T Nation

My Deadlift Needs Analysis!

I am currently doing the first part of ABBH. I have been using 240 as my 80% of 1RM. The problem is that I do not feel the lift in my prosterior chain. I only feel it in my lower back. Please take a look at the videos and let me know if you can help. Thanks!

-Machine

http://www.zippyvideos.com/145242137150155.html

http://www.zippyvideos.com/83062301150195.html

http://www.zippyvideos.com/180322802150205.html

Get your butt lower. Your beginning stance should be like you’re at the bottom of a deep, narrow Olympic squat. Push with your heels and try to pull the bar back. Keep your back out of the majority of the movement. And make sure you’re feeling that glute squeeze when you’re done!

I can’t say that I am an expert at deads, but from the first video it looks like you are rounding your back at the start of the lift. You should concentrate on maintaining the correct arch in the lower back. I would also treat each rep as a single and focus on getting set each rep. It just looked a little “sloppy” technique-wise. Take an extra second to make sure your back is arched correctly, head is in correct position and that you have the correct amount of knee and hip flexion.

I’m not sure if the weight you were using was close to your max, but it looked lighter than the 240 you mentioned, therefore you should have perfect form, otherwise your technique will get worse as you approach your max.

Hope this helps.

Ben

Kuckles nail it - your butt needs to be way lower. In doing so, your upper torso will be more vertical at the start of the lift. Looking at the vidoes it is no wonder that you are feeling the lift in your back.

Checkout Eric’s Deadlift Diagnosis article:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=38A2C7E975B446BC40B71778F376E9E5.titan?id=586815

He mentions that “As a general rule of thumb, if you can see the lettering on the chest of the lifter’s shirt, he’s in decent shape from a scapular standpoint.” Based on your videos, this seems to be the problem.

Good luck.

Thanks for all of the quick responses. I will try it and let you know how it works out!

-Machine

  http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459964

When you approach the bar, work to get the heels as close as possible and underneath the bar. Once you’re comfortable, think of “screwing” the heels into the ground; this will give you a stable base from which to pull. Your shins should be close or touching the bar gently.

Now grab the bar with a comfortable width and squeeze as hard as possible with your hands while taking the slack out of your arms. Some people take a breath before they ever go down, but this doesn’t always work because you end up holding your breath too long before you’re even set up.

Once you have your feet locked in with the weight on the heels, you need to set up the upper body. The slack should be out of your arms, so while you’re still getting ready, take a big breath and get your entire core area tight. From this point, work to find that perfect spot where your hips are high but your chest is up and your low back is arched. You may have to fight to find this position, but it’ll be worth it. If you don’t, your chest will either be caved over and you won?t use your legs, or your hips will be too low and you end up reverse squatting the weight. Once you find this perfect spot, you’re set up and ready to pull!

Again, you have to think of an explosion coming from your core. You need to simultaneously drive your heels through the floor while pulling back with your upper back and traps. This will not only ensure maximum usage of your low body muscles, but also keep the bar in tight to the body. Keep the bar in tight and don’t forget to keep pulling! The bar may slow down or even stop for a second, but nobody ever said this would be easy. Keep pulling, lock out the knees, hips and shoulders at the same time, and revel in what has just occurred: precision pulling!

I have a bit of a problem with knuckles and T-bone, I probably just misunderstood them.
But it seems like what they were saying is advocating almost a reverse squat–read the this Mike Robertson article and see what he has to say.

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:

  • Your shins should be close or touching the bar gently.
  • Some people take a breath before they ever go down
  • …you need to set up the upper body.
  • hips are high but your chest is up and your low back is arched. If you don’t, your chest will either be caved over…

I have a bit of a problem with knuckles and T-bone, I probably just misunderstood them.[/quote]

From your comments above, I think we are driving in the same direction.

[quote]Joe Weider wrote:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459964

When you approach the bar, work to get the heels as close as possible and underneath the bar. Once you’re comfortable, think of “screwing” the heels into the ground; this will give you a stable base from which to pull. Your shins should be close or touching the bar gently.

Now grab the bar with a comfortable width and squeeze as hard as possible with your hands while taking the slack out of your arms. Some people take a breath before they ever go down, but this doesn’t always work because you end up holding your breath too long before you’re even set up.

Once you have your feet locked in with the weight on the heels, you need to set up the upper body. The slack should be out of your arms, so while you’re still getting ready, take a big breath and get your entire core area tight. From this point, work to find that perfect spot where your hips are high but your chest is up and your low back is arched. You may have to fight to find this position, but it’ll be worth it. If you don’t, your chest will either be caved over and you won?t use your legs, or your hips will be too low and you end up reverse squatting the weight. Once you find this perfect spot, you’re set up and ready to pull!

Again, you have to think of an explosion coming from your core. You need to simultaneously drive your heels through the floor while pulling back with your upper back and traps. This will not only ensure maximum usage of your low body muscles, but also keep the bar in tight to the body. Keep the bar in tight and don’t forget to keep pulling! The bar may slow down or even stop for a second, but nobody ever said this would be easy. Keep pulling, lock out the knees, hips and shoulders at the same time, and revel in what has just occurred: precision pulling!
[/quote]

Joe, great post! Very informative.

I like to use a slightly wider stance than what you do. Helps me get my ass down.

gotta clarify though, I don’t know what happened, I thought I put it in the original post, but almost all of that was pasted from the Mike Robertson article. He’s the genius, not me. Well, in this case.

[quote]futuredave wrote:
Joe Weider wrote:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459964

When you approach the bar, work to get the heels as close as possible and underneath the bar. Once you’re comfortable, think of “screwing” the heels into the ground; this will give you a stable base from which to pull. Your shins should be close or touching the bar gently.

Now grab the bar with a comfortable width and squeeze as hard as possible with your hands while taking the slack out of your arms. Some people take a breath before they ever go down, but this doesn’t always work because you end up holding your breath too long before you’re even set up.

Once you have your feet locked in with the weight on the heels, you need to set up the upper body. The slack should be out of your arms, so while you’re still getting ready, take a big breath and get your entire core area tight. From this point, work to find that perfect spot where your hips are high but your chest is up and your low back is arched. You may have to fight to find this position, but it’ll be worth it. If you don’t, your chest will either be caved over and you won?t use your legs, or your hips will be too low and you end up reverse squatting the weight. Once you find this perfect spot, you’re set up and ready to pull!

Again, you have to think of an explosion coming from your core. You need to simultaneously drive your heels through the floor while pulling back with your upper back and traps. This will not only ensure maximum usage of your low body muscles, but also keep the bar in tight to the body. Keep the bar in tight and don’t forget to keep pulling! The bar may slow down or even stop for a second, but nobody ever said this would be easy. Keep pulling, lock out the knees, hips and shoulders at the same time, and revel in what has just occurred: precision pulling!

Joe, great post! Very informative.

[/quote]

I don’t know if it was mentioned earlier, but you might consider a more narrow grip (than the last vid showed) for distance traveled sake.

Matt

[quote]sam747 wrote:
I like to use a slightly wider stance than what you do. Helps me get my ass down.[/quote]

That is pretty interesting. I think that I have tried Sumo Deadlifts before and I had better results with the lifts. Would there be a benefit to doing them wider as opposed to shoulder width?

-Machine

I’m not talking sumo, inside of foot just outside the shoulder is what I like, so that when you go down you are inside your legs instead of on top of them, if that makes sense.

Thought I would throw my .02 in here; the reason you aren’t feeling it in your posterior chain is because you aren’t USING your posterior chain! From what I see, that lift is almost all low back and quads. If you look from the side view, you are driving off your toes instead of through your heels. I don’t want to scare you, but when you get on the toes the chest comes over and the low back rounds; this is a very dicey position for your back to be in.

I would suggest bringing the feet in slightly (which will move the arms in), and then force the butt down while shifting the weight to the heels. As well, you need to really work to strengthen your posterior chain to make this technique work. Good luck!

Stay strong
MR

Well I tried deadlifting again taking all of the suggestions above into effect. Here are my results/concerns.

My lower back still feels taxed. Is it possible that I can not do this exercise properly because my hamstrings are not strong enough? Should I concentrate on doing stiff leg deadlifts for some time to strengthen my hamstrings if this is the case? (I can target the hamstrings efficiently with stiff leg deadlifts.)

When lifting from the ground, are my shins to be perpendicular to the ground? I looked at the slide show on crossfit.com and it looked like his knees come over the bar at the beginning. I thought that was no good for the knees!

I have reread the articles on this site. Looks like I will have to read them again and see if I have more questions. Thanks all for the help!

-Machine