T Nation

'Yanking' Deadlifts

I’ve never took much notice of “yanking” (or “jerking”) the weight off the floor but recently been reading up more on form and most say this is a bad idea. I have tried pulling the slack out of the bar and not yanking the weight but when I do that I’m lifting less and it feels A LOT less explosive. It’s not a very big yank in my opinion but I just feel like I do need it a little to get the ball rolling (bar moving?).

Most don’t seem to do that although I have seen some good lifters do it like KK in the past, Stan Efferding, Jamie Lewis and I’m sure a few others. That doesn’t mean it’s good or bad really, but there might be something to it if these very good lifters do it?

Depends a lot on the weight and bar you are working with. My gym for example has all stiff bars, ands there no significant slack in the bar until well over 400#

it’s not so much ‘pulling the slack’ as it is squeezing the bar off the floor

[quote]michael_xyz wrote:
I’ve never took much notice of “yanking” (or “jerking”) the weight off the floor but recently been reading up more on form and most say this is a bad idea. I have tried pulling the slack out of the bar and not yanking the weight but when I do that I’m lifting less and it feels A LOT less explosive. It’s not a very big yank in my opinion but I just feel like I do need it a little to get the ball rolling (bar moving?).

Most don’t seem to do that although I have seen some good lifters do it like KK in the past, Stan Efferding, Jamie Lewis and I’m sure a few others. That doesn’t mean it’s good or bad really, but there might be something to it if these very good lifters do it?[/quote]

If I jerk the bar, my form goes to hell, I don’t feel as tight and for the next 3-4 days after the workout, my whole spine hurts. So, for me it is a big no.

I just pull the slack out, and use the weight of the bar to pull me down into position.

Then I explode as hard as possible off the floor. I’m not sure what you mean by “yanking the weight of the floor”,
you need to explode early to maintain your momentum to lockout.

I’m a very explosive puller. I don’t know what you mean by “yanking” either, but maybe it has to do with your nomenclature. You want to get into a tight position and then explode. If you’re slack and then explode (which is what I imagine when someone “yanks” something), that’s going to hurt like a bitch.

[quote]michael_xyz wrote:
I’ve never took much notice of “yanking” (or “jerking”) the weight off the floor but recently been reading up more on form and most say this is a bad idea. I have tried pulling the slack out of the bar and not yanking the weight but when I do that I’m lifting less and it feels A LOT less explosive. It’s not a very big yank in my opinion but I just feel like I do need it a little to get the ball rolling (bar moving?).

Most don’t seem to do that although I have seen some good lifters do it like KK in the past, Stan Efferding, Jamie Lewis and I’m sure a few others. That doesn’t mean it’s good or bad really, but there might be something to it if these very good lifters do it?[/quote]

Could you be more specific about the technique you’re referring to?

Since you mentioned KK though, he deadlifts with a pretty round upper back. If that’s what you’re talking about, then yes it can be bad if done incorrectly. This requires you to keep your lumbar spine neutral or arched while allowing complete freedom in the thoracic spine during the setup. Once you have this mastered though its not dangerous, unless perhaps you frequently miss reps this way. But it shouldn’t be necessary for everyone, I think KK pulls that way because he’s 6’2

My bad, I thought it was a common term. By yanking I mean bending your elbows and then just yanking the bar off the floor. This will usually lead to you getting very loose and stiff-legging it but very, very rare few do seem to make it work.

My issue is that when I keep tight, take slack out etc. and don’t yank then I feel slow because I don’t have that explosion from the floor that the yank provides. I know it’s a lot more dangerous and bad idea to be pulling 400+ without being tight and biceps in that position but it definitely feels faster.

I understand what you are saying. But you are right, the “yank” can be dangerous. I think the issue is that for you, getting “tight” first removes the stretch reflex that you get from the “grip it and rip it” approach. If you set up firs, pull the slack out and then start pulling, you are much slower than if you just grab the bar and YANK haha. I too am slower if I approach deadlifts this way.

However, I think you can fix the issue of “yanking” the bar, which definitely is setting you up for a strain or something, by getting your upper body tight and then bringing your shins to the bar really fast and ripping it. It’s a tehcnique that I have been playing with lately, sort of in emulation of pete rubish’s setup. Set up with your hips way high, but your arms straight and your upper back tight.

Then, in a split second you bring your shins to the bar and initiate the pull. When I do this wrong, I definitely feel the “yank” in my back that doesn’t feel good. However, when I get tight and get the timing right, for me it is very similar to catching a stretch reflex with a squat. I am way faster of that floor, getting that super explosive start that you are talking about, but without the yanking. Here’s a vid of pete rubish to show what I am talking about.

Watch the way that he drops his hips, brings his shins to the bar and blasts it off the floor in like a split second. I think emulating that will allow you to get that stretch reflex/boost off the floor that you want, without the yank.

All that being said, you are right Jaime DEFINITELY yanked the shit out of a couple competition deadlifts lately. And I hated it every time I watched it haha. BUT, he is a hell of a lot stronger than me, and i think if you asked him this question he would say to get your back really strong and deadlift whatever way felt best. I’m not saying I agree, but you ARE right, some good strong pullers do yank it on occasion.

I hurt my back “yanking” deadlifts. I was young and dumb. You can still be explosive and not yank the bar up. As shown in the above video. Explosiveness comes after the initiation of the pull, basically after you break the floor. Pull the slack, load the hammys, then pull, then pull as fast as you can. I would bet to say that most big pullers don’t have much of a yank.

I tore my bicep tendon on the Deadlift 9 years ago. I did not have my arms loaded and my elbows were bent just slightly. Didn’t need surgery, but it bugs me off and on every week.

I tighten up everything until I feel like I am going to explode if I don’t lift this weight, then up it comes. Interestingly enough dead lifts do not bug my bicep tendon, other lifts do.

I won’t lift 400, but I do enjoy lifting and look forward to doing it well into my 60’s. I am an old lady so take it or leave it :wink:

[quote]N.K. wrote:
I understand what you are saying. But you are right, the “yank” can be dangerous. I think the issue is that for you, getting “tight” first removes the stretch reflex that you get from the “grip it and rip it” approach. If you set up firs, pull the slack out and then start pulling, you are much slower than if you just grab the bar and YANK haha. I too am slower if I approach deadlifts this way.

However, I think you can fix the issue of “yanking” the bar, which definitely is setting you up for a strain or something, by getting your upper body tight and then bringing your shins to the bar really fast and ripping it. It’s a tehcnique that I have been playing with lately, sort of in emulation of pete rubish’s setup. Set up with your hips way high, but your arms straight and your upper back tight.

Then, in a split second you bring your shins to the bar and initiate the pull. When I do this wrong, I definitely feel the “yank” in my back that doesn’t feel good. However, when I get tight and get the timing right, for me it is very similar to catching a stretch reflex with a squat. I am way faster of that floor, getting that super explosive start that you are talking about, but without the yanking. Here’s a vid of pete rubish to show what I am talking about.

Watch the way that he drops his hips, brings his shins to the bar and blasts it off the floor in like a split second. I think emulating that will allow you to get that stretch reflex/boost off the floor that you want, without the yank.

All that being said, you are right Jaime DEFINITELY yanked the shit out of a couple competition deadlifts lately. And I hated it every time I watched it haha. BUT, he is a hell of a lot stronger than me, and i think if you asked him this question he would say to get your back really strong and deadlift whatever way felt best. I’m not saying I agree, but you ARE right, some good strong pullers do yank it on occasion. [/quote]

I can’t hear the video, but I love how he is talking shit with 800 pounds in his hands. Also dude is deadlifting while doing laundry, that’s pretty hilarious.

[quote]Ginavl425 wrote:
I tore my bicep tendon on the Deadlift 9 years ago. I did not have my arms loaded and my elbows were bent just slightly. [/quote]
Yep. This is what can happen by jerking with slack biceps.

The DL is such a complex lift because there’s no eccentric portion to load you up, so to speak. You have to create that momentum. But not by jerking with slack biceps.

I use to do this too it would help of the floor but eventually your in such a bad position to finish the lift that when i got close to 500 i couldnt lock it out but i fixed my form and its moving again

Thanks for the advice. I’m trying slowly to get it right but it is a bit of an ego hit to go back a few steps even though in the long-run it should mean I’ll progress better. Gonna try the way Pete Rubish does, thanks for that.

Any more help is appreciated.