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View Full Version : Need help eliminating hitch in deadlift.


Jacob Tsypkin
04-11-2008, 05:48 AM
Hey all,

I tend to hitch my heavy single deadlifts. I get the bar off the ground pretty fast and strong, but I can't seem to lock it out above the new.

View here (W/F Safe): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIWyUc5_Dps

This was a 410# PR last night. As you can see, I don't have much trouble getting the bar up, but the hitch fairy came and helped me for lock out. I should note that this only really happens in PR range - my progression last night was 315-335-355-375-395-410; there was a tiny hitch at 395#, not enough to even see it move, and the big ugly hitch seen in the video at 410#.

What can I do to remedy this?

Thanks!

Bob Guere
04-11-2008, 06:11 AM
In my vastly novice opinion, it would be nice to see that lift from the side...just so when all the experts sound off, I can see what they are referring too.

To me, it almost seems you're starting to high, using up all the legs before the back extension. I know when I do this, I get a quick fatigue. I force myself to lower my butt, keep the back angle consistent and use the legs to get the bar past the knees before extending. For me, this allows my back to be much closer to extension from the get-go.

Again, just my novice observation....

Anthony Bainbridge
04-11-2008, 06:28 AM
Two things

1) don't jerk the bar off the floor - this is setting you up for a bad lockout because it brings your hips and spine out of proper alignment by the time you get to the top.

2) practise some rack lockouts - set the bar at a height that gives you trouble locking out and lift it.

Brandon Oto
04-11-2008, 06:29 AM
A side view might be nice, but I don't think it's a form problem. I think you're just a bit weaker at the top of the ROM, chief; time for some rack deadlifts.

Bob Guere
04-11-2008, 06:37 AM
Anthony and Brandon,

Just for my curiosity, was I correct about the leg, back connection?

I don't consider myself a deadlift expert, but I'm trying to test my knowledge by looking at others (and myself) and help with potential problems.

Is it a preference for some folks to not start the DL lower?

Jacob Tsypkin
04-11-2008, 06:45 AM
Thanks all.

Bob: I do tend to start a bit high sometimes.
Anthony: Yeah, the jerk off the floor is a problem. I don't do it with even remotely lighter weights, or under fatigue during metcon...I think it's just a mental thing.
Brandon: I think you're right, it's just a matter of weakness at the top of the ROM.

Here's the problem: Our racks are not made in such a way that I could do rack DLs from them. Suggestions? Cinder blocks, maybe?

Bob Guere
04-11-2008, 06:51 AM
Thanks all.

Bob: I do tend to start a bit high sometimes.
Anthony: Yeah, the jerk off the floor is a problem. I don't do it with even remotely lighter weights, or under fatigue during metcon...I think it's just a mental thing.
Brandon: I think you're right, it's just a matter of weakness at the top of the ROM.

Here's the problem: Our racks are not made in such a way that I could do rack DLs from them. Suggestions? Cinder blocks, maybe?

BTW, Jacob.... nice PR!

Jacob Tsypkin
04-11-2008, 06:56 AM
Haha, thanks man.

Brandon Oto
04-11-2008, 08:49 AM
Anthony and Brandon,

Just for my curiosity, was I correct about the leg, back connection?

I don't consider myself a deadlift expert, but I'm trying to test my knowledge by looking at others (and myself) and help with potential problems.

Is it a preference for some folks to not start the DL lower?

I'm no Rippetoe... but while a too-high starting position can be problematic, I don't think it would tend to cause a near-vertical stalling position like this. It's not like he extended his knees and then couldn't shift his torso at all... I suppose the longer ROM might make your hips fatigue before they finished, but that seems really goofy. If he stalled lower I might think different, but he's way near the top and just can't quite seem to contract enough.

Can't tell whether he's starting higher than necessary from this angle, and it's really something for him to feel anyway. By the time you're pulling 410 I think people generally know where to start -- if you're too high you don't break the ground, if you're too low you just move higher before it shifts anyway and eventually you'll notice that.

Jacob Tsypkin
04-11-2008, 09:58 AM
A lot of people tell me I start high, but it feels right for me. I suppose a lot of people tell me I squat too wide as well, but Coach Burgener told me it was fine, so maybe I'm right about the deadlift as well.

Any ideas about implements for rack deads?

Brandon Oto
04-11-2008, 10:03 AM
Stack plates.. or use boxes if they happen to be the right height. Or stack plates on boxes, you get the picture.

Leonid Soubbotine
04-11-2008, 11:38 AM
Jacob, Rack pulls are good.

What helped me most recently - was doing a bunch of GHR's (Glute Ham Raise). I see the Glute ham developers right behind you in the vid. Use it!

I used to halt like that with anything above 400. Recently pulled 400 and 440 without a warmup easily with no stalling. Changed nothing about my programming, but did a quite a few GHR's in the last couple of months.

Thanks to Joey Powell for suggesting the GHR. It's awesome!

Jerry Hill
04-11-2008, 02:42 PM
Strong pull Jacob, congrat's.

I see a guy who is strong but form/groove is off.

You manhandle that "hitch" I thought you might shrug the darn thing.

First lets eliminate the quick and easy from the list.
You get stuck on your shorts, friction could be the problem.
Roll up your shorts next time and baby powder the thighs.
Still hitching?
Then the quick and easy is off the list.

I've never been a fan of rack pulls.
You never get into the same sticking point position.
IF this were a solution "lightened" Deadlifts with bands are better as you'll more likely be in the same top end sticking point/position.

It seems to me that you are plenty strong - I would suggest speed and form work.

Overcome the sticking point through compensatory acceleration.
This can be done with bar work alone but speed work with bands/chains/lightened bands are absolutely fabulous.

In Strength,
Jerry

Andrea Grant
04-19-2008, 10:13 PM
definitely work some rack deadlifts...
eliminate the jerking pull

good job tho

Wes Palmer
04-20-2008, 12:42 AM
just remember to keep the bar under the scapula

Robert Callahan
04-20-2008, 05:02 PM
you know it is really hard to tell from the angle, but the hitch almost looks like it is caused from a rounding in the back that you have to work to straighten out at the top. getting your back straight while holding large weight is really really hard and may be why fixing that "hitch" is so hard... Take a film from the side so we can see that spine and re-post :)

-Robert

Kevin Ziegenhorn
04-21-2008, 11:10 AM
It sounds like rack pulls might be a practical problem for you... if those aren't going to work, could you get access to some chains? You'd set them up so the weight is lighter/more manageable at the first part of the lift and gets to PR difficulty right at the hitch point. I've used this method to get through sticking points on many barbell movements.

Sean Waxman
04-22-2008, 06:35 PM
I would suggest doing some isometric deadlifts. You can do these only if the power rack is bolted down.
Set the bars just below(1-3 inches) the point of your breakdown. Use 330 lbs (about 80% of 410), lift the barbell to the bars and hold for a 3 count. When the barbell touches the bars continue pulling on the bar as hard as you can.
4-5 sets of three reps will do the trick.
Do the isometric deads once a week and supplement with RDL's, Reverse Hypers, Good Mornings the rest of the week. This will give your posterior chain the blast it needs to get over the 410 hump.
I would also suggest not deadlifting for 4-6 weeks and focusing on these other exercises.
Hope this helps
Sean
Pure Strength (http://purestrength.com/)

Scott Erb
04-26-2008, 07:19 PM
Jacob -
Nice job on the PR. I was a collegiate powerlifter, my best lift was the DL. While starting high isn't a problem itself, what may be happening is that your starting position is causing you to round the back early in the lift. It looked like your back rounded at the initial pull and stayed there until the legs locked out. When this happens (and it does to most people on a PR-weight lift) the effect is that the bar is forward of your leverage at the top of the lift and you stall. Sometimes you'll be able to muscle through it (especially if you concentrate on getting back on your heals when it stalls), sometimes not. The straighter you can keep your back, the better muscular leverage you'll have on the bar and also you'll be using glutes to lock out rather than the smaller back muscles.

Best way I know to help fix this is to lower the weight and work keeping the back flat and let the weight come back up on its own. In the end, you'll improve your form and your PR.

I've also had coaches prescribe squats to help break through DL plateaus as the squat punishes you more quickly for breaking form and rounding the back. A DL is just a squat with the bar in a different place. When I lifted competetively, a lot of the guys who squatted wide also took more of a sumo stance on the DL. The GHB idea posted above may also help with maintaining form.

410 is a great lift! Let us know how it goes.

Best,
Scott