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View Full Version : Some tips for a better/more proper deadlift


Paul Nguyen
03-12-2008, 03:19 PM
would highly be appreciated.

How can I get these deadlifts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xSuHjMCE8E wfs

Looking as sexy as these deadlifts:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_DeadliftIntro.wmv

Been looking around the web for what constitutes a proper deadlift

A few questions:
Should I feel a slight stretch on my glutes/hamstrings when I do these?
How do you keep the bar from banging on your knees on the way up?
How wide should the grip be?

PS. I paused at the beginning of the video because I thought I heard screaming. But I didn't know what to think. Are you suppose to report that sort of thing?

Brandon Oto
03-12-2008, 06:34 PM
Should I feel a slight stretch on my glutes/hamstrings when I do these?
How do you keep the bar from banging on your knees on the way up?
How wide should the grip be?

1. Yes, your hip flexibility will probably be taxed.
2. I wear big socks -- but see below for more.
3. One thumb's length outside your shins works well -- just wide enough to keep your hands free of your legs.

Work on these:

Bar starts over your midfoot, touching shins, and directly below your scapulas. You mostly have the first two but are iffy on the last; doing so will mean your arms don't hang straight down but angle slightly backwards.

The lift starts with an extension of the knees with the back angle staying the SAME. Once the bar passes the knees, the hips extend as well. So in a way, it's kind of a two-part lift, though seamless and with overlap. The negative is the exact reverse of this process -- send your hips back, bend at the hips until you've passed the knees and assumed the hip angle you started with, then bend the knees to the floor.

The bar stays touching your legs the ENTIRE time.

Around here we like the book Starting Strength, by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore, for strength training. All of this and more is within...

John Seiler
03-12-2008, 06:37 PM
Bad news Paul; your deadlifts will NEVER look as sexy as Eva and Annie's!

Seriously, they looked good. You'll start to feel it more in your glutes and hamstrings when the weights get higher. Avoiding truly banging your knees comes with practice. That said you should always have the bar brushing your legs. Grip can be as close as your hips and knees will allow. The closer the grip the higher you'll start the lift and the more weight you'll ultimately be able to use.

Screaming? Go with your gut. You don't look like you live in high crime area so it's doubtful you'll be taking the police away from high-priority crime-fighting. Even so, give them a call and let them be the judges of that. I think they'd generally agree that it's better to respond to a non-event than to miss an emergency.

John Stirling
03-12-2008, 06:58 PM
I can't comment much on the deadlifts because I know that my form isn't perfect and I'm still working on it too. I will comment on the police calling question. I can tell you that I would rather get called out and nothing be wrong than to not get a call and find a dead person later. There are exceptions to that rule and a few are listed below (bear in mind that we will go to these calls and happily, but I would rather not if I had a choice):

1) If your 12 year old is out of control because they will not go to bed

2) If you have a racoon (opossum, any other animal) sitting on your porch and you think it must be dangerous

3) If a soda machine does not give you back the correct change

4) If you have any complaints about aliens (ghosts, ghouls, goblins, pixies, fairies, or other mythical monsters or other creatures) and you are afraid that you will get your brain scanned (anal probed, cancer from gamma rays, speared by a unicorn, mentally altered by the ogre in your closet), I can tell you that it is probably not the police that you should be contacting. If you do contact us, however, we will be happy to place you in touch with the correct authorities on this matter.

I could go on with examples forever but the bottom line, you think you heard screaming, go ahead and give a call. If they don't find anything, so be it.

:welcome:

Matt Thomas
03-12-2008, 07:32 PM
Use more weight :D A big deadlift is always sexier.

But really those looked really good. I guess you could push your hips through a little more on the finish on some of those. Good job though.

Sean McDaniel
03-13-2008, 10:24 AM
Knees a little more forward, and hips a little higher. Seen from the side, your arms should not be perfectly straight up-and-down, but should be slanted back slightly if your scapulas are directly over the bar. Engage your lats to keep the bar from moving away from your leg on the way up. Your knees will move back as you lift - the bar should stay in contact, but you don't need to bang into your knees or peel skin off your shins.

Brandon Oto
03-13-2008, 11:05 AM
Knees a little more forward, and hips a little higher.

Knees farther back, you mean. To elevate his hips and also move his knees forward, he'd have to disconnect his pelvis.

Sean McDaniel
03-13-2008, 11:30 AM
No, not if he moves his torso forward so that his scapulas are over the bar instead of the top of his shoulders. If he makes that correction without changing his knee angle, the knees will move forward as well.

Brandon Oto
03-13-2008, 11:52 AM
There is absolutely no way to raise your hips and move your shoulders forward without opening the knees. (He could lean his entire body forward onto his toes, I suppose, which would move his knees forward in a strictly positional sense, but that would be bad.) Try it.

Robert Callahan
03-13-2008, 12:26 PM
I would say your butt could be up a little higher when you start the pull, that would help put your scapula's over the bar and straighten the knees out so they are not in the way as much. but overall looked great :)

PS: your reaction to the screaming is priceless hahahaha :-P

-Robert

Paul Nguyen
03-13-2008, 10:21 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I understand what you mean about bringing the scapulas over the bar and to have my arms at a slight slant at the beginning. Like being more forward with my shoulders past the bar and my body more level to the ground? I'm out of town and I tried it without the weights and almost feels like I might fall forward but I'm sure the weights'll hold me in place.

As for lifting more weight, my goal is to atleast deadlift twice my body weight by the end of this summer. I've never really done much deadlifting before so I'm not sure how much weight is a whole lot / impressive or how to do them with proper form so I'm starting off light first few goes and then I'll be on my way =]

PS. As for my reaction to the screaming, I turned on my x-ray vision and did a quick scan. Didn't find anything out of the ordinary, so I switched it off. I decided I would do a few deadlifts real quick and go check on it if the screaming continued. The screaming stopped, so I guess whatever caused the screaming stopped too. Kidding. I soon called the police to have em check it out. Never found out what the deal was.

Kevin Bean
03-14-2008, 01:22 AM
You'll know you're right when you could draw a virtual lign from your scapula straight down to the barbell. This position will have your deltoids slightly infront of the bar. It appears to my amateur eye that if you lifted your butt a little higher, you'd have the position.

In the starting position your shins will have a forward lean (as opposed to being completely vertical). You want to open your knee angle first as you raise the bar so that the shins straighten out as the bar raises to clear the knees.

Your goal is to raise the bar in as straight of a vertical line as possible.

To be honest, your form isn't perfect but it's pretty good.

Mirza Besic
03-14-2008, 02:02 AM
I can't comment much on the deadlifts because I know that my form isn't perfect and I'm still working on it too. I will comment on the police calling question. I can tell you that I would rather get called out and nothing be wrong than to not get a call and find a dead person later. There are exceptions to that rule and a few are listed below (bear in mind that we will go to these calls and happily, but I would rather not if I had a choice):

1) If your 12 year old is out of control because they will not go to bed

2) If you have a racoon (opossum, any other animal) sitting on your porch and you think it must be dangerous

3) If a soda machine does not give you back the correct change

4) If you have any complaints about aliens (ghosts, ghouls, goblins, pixies, fairies, or other mythical monsters or other creatures) and you are afraid that you will get your brain scanned (anal probed, cancer from gamma rays, speared by a unicorn, mentally altered by the ogre in your closet), I can tell you that it is probably not the police that you should be contacting. If you do contact us, however, we will be happy to place you in touch with the correct authorities on this matter.

I could go on with examples forever but the bottom line, you think you heard screaming, go ahead and give a call. If they don't find anything, so be it.

:welcome:

You deff don't live in Detroit. That's for damn sure. In Detroit when your house alarm goes off and you call the police because somone's jacking your stuff, its considered a non-priority call and can take them upwards of 2-3 hours to get there.

Go DPD.

Brandon Oto
03-14-2008, 06:38 AM
You'll know you're right when you could draw a virtual lign from your scapula straight down to the barbell. This position will have your deltoids slightly infront of the bar. It appears to my amateur eye that if you lifted your butt a little higher, you'd have the position.

In the starting position your shins will have a forward lean (as opposed to being completely vertical).

:wallbash:

Raising his butt will make his shins MORE vertical. Which is fine.

Allen Yeh
03-14-2008, 07:57 AM
A few things:

-Don't look up but definitely don't look down either. Fix your gaze somewhere in the middle keep it there.
-Follow through with your hips, you are stopping short of lockout it seemed like on your reps. A good habit to get into with lighter weights is to squeeze with your glutes. You want to hip extension not back extension, for the longest time I wasn't quite locking out and extending with my back and would wonder why oh why would my back start hurting when I'd get close to 2x bodyweight. It's a bad habit to have and better to nip it in the bud earlier than later.

T-nation has a couple of decent articles by Eric Cressey on the deadlift, I'd check them out to view the difference between extending with the back and the hips.