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Thread: Deadlift starting position question.

  1. #1
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    Deadlift starting position question.

    I've typically always pulled with a bit of a rounded back and despite my best efforts I have yet to rectify this issue. Tearing weight off the floor has never been an issue but I have a hard time locking out due to my shitty starting position. After some review I have discovered that I have a short femur and a long torso which makes it hard to sit back and flatten my back. Here is an example of my current set up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUQP...e_gdata_player

    After talking to a buddy of mine I have decided that widening my grip even more is a must at bear minimum. Which leaves me with 2 foot placement options
    1. I pull with a wider stance a bit like a strongman setup shown here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9x3...e_gdata_player

    2. I could pull with an ultra narrow stance allowing me to push my knees out and get my hips closer to the bar thus keeping me from leaning so far over the bar and hopefully allowing me to flatten my back as shown here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TleV...e_gdata_player

    I'm pretty sure I will end up going with a narrow stance but will be testing out both to see which puts me in a better position.

    If anybody has any feedback or suggestions it is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Last edited by Justin Randal; 08-08-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I moved to sumo. My body style is like yours. I'm 5'9 with a 29 inch in seam but when I sit next to a seated 6 foot guy I'm taller then him. Great for a awesome bench set up but not so hot for the dl.

    When I was heavier and used a dl bar I could out muscle my form issues. Not that I'm lighter and in usapl with out a dl bar I shit the bed meet after meet. I switched to sumo and after a while its become very natural and the best fit for my body style. You may want to give it a try.
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  3. #3
    Dr. Subtotal
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    Exact same starting position I would have if I still pulled convo.

    Either alteration to the starting position should help alleviate the issue a bit if you're still going convo.

    I'd recommend to spend some time focusing on the portion of the lift right off the ground where your leverages are weakest. Halting Pulls (Pull weight off ground, hold for period of time an inch or two off ground, then lockout violently without sacrificing technique) with dead weight or against chain. This will really force you to learn the best position to make the hold and pull through as efficient as possible. This also teaches the body to not rely on knee extension to pop the weight off the ground and rely on momentum to carry into the pull through/lock out. I've noticed my pulls are alot more efficient in this range to lockout since incorporating them. Maybe worth a cycle or two as a supplementary movement.
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  4. #4
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    Agree with blood and thunder.

  5. #5
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    I have this exact problem, but with the opposite body dimensions lol. I have long legs (31-32") and i'm only 5'8. Let me know what works for you Justin.
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  6. #6
    I Decide My Limitations Leeman's Avatar
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    hey man, i think i have you on facebook.

    when you start your pull at the bottom, if you werent holding the bar would you be falling backwards? if not, then you need to sit back into it more so your own bodyweight is helping you get the bar off the floor. it might not be as strong in the beginning, which is why id recomend you do low bar deadlift stance low box squats as assistance work, the stronger you get on that exercise the lower you will find your self dropping your hips at the start of your pull.

    aside from deadlift stance box squats, bent over yates rows maintaining at least a neutral lower/upper back would strengthen those muscles and even keep them tight/inflexible making it that much harder to found them.

    also try raising the height of your belt on deadlifts, it should give you more drive off the floor which would help if your trying to get your hips lower to help keep your back in the proper position.

    try putting your belt up high, like top of your belt almost touching your pecs, now take a deep breath and slowly lower your self into a deadlift position... you should feel more compression making it harder to get down to the bar.. if the belt is too low it will keep your belly from pressing into your upper thighs as much and so you wont get as much drive. i also think a higher belt position makes locking out easier, seems to keep your upper back in a much better position for finishing the lift than a low belt position does
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  7. #7
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    Thanks guys. I tried the wider stance and grip and was definitely able to sit deeper and flatten my back a bit more. Just as Leeman said it was much harder to break the floor but lockout was a breeze. I will be working with this setup for a while and see where it takes me. Also I would post a vid but I dropped my phone in water and lost all my videos from the last couple weeks
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  8. #8
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    So why exactly would widening your grip allow you to straighten your back more?

    Widening your grip will force you to lean over more as you are not using the full length of your arm. Leaning over more does not equate to less back rounding.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member KevinStarke's Avatar
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    I too have a longer torso to legs ratio by alot, and t-rex arms to boot. Some co workers of my friend met us at a bar where we already seated and after a bit of drinking I got up to drain and one of the coworkers stood up and laughed before saying "Wow, I did not expect that". Thinking me of equal or close to equal height only to see I'm Gimli Son of Gloin.

    Anyway I pulled conventional for years and when switching to sumo I also felt it of much better advantage to my build, far less leaning forward and far less rounding of the back. I never liked super close stance since I felt it was much harder on the core to not round your back due to leaning forward so hard.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    So why exactly would widening your grip allow you to straighten your back more?

    Widening your grip will force you to lean over more as you are not using the full length of your arm. Leaning over more does not equate to less back rounding.
    Opening my grip was simply to give me a bit more room to open up my stance and push my knees out.
    Whoever said "Good things come to those who wait" couldn't have amounted to much. If you want it get off your lazy ass and get it!!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinStarke View Post
    I too have a longer torso to legs ratio by alot, and t-rex arms to boot. Some co workers of my friend met us at a bar where we already seated and after a bit of drinking I got up to drain and one of the coworkers stood up and laughed before saying "Wow, I did not expect that". Thinking me of equal or close to equal height only to see I'm Gimli Son of Gloin.

    Anyway I pulled conventional for years and when switching to sumo I also felt it of much better advantage to my build, far less leaning forward and far less rounding of the back. I never liked super close stance since I felt it was much harder on the core to not round your back due to leaning forward so hard.
    I definitely plan to incorporate sumo pulling more often in the coming months.
    Whoever said "Good things come to those who wait" couldn't have amounted to much. If you want it get off your lazy ass and get it!!
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