I just read an article from former world record holder in the deadlift, Andy Bolton. He said that partial deadlifts are easier to learn & may be safer for athletes not looking for a big deadlift or a bigger powerlifting total. More importantly, he said they will overload the posterior chain. I have a couple of middle to high school age athletes(football, soccer, basketball & track) I'm training right now. I'm leaning towards low rack pulls(1st slot) over trap bar deadlifts. Bret Contreras study releaved that heavy rack pulls were just as effective for the hams, glutes & lower back as deadlifts from the floor. What's your opinion?
My opinion is do a normal deadlift. My low back get over trained just from doing normal ones, I'm afraid to think what would have if I did over loaded rack pulls.
I think the variations are fine, but I am not sure safer depending upon the height of the rack pull. Low rack pulls prevent much leg drive and really lower the lower back and spine. I would say they are worse than deads from the floor.
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I would go with the trap bar, it is easier to learn and keeps the lifter in a better position since the weight is centered over the body rather than out in front.
Chris is spot on. I've seen too many people do rack pulls incorrectly to be effective (i.e. using knee extension, rounded back, etc).
Whatever you pick, ensure proper form foremost and then have them refine their technique overtime. Remember too, they're athletes, not powerlifters. The biggest 3 lift total isn't the most important thing to them, having their S&C improve translate to the field is.
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