T Nation

Staying Tight on Heavy Deadlifting

Just putting this out there for anyone to chime in on and/or learn from.

I’ve noticed that with my heavy deadlift work in the past few years that my ass lifts first. This creates more force on my lumbar spine and caused my original (and other) injuries.

In the recent past I’ve done a lot to help with that. Everything from time off, to training at CP, to focusing on single leg work, to more time off, to going really light for a long time. No matter how good my back feels, when I go for a heavy pull, my back is never the same for a few days afterwards.

Sure I may have this forever, I may have to nut-up & shut-up about this. But I may be missing something or something may be off with my training/form.

So I wanted to see what you all do for making sure you keep your core tight, pull your hips through etc etc…

This may be a warm-up technique, a mental trick or having someone scream at your ass.

Just curious as to what else is out there for techniques.

Post your lift.

Do you pull sumo or conventional?

pull the slack out of the bar by pulling yourself down to it. lift your big toe up in your shoe and really sit back. the bar should scrap your shins/quads all the way up

[quote]jonatan-shg wrote:
Post your lift.[/quote]

what do you want?

this was more of a conceptual question more then anything.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Do you pull sumo or conventional?[/quote]

conventional. mainly b/c i’m tall.

[quote]matsm21 wrote:
pull the slack out of the bar by pulling yourself down to it. lift your big toe up in your shoe and really sit back. the bar should scrap your shins/quads all the way up[/quote]

thanks, this is what i was hoping to hear. stuff like this.

i’ll have to do this step by step next time i pull.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
jonatan-shg wrote:
Post your lift.

what do you want?

this was more of a conceptual question more then anything. [/quote]

You say you have a hard time staying tight, it could be caused by alot of different factors, if we cannont even see your lift, then it’s very hard to determine, what you’re doing wrong.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
jonatan-shg wrote:
Post your lift.

what do you want?

this was more of a conceptual question more then anything. [/quote]

You say you have a hard time staying tight, it could be caused by alot of different factors, if we cannont even see your lift, then it’s very hard to determine, what you’re doing wrong.

Start by keeping the chest up, and squeezing the bar off the ground(not jerking it which can cause injury) with your quadriceps, not your hams and lower back.

The other thing I would advise is a) The weight you are currently using could be too much judging by your response above; b) only do deadlifts only once a week and C) add in moderate weight good mornings for injury prevention.

I would like to see a video of your form if you could post it on youtube. This would give me and others insight in trying to help correct your form(if there is any real need to correct it).

[quote]B rocK wrote:
jonatan-shg wrote:
Post your lift.

what do you want?

this was more of a conceptual question more then anything. [/quote]

Do you want 400 “conceptual responses” or a few real tips based on your actual performance by posting a video?

[quote]matsm21 wrote:
pull the slack out of the bar by pulling yourself down to it. lift your big toe up in your shoe and really sit back. the bar should scrap your shins/quads all the way up[/quote]

yeah, good stuff mat…

I also think to myself “get under the bar” when pulling so I don’t go ass first up and haunch over the bar.

thanks again for the tips.

it’ll be another 3-4wks till i pull again. i’ll see if i can record it next time around.

Maybe that’s part of your problem.

You want to be a good deadlifter? Then deadlift.

[quote]jonatan-shg wrote:
Maybe that’s part of your problem.

You want to be a good deadlifter? Then deadlift.[/quote]

Agreed.

If your back “doesn’t feel right for a few days” after a heavy pull, maybe you need to condition your back a little better.

My back pain went away when I started giving it more work to do, not resting it. Of course, this all depends on what your previous back issues include.

[quote]mahwah wrote:
jonatan-shg wrote:
Maybe that’s part of your problem.

You want to be a good deadlifter? Then deadlift.

Agreed.

If your back “doesn’t feel right for a few days” after a heavy pull, maybe you need to condition your back a little better.

My back pain went away when I started giving it more work to do, not resting it. Of course, this all depends on what your previous back issues include.[/quote]

I might make a couple of guys frustrated saying this, but you don’t really need to pull heavy that often to be a good deadlifter. Not often do I sumo deadlift more than around 350 in training, and even though I can pull around 580-595 and making great progress.
If your back kills you when pulling heavy, then get some plates off the bar, get some speed and form into it.

I didn’t say anything about pulling heavy, often.

I’m referring to the OP and the fact that his back is affected for days after a heavy lift. That’s not right. If it’s weakness, he needs to get stronger. If it’s injury, he needs to tend to it.

I’m betting it’s weakness if he only pulls every few weeks. Also, I think if Cressey got his hands on him, he would know about any disfunction. The lower back, IMO, needs just as much, if not more, stimulation as any other muscle. Luckily, the lower back is involved in many exercises. My personal favorites are BOR, SLDL, good mornings, GHRs, all done after my deads, of course.

In short, good accesory lifts are good.

Well, I presumed if he only lifts once every couple of weeks, then he is going to lift heavy, when he lifts.

If he is getting lower back pains and there is something fucked up about his form pulling more is not really a great idea unless he sorts out his form issues.

So I wanted to see what you all do for making sure you keep your core tight, pull your hips through etc etc…

This may be a warm-up technique, a mental trick or having someone scream at your ass.

Just curious as to what else is out there for techniques. [/quote]

Hey Brian,
Brendan here, is this the same Brian who trained with me, Russ, damon, and kavon at Golds? Maybe, maybe not. Anyhow, here is what I do to stay tight. first i find it helpful to be somewhat full, at least not hungry. If i am, and I believe it is because there is less stuff in my stomach it is harder to stay tight, Maybe it is mental who knows. Next thing I do is make sure the belt is tight, i actually exhale completely when tightening the belt, I might be able if my life depended on it go one more notch but personally i feel the belt can be too tight and negatively impact performance. i then wait a minute or too and catch my breath and psyche for the lift. After I go up to the bar, I squat down and grip it, during this time I am breathing normally and my butt is up in the air really high. If I deadlifted from this position it would be a round back sldl. When ready, I take a giant breath in which tends to naturally push my abs out against the belt, then I dip and deadlift. I start to breath out as the bar starts moving up, and just sort of breathe out naturally. Like I don’t think ok I need to breathe out at this phase of the lift, it just sort of happens. each rep I reset my form too, like don’t do bounce reps. This has successfully allowed me to stay tight. I tend to pull in sort of a hybrid sumo conventional lift in that I pull sumo but use my back as a lever, I am not completely upright like most sumo pullers. I find if I start with shoulders back the lift is all hips and no power. Anyhow, I digress, let me know how this works