the past I tried to copy other people’s “how to deadlift” articles, only to find myself draggind the bar against my shins. It’s alright to bend over a little, especially of you have long legs. Basically I’m trying to get the bar off the ground in the most comfortable manner, while listening for anything that doesn’t feel right.

So I was practicing it while having my coffee this morning. I put a 45 on each side, which was probably a little much to start with. But I wanted to get used to a normal bar height. I pumped out 5 reps easily. I couldn’t have squatted that much right now. It feels good to move some weight.

Any suggestions? What is a good rep range? How far to failure do you take it. Also it’s normal to have some lower back soreness right? I mean look at what you’re doing.

Actually, you’re supposed to drag the bar across your shins. The more you keep the bar away from your body, the more you’re putting the majority of the weight on the balls of your feet. Big mistake.

Make sure all the weight is on your heels. Drive your heels into the ground. Keeping your feet pointing slightly outwards will help.

Until you get comfortable, I’d say do reps of 10 per set. Repetition will help you in the beginning. Three sets should be enough for one day. No failure. And yes, it is common to feel lower back tightness.

Read Dave Tate’s article. It’s incredibly bad to do high reps for deadlifts. Because it’s very much a form intensive excercise you should do 10 sets of say, 3 rather than 3 sets of 10.

[quote]swissrugby67 wrote:
Read Dave Tate’s article. It’s incredibly bad to do high reps for deadlifts. Because it’s very much a form intensive excercise you should do 10 sets of say, 3 rather than 3 sets of 10.

[/quote]

Pf. Nonsense. For powerlifting, I’d agree. But for endurance sports and bodybuilding, you can’t be more wrong. If you can do ten reps, the weight is easily managed, probably around 60% of your 1RM. Your form will not go down the toilet. In fact, the repetitions can help a noob find the proper form. If you’re talking the 85 - 100% of your 1RM, then absolutely, don’t do more than two.

But to say that ten reps is incredibly bad… you need to show a lot of proof that refutes practical experience. Got any case studies? Otherwise, that’s wild assumption.

OK I’ll agree that my usage of “terribly bad” was rather exaggerated if not inappropriate but; The dead lift is not a bodybuilding exercise as such. If pure mass and volume is your goal then stuff like SDL’s and GHR’s are better because you can isolate the muscle groups more accurately without worrying so much about poor form.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you cant use them for bodybuilding! Many articles on this sight go against high rep deadlifting because it’s so form intensive, and if you’re using weight that doesn’t make you strain much harder on your last reps than perhaps you’re using too light a weight.

So whereas there are no case studies to directly show that it’s “bad” i wouldnt advise high reps on dead lifts especially not to a beginner to whom the exercise will be relatively new and the form/coordination not yet up to scratch.

Practicing form on a much lighter weight, for technical sake, in high reps however is recommended. Training I believe is a different story.

Sorry, straight leg deadlifts hurt more than they help. It’s a lot easier to fuck up your back doing them. Bend your legs and lift more weight and you’ll end up doing the same amount of work.

[quote]kroby wrote:
swissrugby67 wrote:
Read Dave Tate’s article. It’s incredibly bad to do high reps for deadlifts. Because it’s very much a form intensive excercise you should do 10 sets of say, 3 rather than 3 sets of 10.

Pf. Nonsense. For powerlifting, I’d agree. But for endurance sports and bodybuilding, you can’t be more wrong. If you can do ten reps, the weight is easily managed, probably around 60% of your 1RM. Your form will not go down the toilet. In fact, the repetitions can help a noob find the proper form. If you’re talking the 85 - 100% of your 1RM, then absolutely, don’t do more than two.

But to say that ten reps is incredibly bad… you need to show a lot of proof that refutes practical experience. Got any case studies? Otherwise, that’s wild assumption.[/quote]

Agreed,

But pause between reps…

[quote]Skrussian wrote:
Sorry, straight leg deadlifts hurt more than they help. It’s a lot easier to fuck up your back doing them. Bend your legs and lift more weight and you’ll end up doing the same amount of work.[/quote]

There is definatley a place for stiff leg deads, its just not max effort work material. Its more of a strech excercise for your hamstrings and glutes. Would be great to do as a assistance excercise and can be done every week even after squats.

Stiff leg deads are not just to stretch your glutes and hamstrings! Sure, it can be used like that and can help especially between squats. (stretching antagonist muscle groups helps your lift) but the stiff leg deadlift is a very powerful muscle builder. Especially in the bodybuilding sense! It targets the hamstrings perfectly whereas the deadlift will more easily adjust it self so that your strongest muscle group is used; ie the quads.

Definately worth reading, the three installments of Eric Cresseys “Mastering the Deadlift”.

pt. I

pt. II

pt. III

GHR’s and reverse hypers will make your dead lift skyrocket. So would pulling from a platform.

Just thought I’d share some more tips.

Since you seem to have plenty of resources and advice, I’ll just give some highlights from my (somewhat limited) experience:

As wrap-up or whatever you do for setup remember:
Drive the weight through_your–>heels<–

Knees over toes, no further

Look up and keep your back straight

DL in general:
Waist-pivot movement. Think of your hips as hinges

Keep the bar in close to your body (hugging your shins and quads)

Try lifting from a platform so that you don’t ground the weight between reps.

Listen to your back. People get injured using good form. You should definitely feel your lower back getting worked, but when in doubt whether it’s a good or a bad hurt, be safe rather than sorry. At worst you’ll have quit early for that session, but you’ll have more experience for next time.

~Adell

PS I had hoped not to be that long winded. :<

[quote]swissrugby67 wrote:
Stiff leg deads are not just to stretch your glutes and hamstrings! Sure, it can be used like that and can help especially between squats. (stretching antagonist muscle groups helps your lift) but the stiff leg deadlift is a very powerful muscle builder. Especially in the bodybuilding sense! It targets the hamstrings perfectly whereas the deadlift will more easily adjust it self so that your strongest muscle group is used; ie the quads.

[/quote]

I said its “more” of a strech excercise, as in you should be trying to work the muscles that the excercise is used for. Not try to move as much weight as posible. Anyone who tests thier stiff leg deadlift max every couple of weeks will most likley hurt them self sooner or later because it puts alot of stress on your lower back and hamstrings. As some of you might know max effort as refered to it is 3-1 rep range. Reps above 3 would be repetition method “assistance work” done after your Max effort excercise.

Also Im sure everyone can agree when going for a 1-3 rep max our form isnt that great so it makes it a very dangerous excercise to do for max effort. Wich is why I said it would be good assistance excercise for your deadlift and squat.

But because I dont think I was very clear on what I said before…


You can do stiff leg deads after squats or deadlifts but keep the reps up probably 4-12 rep range keep good form and try to feel them in your glutes and hamstrings instead of just trying to move as much weight as posible. Thats what squats deadlifts good mornings etc are for.

Im going at this from a powerlifting stand point but with proper assistance excercises and a decent amount of sets and reps you can easily put on as much or more as any regular bodybuilding program, you will just have a realy strong big three.

You know, I like SL deadlifts. The first time I ever did them I couldn’t believe how sore my hamstrings were! And for me that’s a good thing because I have a big butt, and building those hams up helps conceal it. But I like the idea of using it more of a stretching exercise after squats. My back is going to take enough abuse from my squats and regular deadlifts. So how is this:

Routine 1:
20 Rep Squats
Stiff-legged deadlifts
Overhead press or bent over rows

Routine 2:
Regular Deadlifts
Overhead Press or bent over rows

I’ll alternate between these two, making sure I have no soreness before each workout. All I have is an olympic barbell set sitting on my floor, so I can’t do much else. I’ll be getting a power rack and bench soon. I can’t wait to do some flat bench pressing for upper body.

I don’t do arm curls as I’m prone to tendonitis in my wrists. I do wish I could blast my calves better though, it’s hard to keep balance with the barbell on my back.[quote]

I said its “more” of a strech excercise, as in you should be trying to work the muscles that the excercise is used for. Not try to move as much weight as posible. Anyone who tests thier stiff leg deadlift max every couple of weeks will most likley hurt them self sooner or later because it puts alot of stress on your lower back and hamstrings. As some of you might know max effort as refered to it is 3-1 rep range. Reps above 3 would be repetition method “assistance work” done after your Max effort excercise.


You can do stiff leg deads after squats or deadlifts but keep the reps up probably 4-12 rep range keep good form and try to feel them in your glutes and hamstrings instead of just trying to move as much weight as posible. Thats what squats deadlifts good mornings etc are for.

Im going at this from a powerlifting stand point but with proper assistance excercises and a decent amount of sets and reps you can easily put on as much or more as any regular bodybuilding program, you will just have a realy strong big three.
[/quote]

[quote]bench300 wrote:
You know, I like SL deadlifts. The first time I ever did them I couldn’t believe how sore my hamstrings were! And for me that’s a good thing because I have a big butt, and building those hams up helps conceal it. But I like the idea of using it more of a stretching exercise after squats. My back is going to take enough abuse from my squats and regular deadlifts. So how is this:

Routine 1:
20 Rep Squats
Stiff-legged deadlifts
Overhead press or bent over rows

Routine 2:
Regular Deadlifts
Overhead Press or bent over rows

I’ll alternate between these two, making sure I have no soreness before each workout. All I have is an olympic barbell set sitting on my floor, so I can’t do much else. I’ll be getting a power rack and bench soon. I can’t wait to do some flat bench pressing for upper body.

I don’t do arm curls as I’m prone to tendonitis in my wrists. I do wish I could blast my calves better though, it’s hard to keep balance with the barbell on my back.

I said its “more” of a strech excercise, as in you should be trying to work the muscles that the excercise is used for. Not try to move as much weight as posible. Anyone who tests thier stiff leg deadlift max every couple of weeks will most likley hurt them self sooner or later because it puts alot of stress on your lower back and hamstrings. As some of you might know max effort as refered to it is 3-1 rep range. Reps above 3 would be repetition method “assistance work” done after your Max effort excercise.


You can do stiff leg deads after squats or deadlifts but keep the reps up probably 4-12 rep range keep good form and try to feel them in your glutes and hamstrings instead of just trying to move as much weight as posible. Thats what squats deadlifts good mornings etc are for.

Im going at this from a powerlifting stand point but with proper assistance excercises and a decent amount of sets and reps you can easily put on as much or more as any regular bodybuilding program, you will just have a realy strong big three.

[/quote]

Im not a big volume guy but that dosent look like enough volume. Maybe


Deadlifts
8 6 4 2

Rows
4 x 8-12

hang cleans
4 x 10


day off


over head press
4 x ?
Floor scull crusher
4 x ?
Upright rows
3 x ?
over head extensions
3 x ?
barbell curls
4 x 10


day off


Squats
What ever you gotta do…

stif leg deads
3 x 8-10

Yates rows
4 x 8-10


Push press
4 x?
floor scull crushers
4 x ?
front raises with a plats
3 x ?
over head extensions
3 x ?
4 x 10 barbell curls


day off


This would be more effective than what you just talked about but Im also sure there is a much better plan than this. Just giveing a example.

Also its ok to workout when your sore ever heard of the smolov squat programs? You are sore all the time but you still make incredible gains.

I didnt see the part where you talked about tendonitis in your wrists…

Yeah, it could have something to do with the fact that my wrists are only 6" at 5’9". When I was like 19 and 150 lbs, I was doing heavy dumbell curls. I got tendonitis so bad it scared me. I swore off curls after that. Besides, I can get a major arm pump off rows and bench presses.

Check out what Scott Warman says on the matter. . .

www.weighttrainersunited.com/warman.html

nuf said