Deadlift help

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Sangoma
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Deadlift help

Post by Sangoma » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:41 am

A surgeon I work with got into the powerlifting couple of years ago. Strong dude, best deadlift 215 kg, squat around 165 kg and bench 139 kg. For one reason or another his deadlift took a dive - his current (a comp last weekend) is 190 kg. To be honest his squat is way better that the number above, but he has been red lighted for the depth, in my opinion wrongly.

Watching his own videos he noticed a deadlifting mistake: engaging/flexing the arms at the beginning of the lift. If I understand correctly fixing this is not as easy as it seems: the grip has to be tight, arms and upper back less so and lower back tight again. Are there any teaching cues to fix this? Special exercises?
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Kirk
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Re: Deadlift help

Post by Kirk » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:38 pm

I don't know that the grip has to be tight in the sense of actively squeezing. I've got tiny hands (same length fingers as my 152cm tall wife, I'm under 170cm myself) but never had to really squeeze the bar even with maxing about 272kg. I think he should be thinking of his hands kind of like hooks at the ends of rope (his arms being the rope). Let them hang there. I don't have a cue or mantra for that...

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syaigh
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Re: Deadlift help

Post by syaigh » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:44 pm

Upper back actually should be tight. Heavy pulls will round it out a bit, but you want to think of your spine, from skull to tailbone, as a rigid lever. The more movement in the spine, the more work the body has to do to stabilize it and this requires a lot of the nervous system. When I coach the deadlift, the set-up is very dependent on the biomechanics of the lifter and can vary greatly, but there are a few things that remain the same. One, is that the lifter's center of gravity needs to be behind the bar. Two, minimize as much as possible any joint bending in the ankles, knees, hips and spine. What i mean by that is you should be in a position that requires as few levers to be moving at a time as possible. If, as you lift, you have to straighten your ankles, unbend your knees, push your hips back, and roll your shoulders back, that's a lot of work. Try and get shins as perpendicular as possible, hips back, and minimize unnecessary spinal flexion. I've added a lot of weight to people's deadlifts simply by shifting their center of gravity at the beginning of the lift. The fact that his squat is smaller than his deadlift is actually a good sign that he is pulling and not squatting the bar so one thing that may not be engaged is his lats. The lats kind of tie together the upper and lower body on the deadlift and is one of the biggest factors in keeping the back tight and tying the hips in to the upper body. Anyway, I've coached two world champions, both masters, a 245 lb man (300 kg deadlift) and a 150-ish lb woman (200 kg deadlift). I'd be happy to help or look at videos.
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newguy
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Re: Deadlift help

Post by newguy » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:14 am

This is one of the counter intuitive things.......you do not have to squeeze tight to hold more weight than you can deadlift.

Look at it this way....have him go to a rack and put the pins at mid thigh or higher. Have him put 225kg on the bar. Can he lift and lock out? Yes. Did he need to squeeze the bar like a madman to do it? No.

Holding strength and squeezing strength are two different things.

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powerlifter54
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Re: Deadlift help

Post by powerlifter54 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:39 pm

Two things.
1. Push hands down on the bar and flex triceps. Point is to keep arms straight. Bending elbows lengthens pulls and gets whole lat/shoulder girdle out of position. For the reasons syaigh says.

2. Do not let bar sit on ridge of hand calluses. It needs to sit on the finger calluses. The bar should sit against the finger between hand and first knuckle.
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Re: Deadlift help

Post by JohnDoe » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:22 pm

syaigh wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:44 pm
One, is that the lifter's center of gravity needs to be behind the bar. Two, minimize as much as possible any joint bending in the ankles, knees, hips and spine. What i mean by that is you should be in a position that requires as few levers to be moving at a time as possible. If, as you lift, you have to straighten your ankles, unbend your knees, push your hips back, and roll your shoulders back, that's a lot of work. Try and get shins as perpendicular as possible, hips back, and minimize unnecessary spinal flexion. I've added a lot of weight to people's deadlifts simply by shifting their center of gravity at the beginning of the lift.
I've gotten some good results out of having kids let go of the bar after setting up. If they stumble backward, they're on the right track.

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