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Thread: proper deadlift technique

  1. #1
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    proper deadlift technique

    This may seem silly that I'm asking this, but how do you perform a proper deadlift? I've googled it and went to a half-dozen different sites, and they all say something slightly different. I plan on doing this on a machine that has safety catches a few inches off the floor.

    One site says that you start from a squat with your arms inside your legs. Another, arms outside your legs. Another says you pull up with your shoulders. Another, you pull up with your back. One says a deadlift should be a full-body workout that really taxes your central nervous system. Another says it's more of an upper-body workout.

    I also came across rack pulls from these articles, which seem very similar except there's no leg movement. Should I do rack pulls and deadlifts in the same workout session? Or rotate them every 2-3 days?

  2. #2
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    Deadlifts and rack pulls are very taxing. Only do them once a week (some people do them once every two weeks).

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    Read this. It is a great explanation of deadlift form.

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    mind/body zen's Avatar
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    When I do deadlifts, in my mind, I try to imagine that the bar is fixed, and the floor moves, and that I am trying to push the floor straight down.
    I really feel like this helps me get the right form.
    Last edited by zen; 05-15-2007 at 05:10 PM.
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    Senior Member Howard 9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen View Post
    When I do deadlifts, in my mind, I try to imagine that the bar is fixed, and the floor moves, and that I am trying to push the floor straight down.
    I really feel like this helps me get the right form.
    Wow, I like that analogy man.
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    mind/body zen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard 9 View Post
    Wow, I like that analogy man.
    Thanx, not only do I feel it helps my form, but I also think it helps overcome any subconsicous mental block that may occur when you know you are moving heavier weight
    'In order to alter the inertial mass of weights, you must become one with them, like a machine, the totality of your motion is as one'

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    Senior Member Coqui's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmetal View Post
    One site says that you start from a squat with your arms inside your legs. Another, arms outside your legs.
    Those are two different kinds of deadlifts. Arms inside you legs is normally called a Sumo deadlift. Arms outside the legs is a regular deadlift.

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    I guess I'll try and see which arm position works best for me. And I'll start out doing deadlifts quite light until I get the form down pat. I'll do them twice a week until I do. Then once a week from then on. Thanks for the advice guys.

  9. #9
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Search for "deadlift form" on this forum. There have been many threads on this, with some good responses. You should be able to find all you need to know on here.
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    I tried a few deadlifts yesterday with 100 pounds and found that was too light so I upped it to 140 (not impressive I know, but I'm just starting).

    I felt good weight distribution coming up. But then returning the weight to the floor I felt a strain on my back. I can feel my back today. I'm curious if this is a natural result of the back adjusting to getting trained for the first time in a long time, or if I'm on the road to disaster.

  11. #11
    Wannabebig Member viper200202's Avatar
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    The first time i did deadlifts i didnt feel any pain that training day. The next day i had some minimal "good" soreness in my lower back. I started with good form and its helped me alot since.

    Check your form. If its only 140 pound deadlift you shouldnt feel horrible pain the next day. No you are not on the road to disaster. Get a workout partner to snap some pics of your form and then critique at home. I do it all the time with bench,DL's and Squats to ensure that i am doing everything correctly.

    Youll get it down
    Good luck
    Last edited by viper200202; 05-17-2007 at 02:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member 235orbust's Avatar
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    where should you feel the burn with deadlifts? I always feel it in my hamstrings and nothing in my traps, really, and I dont think that is where it should be, probably poor form. ehh.....
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    Mojo Risin peacefrog's Avatar
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    There was a featured article a little while ago on deadlifting. The one thing I took away from that is not to let my hips rise too fast. A side effect is that I know get bruised shins once a week since the bar scrapes against my legs.

    Whenever I see a post of a deadlifting video on the forum it seems to me that people always let their hips rise too fast. Their knees seem to lock out with the bar barely off the ground. I've never commented because I don't feel qualified, and the posts on the threads usually compliment the OP on his "good form". Has anybody else noticed this?
    Last edited by peacefrog; 05-18-2007 at 05:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 235orbust View Post
    where should you feel the burn with deadlifts? I always feel it in my hamstrings and nothing in my traps, really, and I dont think that is where it should be, probably poor form. ehh.....
    The deadlift works just about every muscle in your body. The primary movers are lower back, hamstrings and glutes. As long as it's a "bad" hurt, don't worry about what is and isn't sore.
    As a side note, you shouldn't be doing deadlifts to "feel the burn". High rep deadlifts is just asking for an injury.

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    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpikeyThing View Post
    High rep deadlifts is just asking for an injury.
    Why? Wouldn't it be dependent on load and form? Even then, most form breakdown results in loss of power/efficiency, not injury.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating ****ty form, I just don't understand how how reps with a broomstick would be dangerous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PansyLad View Post
    Read this. It is a great explanation of deadlift form.

    In that link, it says to have the shoulders in front of the bar and even has a picture to go along with it.

    Now I was reading something on T-nation, and it advocated having the shoulders behind the bar.

    Could anyone clear this up for me? I always thought you should have the shoulders behind the bar.

    Thanks.
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  17. #17
    Superman sharkall2003's Avatar
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    Ass down, head behind the bar if you can lean that far back and tuck the bottom of your back in as far as possible to prevent bending. Then systematically push with you legs (drive them into the ground like a squat) and pull up.
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  18. #18
    Superman sharkall2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGUITAR View Post
    Deadlifts and rack pulls are very taxing. Only do them once a week (some people do them once every two weeks).
    If eating properly, a few sets of deadlifts will not completely tax your system. Yes, for a few days, but some deadlifters deadlift two times a week. I used to deadlift two times a week and had a nice road down the middle of my back.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    The scapula (shoulder blade) is the natural loading plate, so having it directly over the bar is ideal. That means shoulders will be slightly in front.

    More info: http://www.crossfit.com/journal/libr...ofDeadlift.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    Why? Wouldn't it be dependent on load and form? Even then, most form breakdown results in loss of power/efficiency, not injury.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating ****ty form, I just don't understand how how reps with a broomstick would be dangerous.
    Fair enough. I'm thinking in terms of RMs, which would depend on load. Maybe I'm crazy, but I've always been under the impression that trying to do a 10 RM for deadlift is a bad idea.

  21. #21
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    Sharkm thanks, will have to try that pushing into the ground

    Anthony, thanks, gotta read the whole thing now, since it seems Ripptoe is correct. Didnt want to read that, if it wasnt the proper form.
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  22. #22
    Superman sharkall2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Con View Post
    Sharkm thanks, will have to try that pushing into the ground

    Anthony, thanks, gotta read the whole thing now, since it seems Ripptoe is correct. Didnt want to read that, if it wasnt the proper form.
    I feel that squatting, and pulling at the same time prevents me from not using my legs enough for drive, and pulling with my back tucked keeps the lower back from bending in.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Con View Post
    Sharkm thanks, will have to try that pushing into the ground

    Anthony, thanks, gotta read the whole thing now, since it seems Ripptoe is correct. Didnt want to read that, if it wasnt the proper form.
    The problem with sharkalls' advice about getting your ass down is that you end up with your shoulder behind the bar, which is putting you at a huge leverage disadvantage. Let your scapula over the bar determine the height of your hips/ass. Also, don't pull the bar with your arms, let them act as hooks. If you bend your arms, or even attempt to bend your arms, there will be a huge loss in efficiency.
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  24. #24
    Superman sharkall2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    The problem with sharkalls' advice about getting your ass down is that you end up with your shoulder behind the bar, which is putting you at a huge leverage disadvantage. Let your scapula over the bar determine the height of your hips/ass. Also, don't pull the bar with your arms, let them act as hooks. If you bend your arms, or even attempt to bend your arms, there will be a huge loss in efficiency.
    My bad anthony, should have been more specific. I don't think his ass should be much below his knees. I don't think he shoudl be rowing either. I meant more as a hook to pull the bar up. If his arms are bent that's A LOT of wasted motion. Which I completely agree with you on. However, I personally don't think his shoulders should go in front of the bar. They should be even, but not in front.
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  25. #25
    Ex-Twig. Future Freak. Rock Steady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    The scapula (shoulder blade) is the natural loading plate, so having it directly over the bar is ideal. That means shoulders will be slightly in front.

    More info: http://www.crossfit.com/journal/libr...ofDeadlift.pdf
    It's great having guys like you around, Anthony. Thanks for the article. I smell a new PR in the next few weeks!
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