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(hopefully my last) deadlift form question

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:29 am
by robertscott
having just found a deadlift i can actually pull from the floor (sumo style, it's great) I've noticed when i pull from the floor it seems my legs straighten faster than my back, and so the final heave to get standing up straight seems to come completely from my lower back.

Is this normal, or is it bad? Strangely enough it only seems to happen on my initial pull. The reps that come after seem to be ok.

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:41 am
by lightningsix
Well, with sumo stance the distance it takes for the legs to straighten is really short so I wouldn't say you have the form wrong.
Don't forget to pull your shoulders back to complete the rep.

Wider stance, shorter distance to pull that's all. Just make sure you aren't rounding your back and you're fine.

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:01 am
by KPj
The hips rising faster is actually a form error. It can be a few things -

-weak glutes/hammies for one. In which case, you need to just lower the weight and get extra strict - focus on squeezing the glutes especially.

- It's possible that you're spending far too much time in the starting position - a very common problem. Dip, Grip, and Rip, as they say. Don't hang around waiting for the weather to change, ya know? Just get it lifted. Powerlifters constantly tweak their set up, starting from the 'approach' to the bar. But powerlifters need their first rep to be their best rep. So slightly different. Still - don't spend an age down in the starting position.

-Make sure you have a big belly full of air and tensed abs when you begin the pull.

-it can also be a sign of not driving through the heels.

If you're other reps are good then it's probably just lack of experience. But pay attention to what I mentioned next time you pull and see if anything 'clicks'. It takes a while for a DL to feel natural, so just keep at it.

KPj

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:44 pm
by nygmen
KPj wrote:- It's possible that you're spending far too much time in the starting position - a very common problem. Dip, Grip, and Rip, as they say. Don't hang around waiting for the weather to change, ya know? Just get it lifted. Powerlifters constantly tweak their set up, starting from the 'approach' to the bar. But powerlifters need their first rep to be their best rep. So slightly different. Still - don't spend an age down in the starting position.

KPj
How does this make your hips rise faster? Is it a loss of focus? (Not arguing, i do the same thing as OP with heavier weight than i'm used to.)

Robert, thanks for asking this...

EDIT: How long is too long?

Re: (hopefully my last) deadlift form question

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:40 pm
by Stephen Johnson
robertscott wrote:having just found a deadlift i can actually pull from the floor (sumo style, it's great) I've noticed when i pull from the floor it seems my legs straighten faster than my back, and so the final heave to get standing up straight seems to come completely from my lower back.

Is this normal, or is it bad? Strangely enough it only seems to happen on my initial pull. The reps that come after seem to be ok.
It could be that, initially, you're setting the bar too far away from you. If the bar is too far in front of the hips upward pull, you have to bend your waist forward to get the bar. This can really stress out your back.

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:39 am
by KPj
nygmen wrote: How does this make your hips rise faster? Is it a loss of focus? (Not arguing, i do the same thing as OP with heavier weight than i'm used to.)

Robert, thanks for asking this...

EDIT: How long is too long?
Well, scientifically, you lose out on any benefit you can get from the stretch-shortening cycle. This is referring to the elastic energy that stores in muscles during an eccentric contraction. You can carry this energy over to the concentric contraction if you're quick. But you'll lose it if you're too long. I've read numbers ranging from a few seconds to several seconds for this to go away. The less time the better, really, without comprimising form.

I'm no expert on the stretch shortening cycle. But this is evident in a practical sense if you sit down at the bar for excessively long, say 15-20 seconds and pull. You can feel straight away that the weight feels heavier. Also, a lot of your PC muscles are in a stretched position when you're down in at the bar - so you don't want to turn you're set up into a static stretch.

Mentally, if you're spending an age down at the bar, you're thinking about it too much. Get psyched up before you get down to the bar. Personally, I 'zone' everything out before I walk up to the bar. Concentrating on things like this makes an efficient set up become natural.

So, it's not really a specific dysfunction. Could just be a reason that the first rep is poor and the reps to follow are better...

Also, Stephen made a good point about setting up too far away from the bar.

KPj

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:12 am
by nygmen
KPj wrote:you're thinking about it too much.
Common Life Theme...

That explaination sounds dead on thou... Got some work to do...

As far as bar position I've seen MR videos where he has his "kids" bring the bar up in contact with the various parts of their legs the whole time... This is what i've been doing. Aside from brusing and broken blood vessels on my boney shins, it sems to help me keep the rest of my form in check.

Thanks again OP and KPj...

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:14 am
by robertscott
thanks guys, i think my set up is ok the barbell is right against my shins when i pull. I think what was said about not driving through my heels could be accurate. As for lowering the weight and trying to tighten up my form I'm kind of loathe to do that as I'd have to use smaller plates which'd mean the bar would be lower but i dunno i could try raising the plates up on other plates or something.

i shall persevere. To be fair I've only had a week of deadlifting from the floor so far so I guess it's not the end of the world if it takes a little while to get the technique down.

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:31 am
by KPj
Drive through the heels and think of pulling 'back' as well.

You probably hold yourself back if you look at technique as a short term thing. Focus on good technique, and train 'hard', and everything else will fall into place.

There's a lot to think about with the deadlift. You're technique will change as well. As soon as you break through a sticking point, you'll have another one. That's a whole other weakness to think about. As you get stronger and/or bigger, you're technique will change. Changing rep range will present more technical challenges. You might even just get lazy, too, and you'll need to re tweak you're form. This happens to me especially, since the majority of the time I train myself. There's only a few people I trust to check it out, and that's the guys at the PL club (when I can get there) and my sort of-most of the time-training partner (both have unpredictable schedules).

Videos are a great thing, too, so you can look at it yourself. My and my friend / training partner are going to start doing this. They do it at the PL club sometimes - good to look at your own technique and bar speed.

Anyway - i'm rambling. Too excited, couple of hours and i'll be doing some front squats then rack pulls so i'm like a kid on xmas eve.

What i mean is, "always concentrate on you're technique".


KPj