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Overcoming Long Arms on Deadlift

I have very long arms and as a result even on wide grip deads my legs are nearly locked. This leads to a very short leg drive on my deads and a whole lot of lower back. I try to keep my chest up and out as much as possible to offset this but no luck. Any ideas or suggestions for a tall guy with long arms?

Powerlifters are happy with long arms for deadlifts! I have long arms and that is my best lift.

If you want to deadlift with the same range of motion as a guy with short arms, stand on some plates or stand on a box. Or use 25# plates to get the bar closer to the ground.

I also have really long arms (75" reach), I find that it makes deadlifting a lot easier than for guys with little t-rex arms.

If you want to mix things up a bit, as well as deads from a deficit try snatch grip deads and snatch grips from a deficit. This will definitely change the emphasis of the lift.

Obviously, if you find that your lower back is your weak link, hit GMs for ME for 2 out of every 8 weeks (or more if your current goals allow for it) and hit them often for Supplemental work. Weighted 45 degree back raises are also something that I’ve recently introduced, with great results so far.

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:
I have very long arms and as a result even on wide grip deads my legs are nearly locked. This leads to a very short leg drive on my deads and a whole lot of lower back. I try to keep my chest up and out as much as possible to offset this but no luck. Any ideas or suggestions for a tall guy with long arms?[/quote]

Long arms are one of the biggest advantages you can have in the deadlift. Sometimes I wish I had your problem, except when I am benching. Like the other guy said, try pulling from a deficit and you will soon see you have nothing to complain about.

I think you just may be having trouble finding your “groove” or maybe you just need to bring up a weaker body part(which is probably the case). Long arms are not the problem.

Read Dave Tate’s Dead Zone article posted on this site. Watch Benni Magnussen pull, does it look like his long arms hurt him?

Yeah this is a great read for me. I have a 7’4 wingspan.

Thanx guys

Without a doubt my low back is a weak point. I have strong legs and would like more of a drive with them. Thanks for the help guys snd I will be working to bring up my low back!

Goodmornigs for the lower back.

my arms are longish at 75" reach but i have 40" legs :frowning: shittest body type ever.

Box squat. Long legged folks need to get their legs out wider to use their leverage. Even if you pull conv, the wider stance box squats will force you to hold an arch.

jack

I have a 77" reach it kicks ass for deadlifts not so much for bench

nothing wrong with long arms use them to your advantage pull how you feel strong not how some one with a completle different body type pulls

[quote]n3wb wrote:
I have a 77" reach it kicks ass for deadlifts not so much for bench

nothing wrong with long arms use them to your advantage pull how you feel strong not how some one with a completle different body type pulls

[/quote]

How do you keep from using all lower back on the deadlift, or is it ok to do that? I built up my shoulders to overcome the long arms on bench, and the long legs help when I tuck them tight.

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:

How do you keep from using all lower back on the deadlift, or is it ok to do that? I built up my shoulders to overcome the long arms on bench, and the long legs help when I tuck them tight.[/quote]

Bro show me a DL you dont use the low back?? Its a primary mover in the move.

If you suck at DLing bring that back up, do those box squats like Jack said etc… You knwo the weakness thats what we all have to find next step attack it.

Phill

[quote]jarvis wrote:
I also have really long arms (75" reach), I find that it makes deadlifting a lot easier than for guys with little t-rex arms.
[/quote]

I almost spat out my oats when I read that t-rex analogy . . . my god that is classic.

Thanks for the laugh.

Sasha

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:
n3wb wrote:
I have a 77" reach it kicks ass for deadlifts not so much for bench

nothing wrong with long arms use them to your advantage pull how you feel strong not how some one with a completle different body type pulls

How do you keep from using all lower back on the deadlift, or is it ok to do that? I built up my shoulders to overcome the long arms on bench, and the long legs help when I tuck them tight.[/quote]

I dont over come it, I pull almost stiff legged when I do conventional however, I have a verry short torso so my leverage is still pretty good

its ok to use basicaly all lower back the only comments I have ever got was use your legs more and you will be able to do more weight,and I have long long legs so I wouldnt be able to do more weight like that

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:
n3wb wrote:
I have a 77" reach it kicks ass for deadlifts not so much for bench

nothing wrong with long arms use them to your advantage pull how you feel strong not how some one with a completle different body type pulls

How do you keep from using all lower back on the deadlift, or is it ok to do that? I built up my shoulders to overcome the long arms on bench, and the long legs help when I tuck them tight.[/quote]

I’ve got fairly long arms too, and it has been great for my DL. If you’re running into problems using too much back, try bringing your hands IN on the bar, and assume a more upright posture to begin with.

If you’re already doing that, and still having trouble, then decide precisely where your problem is; is your upper back giving way and your shoulders rounding + hunching, is your lower back rounding, or are you still maintaining a strong negative arch and just letting your hips come up too early in the lift?

Work whatever is your weak link. If you are rounding at the top, work upper back more, if you’re rounding at the lower back, drop weight on DL, and start adding good mornings on squat day. If you are letting your hips come up too early than it may just be a technique issue.

You can’t avoid using lower back in the lift, but if you concentrate on keeping your ass down so that everything is one smooth motion, as though standing up from a squat, you should be OK.

Good luck.

[quote]vulcan500rider wrote:
one smooth motion, as though standing up from a squat[/quote]

a conventional deadlift shouldnt look like a squat

here is a guy with 735 useing alot of lower back

pulling from a deficit helps as well. Like DL’ing from a platform or on weight plates. Forces the legs to work more. Got that from that Leverages article by eric and matt.

I am 6’1" with monkey arms and I LOVE deadlifting. I have already hit the 315lb mark in the dead in six or seven months of serious heavy iron. I can’t say the same for my other lifts just yet.

[quote]n3wb wrote:
vulcan500rider wrote:
one smooth motion, as though standing up from a squat

a conventional deadlift shouldnt look like a squat

here is a guy with 735 useing alot of lower back[/quote]

I was thinking more like standing up from squatting down, not saying use straight squat form. When you have been squatting down (say to look at something on the ground or whatever) you stand in one motion. You don’t straighten your legs and then bring your torso up–of if you do, you’re a physical oddity

That said, does the form I’m suggesting look more like squat form than your picture suggests a deadlift should? Yes. In competition, you may be thinking about just getting the damn weight off the floor any way you can, but I think when training a more balanced leg/lower back equation should be used. The result is a smoother, safer, DL that doesn’t leave your upper back (and lower if done improperly) rounded as badly. It would end up looking more like this picture.

If you pull conventional have someone teach you a “rocker” technique. Some people call it the Frantz Rocker.

It will help you get your hips into a good position to pull.

If you use tight gear, sometimes that has people start with their hips too high as well.

For most people as long as you drag the bar up your shins (or at least stay within an inch or so) you will be ok.