Some Questions About Deadlifts

Im trying to work on improving my deadlift technique and strength. It is one of the main movements of my different workout plans, and thus i would like to “perfect” my form.

So i have a few questions.

  1. When I first did deadlifts, I didn’t really know what I was doing, and started from the top, and did an ecentric to around knee height, and then came back up. (I think these are called Keystone dl’s but i could be wrong)

When i used to do these, I was pretty strong, and never had any real issues, except for lack of strength in the bottom half of the movement.

As i learned more, i stopped doing these, and did rack pulls, but havent done them in a while. Do rack pulls have lower back strength carryover that helps even at the lower portions of the lift?

  1. I notice when doing conventional dl’s w/ a shoulder width stance, I feel most of the stres in my lower back, and a bit in my glutes and hamstrings.

Ive been researching and doing some glute activation stuff, and also have tried sumo deadlifts. When doing sumos i feel a lot more in my glutes/hams and a lot less in my lower back. Is likely a flexibility issue, and im not ready for conventional dl’s from the floor?

  1. I would like to work on some GPP, and back strengthening stuff, so that it is no longer a major issue.

*I dont have access to sleds or anything that isn’t in a normal gym though, so what are some good alternatives?

*I am very weak at glute-ham raises, and am going to start doing negatives and static holds on these asap.

*I can do reverse hypers with a stability ball, but have no way of adding resistance.

*Im gonna incorporate some pullthroughs as well.

*Also, im learning dimel deadlifts to help with dl form.

*Are maximal isometrics at different points in the ROM a good idea to increasing deadlift strength and lower back strength, as well learning to keep the back neutral?

Any advice guys. I wanna make sure I learn these the right way the first time. I know i could handle a lot more weight, but my lower back holding me back for the most part.

Sorry this is so long, but this seems like the best place to get my questions answered.

***Note, i have already read the mastering the deadlift and deadlift diagnostic articles a few times.

  1. Do full range, you’ll likely see limited carryover without it.

  2. Probably an activation/imbalance issue. Just keep workin with the quad/hipflexor stretches and glute activation. Dimel deads, pullthroughs maybe?

If you can get into the bottom position with good form, then its not flexibility. So if you’re losing it when you start to pull, its strength.

  1. Flip the top of an aerobic stepper upside down and put some plates in it. Do some low sled pushes. Medicine ball drills?

Isos will work, but only carry over to a limited range around the specific joint angles that you’re working. Good for sticking points for some.

Good luck, be careful, and have fun with 'em.

Where in Cali are you? Try and find a group of lifters to train with and they will guide you.

Conventional uses more lower back than sumo, so don’t worry about that.

Anything active that is not lifting weights is GPP, you don’t need a sled.

Thanks guys, im in the san jose area.

Im gonna go one more week building strength, then cut back a bit, and go back to EDT. I’ll use that “lighter” time, to work on form and such. And then back to strength.

Drive out to Diablo Barbell in Concord. The lifters out there can help you get the form down. They are open on Saturdays.

I trained there while I was in Sunnyvale for business. Its kinda far but well worth it. Lifting form really cannot be coached over the web.