T Nation

Terrible Deadlift Leverages


Hello there,

I've used the starting strength program for a while and have come to the following conclusion:
I'm very good at squatting benching, and chinning, but dead lifting is a bitch because of my short arms and tibia compared to my torso and femurs. I've completely giving up lifting from the floor and even from the rack because the ROM is so limited. I'm not aspiring to become a PL'er so dropping the dead lift would be OK for me.

When i pick stuff up from the floor at work I just go down as in the squat - my lower body is strong lifting this way but I feel weak pulling with my arms. Should I do farmers walks, shrugs, static holds or maybe something else to correct this weakness (assuming DL'ing is out of the picture)? Or maybe I should just go with the limited pull from the rack?


Trap bar deadlifts might help.

By the way, you have a GREATER range of movement with short arms on deadlifts... which is why it is "harder" for you. Not a limited ROM. Personally you sound like a punk bitch-- but hey, who am I to judge (kidding with you). Really you should deadlift, who cares if you're weaker in the exercise?


All the more reason to deadlift: you get more out of it than someone with better leverages.


If you're not a powerlifter and you don't enjoy deadlifting, then there's no reason to do them.


What I forgot to say in my post was that I simply can't dead lift without extreme rounding of my lumbar. Even sumo is shaky. I've hard that power cleans or some other explosive lift (from the hang) would be beneficial for me - they feel that they hit my traps and my grip hard which is basically what I'm after. So I guess I'll go with SSC's advice until now.


I mean, obviously deadlifts have a pretty good benefit that few other exercises can replicate, but as long as you're lifting intensely and doing some sort of rowing (Tbars, barbell, dumbbell,) and getting stronger on them your back should grow just fine. I never really bought into the whole "if you're bad at something, do it a lot!" I did that for some time and ended up with nothing but injuries.

Now, just as a tertiary thought, I'll post an alternative to conventional deadlifts that Dorian Yates advocates... and Yates has by far on the of the best backs in bodybuilding history. It's basically a partial deadlift, but primarily for the lats. This isn't necessarily the best video in terms of form / weight used to display things, but it's about all I could find.

Starting from a rack (and you can start higher than this guy, if you really want,) walk it out and slowly descend the bar to about the area this guy does, but then on the way up force your butt out and down to help keep your alignment, and then just pull the lats in really tight together at the top of the rep.

Again, not sure if you're wanting to try these, but it's an option.


how about a video of your form, or even a pic of you in the start position (gripping bar on floor) so we can better recomend you


Actually that's the movement I've been doing lately. Not doing a proper deadlift feels like cheating, but I must say that it works the same muscles. I'll stick to them for now.


Theres a Dorian Yates 2010 thread in the boydbuilding forum that includes a current video of him coaching a guy through back training. He includes heavy partial deadlifts and other goodies, check it out.


hey...just replace it with heavy hyperextensions.....itll help strenghten ur lower back like deadlifts......
but ull not hav the fun of deadlifting a 300 or a 400lbs bar on the ground!!!!