T Nation

Quads in the Deadlift

Hai gaise :).

I have started sumo deadlifting in the past week, and, to my surprise, found that my DL is a lot higher this way. The highest I hit for one rep on Saturday was 350 lbs, which for me is pretty strong - and I think I could’ve got 10-20 lbs more if I hadn’t been pretty tired by then.

Thinking about it later, I realised that my deadlift technique minimises quad involvement, i.e. I seem to DL more if I drive with my glutes and hams while keeping my knees relatively straight. “Squatting” the weight upward in the beginning of the movement doesn’t allow me to DL as much. So effectively, my own strongest stance so far is a sort of sumo-stance (plate width) romanian DL.

This is a bad thing, right? Because most PLifters seem to bend at the knees and use their quads more. So, I guess the question is, how can I increase my numbers while going to a more optimal stance in the future?

G

I think if you are doing a wide stance romanian DL you are doing it wrong. The reason is because of the awkward angles your back and knees are at. However, I am willing to admit that I could be wrong if you have crazy leverages. I would suggest posting a video.

Powerlifters often use squat form to get the most out of their suits for a sumo DL. However, there are other reasons for the form they use besides that so it is still worth paying attention to.

You may want to post a video of what you are doing. I pull with a higher set up and do it more with my back than my legs. I’ve recently switched to sumo and use the same higher set up.

I used to set up lower and lift more with my legs. However, I have long legs and the lower set up meant I wasn’t pulling in a straight line, it was curving past my knees.

I am training with a fellow that has been competing 20 years. He took one look at my old set up and said to straighten up until my knees did not protrude past the bar. That adjustment added about 30 lbs to my lift and I’m using the best mechanics for my body.

Of course I’m also doing it in a suit but just play around with what works best with your body.

On the same note, does anyone else feel a lot of quad on below knee rack pulls?

Yeah, I think I should try to record videos of all my big lifts this week and post them up, I think that I might need advice on improving a few of them in terms of technique. Hell, for all I know, my technique might look completely different to an observer from what I think it looks like!

So, yeah, I’ll hopefully update this thread in a week’s time. I’m not allowed to film at my gym so I’ll be venturing out with my phone camera…

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
On the same note, does anyone else feel a lot of quad on below knee rack pulls?[/quote]

You’re definitely doing them wrong if you are. There should be none.

What’s probably happening is that you’re squatting the weight up and maintaining a relatively neutral back angle instead of bending at the hips and pulling with your legs straighter.

A lot of people tend to do it. And people with rack pulls WAY ahead of the off the floor DL are the main culprits.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
On the same note, does anyone else feel a lot of quad on below knee rack pulls?[/quote]

Aren’t rack pulls suppose to be more like Romanian Deadlifts?

OK, here’s some vids! Deadlifts and front squats. I think I may need some help on technique all-around, so hopefully some of you will be kind enough to tell me where I’m going astray.

Deadlift, 330 lbs x 2

This was my opening set of squats, something like 165 x 6. I do wave loading right now and the opening set is rather light; I was hoping to record my heaviest set as well because the form is slightly different, but I forgot to press the record button. DOH!

Anyway, here it is. If this angle is bad, I have another vid at another angle but it’s upside-down which might make viewing difficult…

Deadlift vid didn’t load…

Good thing you completely obscured your legs so we can’t tell at all what’s going on.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
On the same note, does anyone else feel a lot of quad on below knee rack pulls?

You’re definitely doing them wrong if you are. There should be none.

What’s probably happening is that you’re squatting the weight up and maintaining a relatively neutral back angle instead of bending at the hips and pulling with your legs straighter.

A lot of people tend to do it. And people with rack pulls WAY ahead of the off the floor DL are the main culprits.[/quote]

That would be the reason. I didn’t know i wasn’t supposed to use any knees.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Hanley wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
On the same note, does anyone else feel a lot of quad on below knee rack pulls?

You’re definitely doing them wrong if you are. There should be none.

What’s probably happening is that you’re squatting the weight up and maintaining a relatively neutral back angle instead of bending at the hips and pulling with your legs straighter.

A lot of people tend to do it. And people with rack pulls WAY ahead of the off the floor DL are the main culprits.

That would be the reason. I didn’t know i wasn’t supposed to use any knees.[/quote]

Think of it this way… you’re rack pull should look like you’re off the floor deadlift at that particular height.

So unless you’ve got a weird ass pulling style, there should be no quads!

[quote]absolute3 wrote:
Good thing you completely obscured your legs so we can’t tell at all what’s going on.[/quote]

x2

FAIL.

But I can see that you are looking down. Big FAIL there.

Your legs dont really look long enough to warrant the sumo style unless you are indeed planning on competing in the near future. I think you’d get better overall strength carryover from classic DL. It’s ok to switch to sumo style every so often to change the pulling stimulus but I think your main one should be hands outside.

Take better vids,

-chris

.

Here’s 2 more vids from different angles, though neither of them is great. As I’ve already said, filming is not allowed in my gym so I had to sneak these in with my camera phone.

Avocado… No reason to be a dick. I would have posted more vids regardless of whether you showed up shouting fail or just asked straight. I had figured that showing my back position was the important thing, so that was the video I opted to show first. Thanks for the advice that you did give.

Edit2: second vid didn’t post… T-Nation’s video posting is being reaaaal wonky.

[quote]G87 wrote:
Here’s 2 more vids from different angles, though neither of them is great. As I’ve already said, filming is not allowed in my gym so I had to sneak these in with my camera phone.

Avocado… No reason to be a dick. I would have posted more vids regardless of whether you showed up shouting fail or just asked straight. I had figured that showing my back position was the important thing, so that was the video I opted to show first. Thanks for the advice that you did give.

Edit2: second vid didn’t post… T-Nation’s video posting is being reaaaal wonky.[/quote]

Aww, I’m just taking the piss. Being a dick is my way of showing the love in a totally non-ghey, swords and axes, round-house kick, football bum-slap, max-squat kind of way. [RIP jesse marunde]

In other news: What your doing in the latest vid could be described as a romanian sumo SLDL. If sumo DL really takes your fancy then put your feet a bit closer together and drive your heels into the ground. Using the whole leg will offer better long term results.

But as i said before you will likely develop better with the classic style DL. The difference is that the longer range of motion in the classic style will offer better muscle growth whereas the shorter range of motion in the sumo wide stance will offer better comp results.

That being said It’s not like switching back and forth between sumo and classic will offer fairly good results as well. Once you learn the right technical lift the extra weight and alternate pattern of the sumo will be a new adaptation stimulus compared with the classic DL.

either way it would be ideal to learn the optimal form of sumo and classic. I would show the difference by starting of with the elbows on the out side as normal, then set by set progress the knees just outside the elbows and then 2-3 inches farther and continue for a few sets till you get just before the plates. this way you can see that you still need to be driving through the heels and into the floor with BOTH knee and hip extension.

Show us your classic DL if you can film it.

Also, nice kicks, how do you like the vibrams?

-chris

They’re great. I used to train barefoot at home, and I wear mocassins or go barefoot as often as possible. In that sense, I didn’t get any of the amazing results some people talk about when I got the vibrams. However, they do allow me to work out “barefoot” in a gym and are pretty close to not wearing anything on your feet… Which is lovely :).

As for the sumo vs classic: I always did regular, but the program I’m doing atm has squats followed by sumo deadlifts. That’s how I ended up trying it, and discovered that I pull more this way. It’s not fully SLDL, I do bend slightly in the knees; but for whatever reason, I pull more this way than I do when I bend my knees. Decreased ROM, maybe? I think regular deadlifts come up next week, so I’ll film that and post it.

Yeah, I think regular deadlifts are more demanding and probably better for muscular development… Again, this is why I never even tried sumo deadlifts before :).

I guess the final question is, is it normal for anyone’s romanian, wide-stance deadlift to be their strongest stance? I’m guessing the answer is a resounding “no,” so now I should look for ways to get more out of my regular stance when I go back to it. I’ll try the technique you mentioned in that last paragraph as soon as I have the chance.

P.S. There was some article on T-Nation, quite recently AFAIK, which stated that the regular deadlift is actually stronger for a lot of people than a wider stance? Anyone remember this?

Oh yeah! Where should I be looking, if not down? Ahead?

i think as far as Sumo vs Conv DLing

its not that important its more about wahts more comfortable for you

ive done both and i currently pull sumo

if youre suing enough weight and enough reps (6-10) you will get hypertrophy irregardless of which style you use.

as long as your poundages are going up i think it boils down to which one you can lift more weight for more reps with because truth be told most of us who truly enjoy deadlifts enjoy it because we can move so much weight. so i say, move more weight.

for what its worth i think i got adjusted to sumo pulling from doing BB hack squats. i just wanted to change up my routine and tested them out, didnt do em long but after that when i went back to deadlifting i automatically put myself in a narrow grip, wide foot position (a la sumo) and it just felt natural.

and p.s. if you move more weight Sumo style then that IS your optimal positioning.