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View Full Version : How Do You Improve Your Initial Pull Off The Floor?



Maki Riddington
05-30-2004, 06:11 PM
If this is your weak point, what have you done or what do you do to fix this problem?

Chris Rodgers
05-30-2004, 06:21 PM
How is your speed on deadlifts?

Also, would you say your lower back strength is good or weak?


I can get any weight moving off the floor, my problem is the opposite. I have very good speed and lower back strength which gets the weight going.

homunculus
05-30-2004, 06:45 PM
Try good mornings and work on stiff legged dead lifts. Also, maybe you could do deadlifts off a plat form with the weight on the floor, so you are pulling lower than you are used too. This is all stuff from West Side Barbell lifting advice.

Maki Riddington
05-30-2004, 06:48 PM
What I use as of present are good mornings and stiff legged deads. I have a strong feeling that my hamstrings are very weak in relation to my quads and lower back.

So, it's just a matter of playing around with my reps, sets and percentages for the time being. I was asking more to see what everyone else does.

homunculus
05-30-2004, 06:49 PM
how tall are you?

Maki Riddington
05-30-2004, 07:02 PM
5'9.

homunculus
05-30-2004, 07:08 PM
Does your lower back round when you fail to pull it off the floor?

KeMiKaL
05-30-2004, 07:14 PM
what does it mean if my back rounds halfway through the lift when its a near max lift...too heavy? (I can still stand all the way up though)

homunculus
05-30-2004, 07:24 PM
This means your lower back is too weak to keep straight...I have this problem too if I go too heavy. Your form deteriorates as the weight increases. This is normal for any exercise isn't it? If you work on your form, that is make sure your hips are low enough at the bottom too, and work on your weak areas, your weight will go up. The biggest problem I see is that people start with their hips too high in the air. Maybe you are doing that?

Maki Riddington
05-30-2004, 07:28 PM
Does your lower back round when you fail to pull it off the floor?

*** No, that is why I feel it is my hamstrings that are weak. Actually, since I don't ever do any kind of direct work for them I know they are the weak link.

edd91
05-31-2004, 05:12 AM
if you dont do any direct work for hamstrings, I'd guess you have several posture issues you should address first. Start hitting those hamstrings with some natural GHR's and do pulls of the floor

Max-Mex
05-31-2004, 05:12 AM
Mak

Read an article the other day about how stance affects off the floor power. It said that generally sumo lifters have more problems off the floor and conventional lifters have problems with lockouts. Now, not sure whether this is true or not, but I've done both and it seems to be true, for me anyway.

I've read a few times that if you have problems off the floor you should lift from a platform. Haven't tried this myself but it seems it would make sense since (forcing your ROM to icnrease).

Oh, I read this in MonsterMuscle (great mag btw).

Max-Mex
05-31-2004, 05:16 AM
As far as ham weakness goes, I think direct work will help a tremendous amount. I felt I had weak hams and I added RDL's, GHR's, and Sumo DL's and I've seen great results in strength. Recently added ATF back squats so I'm all set.

chris mason
05-31-2004, 08:09 AM
Maybe we can Phil to chime in here.

Maki Riddington
05-31-2004, 08:42 AM
if you dont do any direct work for hamstrings, I'd guess you have several posture issues you should address first. Start hitting those hamstrings with some natural GHR's and do pulls of the floor

*** What kind of postural issues do you feel I might be suffering from?

ElPietro
05-31-2004, 08:55 AM
Maki do you often 1rm on deads? The reason I ask is because one of the things I think that is a key factor, as funny as it sounds, is simply willpower and being stubborn. Generally, many times when I've gone for maxes or PRs, when you first try to pull it feels like you won't make it, but then you just continue and once it starts moving you gain more momentum and confidence. Of course, i've also hurt my back due to the same stubborn attitude, but I think it is an intangible that really will help produce results.

Quite often there's a part in the ROM where I feel that I can't get it locked, but I just continue to struggle/get angry/whatever and in the end I complete the lift.

chris mason
05-31-2004, 09:09 AM
if you dont do any direct work for hamstrings, I'd guess you have several posture issues you should address first. Start hitting those hamstrings with some natural GHR's and do pulls of the floor


Do you not feel the hamstrings get worked very intensely with the deadlifts and squats he performs?

Adam
05-31-2004, 01:50 PM
I've read before:
Feet facing straight forward makes lockout easier
Toes pointing out makes it easier off of the floor

WillKuenzel
05-31-2004, 04:26 PM
I don't have any problems straight off the floor, my problem is lockout. But if I were having difficulty, like Max-Mex mentioned, doing deadlifts off a platform or using 25's instead of 45's on the bar can help. Increase the ROM at the bottom.

I'd also recommend some pullthroughs and glute ham raises.

edd91
05-31-2004, 04:35 PM
Do you not feel the hamstrings get worked very intensely with the deadlifts and squats he performs?

I'd say unless he works them directly, he would have a messy firing pattern, whereby the glutes and hamstrings don't get recruited until they are needed, which is possibly resulting in a poor pull off the floor

edd91
05-31-2004, 04:36 PM
*** What kind of postural issues do you feel I might be suffering from?

At a guess, maybe some posterial pelvic tilt, maybe resulting in slight kyphosis. I'd also hazard a slight guess you walk with your feet out, but thats not neccessarily so

PowerManDL
05-31-2004, 04:45 PM
I'd say unless he works them directly, he would have a messy firing pattern, whereby the glutes and hamstrings don't get recruited until they are needed, which is possibly resulting in a poor pull off the floor

Why would he have a "messy firing pattern" when the only thing that trains the form of a particular lift is doing that lift?

What exactly do you mean by "messy firing pattern" in the first place?

Maki Riddington
05-31-2004, 05:11 PM
Maki do you often 1rm on deads?

*** Lately I've been fiddling around with sub max singles for deads. 6 sets of 1 rep at 90% of my 1RM. It has helped me figure out where my weakness lies in the lift.


The reason I ask is because one of the things I think that is a key factor, as funny as it sounds, is simply willpower and being stubborn. Generally, many times when I've gone for maxes or PRs, when you first try to pull it feels like you won't make it, but then you just continue and once it starts moving you gain more momentum and confidence. Of course, i've also hurt my back due to the same stubborn attitude, but I think it is an intangible that really will help produce results.

*** My willpower says "don't do it." Usually I end up tweaking my lower back as a result since I suffer from lower back problems due to several car accidents. When I do become stubborn and overide the feeling I always suffer the next couple days, of course it's nothing a 6 or 7 Advil can't fix.

Maki Riddington
05-31-2004, 05:19 PM
I'd say unless he works them directly, he would have a messy firing pattern, whereby the glutes and hamstrings don't get recruited until they are needed, which is possibly resulting in a poor pull off the floor

*** That's a load of nonsense. Isolation is not always required unless a severe imbalance is present.

Since you've mentioned that I may suffer from an improper firing pattern in my posterior chain, I would be interested in what the sequence of events are in a deadlift in terms of muscular recruitment. Also, does this sequence apply to all the various types of deadlifts?

Maki Riddington
05-31-2004, 05:50 PM
Btw, if did have a posterior pelvic tilt I would have strong and tight hamstrings, not weak ones. Now I do admit they are weak, but that's in relation to the other muscles involved in the lift. Not weak in a way that they are severly imabalanced so that I suffer from postural problems that inhibit the execution of a deadlift.

chris mason
05-31-2004, 07:02 PM
Edd, ever heard of the S.A.I.D. principle? How exactly would doing leg curls in any way effect the recruitment pattern of the hamstrings during a deadlift?

Now, strengthening one's hamstrings might be of help in the deadlift (if it is a relative weakness), but what you stated about recruitment is completely bogus.

edd91
06-01-2004, 12:55 AM
Btw, if did have a posterior pelvic tilt I would have strong and tight hamstrings, not weak ones. Now I do admit they are weak, but that's in relation to the other muscles involved in the lift. Not weak in a way that they are severly imabalanced so that I suffer from postural problems that inhibit the execution of a deadlift.

I guess I refer to pevlic tilt differently, my posterial pelvic tilt (your term may be the correct one) is where the ass is high.

Chris, I think maki's problem could actually lie in his glutes to more extent than his hamstrings and their ability to be recruited at the start of the lift. A well trained individual can fire those muscles from the start of lift. Although to me leg curls are pretty useless, doing GHR and strengthining your glutes and hamstrings will increase their ability to be fire. Some stretching will also help, such as hipflexors and ifl and it band
Chris you seem to reject any of my ideas, im not sure why, but I think I have a valid point

edd91
06-01-2004, 12:57 AM
Chris when you are squatting, do you find that your knees sometimes move medially, inside your feet?

chris mason
06-01-2004, 06:26 AM
When I first started lifting, yes.

I also think that your thread about Maki's article was started merely to as a self-promotion vehicle, not for the altruistic ideals you stated. That thread put a bad taste in my mouth about you and I will have to see a lot of productive posts from you for my mind to be changed.

Paul Stagg
06-01-2004, 07:13 AM
Maki -

I'm (kinda) in the same boat as you are - if I can get it off the floor, I can usually lock it out.

The first advice is the advice I get from Tate. Get stronger. (Helpful, huh?)

Second - posterior chain work. I think edd's a little off on his reasoning, but it is a good idea to really work your posterior chain via GHR, pullthrus, hypers, reverse hypers, SLDL, RDL, etc, etc.

Third - Speed. I'm trying some new stuff (well, old Simmons stuff applied newly to me), with working on speed on my pulls, we'll see if it works.

Don't put yourself in a position where you hurt your back - if those old injuries are a weak point, and you don't need to pull in a meet, there might just be a better alternative lift for you, anyway, right?

bill
06-01-2004, 09:33 AM
A powerlifting friend of mine, told me that I should squat down with might butt closer to the floor for extra drive from the bottom. Most of the top guys that I have don't do that, but he says it will help. He does over 750 so I figure it has some merit.

Seanzilla
06-01-2004, 11:25 AM
Here are some super lifts to train for building your deadlift strength off of the floor:

Leg Press w/your feet in your deadlift stance/position. Heavy 6-12 rep sets

Squat w/your feet in your deadlift position. Heavy 3-6 rep sets and squat considerably below parallel

Deadlifting while standing on 45 pound plates Heavy weight for 1-3 rep sets (take your time with your warm up sets and get your hamstrings prepared for the stretch and contraction)

Stiff Leg Deadlifts - perform these off of a platform or with smaller plates so that you can get the bar almost touching your feet in the down position. I like the Romanian version of these (where your butt is pushing back as the bar is lowering.)

Glute Ham Raise if your gym has one

Rack pulls where the bar starts out halfway between the floor and your knees. This will allow you to train with heavy weights but you'll still be using your hamstrings and glutes to get the bar moving.

When you're deadlifting, focus on keeping your head up, your chest out and you should be standing up with the weight (pushing your heels into the floor and really driving hard with your legs) instead of using mainly back (if your legs are locking out as the bar gets near your knees, then you are using way too much back for this lift.)

Maki Riddington
06-01-2004, 04:16 PM
I guess I refer to pevlic tilt differently, my posterial pelvic tilt (your term may be the correct one) is where the ass is high.

*** The definition of a posterior pelvic tilt is when the pelvis is tipped back. If the pelvis is tipped back the glutes will not sit high.


Chris, I think maki's problem could actually lie in his glutes to more extent than his hamstrings and their ability to be recruited at the start of the lift. A well trained individual can fire those muscles from the start of lift. Although to me leg curls are pretty useless, doing GHR and strengthining your glutes and hamstrings will increase their ability to be fire. Some stretching will also help, such as hipflexors and ifl and it band
Chris you seem to reject any of my ideas, im not sure why, but I think I have a valid point.

*** I can assure you it's not my glutes due to the deep squatting I perform.
Btw, you can not stretch the IT band.

Saturday Fever
06-01-2004, 04:23 PM
Work up to a 1RM on deads, but load the bar with 35s instead of 45s. Extend the ROM. This is the same concept as doing rack pulls to strengthen your lockout. And as Dr. Siff said, working part of the ROM will increase your strength throughout the entire ROM.

Maki Riddington
06-01-2004, 04:23 PM
I'm (kinda) in the same boat as you are - if I can get it off the floor, I can usually lock it out.

*** I have no problem with locking out, I never have.


The first advice is the advice I get from Tate. Get stronger. (Helpful, huh?)

*** To me that sensible advice which I've been putting into practice.


Second - posterior chain work. I think edd's a little off on his reasoning, but it is a good idea to really work your posterior chain via GHR, pullthrus, hypers, reverse hypers, SLDL, RDL, etc, etc.

*** You're right. The only posterior chain work I've done are hypers. As of late, I've thrown in stiff leg deads and good mornings.


Third - Speed. I'm trying some new stuff (well, old Simmons stuff applied newly to me), with working on speed on my pulls, we'll see if it works.

*** With my current program without having to revamp my entire routine. I will definitely look at placing some speed work in my next phase for my deadlifts.


Don't put yourself in a position where you hurt your back - if those old injuries are a weak point, and you don't need to pull in a meet, there might just be a better alternative lift for you, anyway, right?

*** Yes, but as long as I'm careful and lift within my limitations I'll be fine. It's when I get overanxious that I get hurt.

Thanks Paul.