Getting The Most Out Of Your Deadlift With These 5 Small But Essential Techniques
Deadlift Tweak #1 – Getting The Stance Correct
Stance is important and can mean the difference between performing a sumo deadlift compared to the conventional or even the romanian deadlift for that matter.
Another thing as well is the muscles that are recruited in each variation of the deadlift.
For the sake of simplicity, you want to make sure your feet are close enough to allow your elbows positioned outside your knees.
Taking a wider stance will make that impossible, so allowing enough room for your elbows to be outside your knees should be essential to get the maximum benefit from the deadlift.
Deadlift Tweak #2 – Keep You Back Straight Sonny!
Avoid rounding that back! I see lots of people do this and I may be guilty myself but I can help but wonder when that lower back will give out.
I had lower back pain before and it is not something to be proud of, unless you enjoy it which makes you one sick person.
I know I have probably stated this a hundred or so times, but I want to make note that this is key in perfecting that deadlift technique and reaping the benefits from it.
If you find you cannot keep that back as straight as a wooden board, then use a belt or lighten the weight.
If you decide to use a belt for deadlifting, grab one that is preferably a notch or latch one.
Deadlift Tweak #3 – Pull Your Shoulder Blades Together
I too have made this mistake when I deadlift and is often neglected on my part.
So how to approach it?
Start in a deadlift position and pull your shoulder blades together.
Take notice of where your fingertips are.
Relax your shoulders and let them round forward a bit.
You will then realize your fingertips are much lower.
This means two things:
A) Bar travels a shorter distance.
B) Less stress on the shoulder area.
This stiffens the mid-back, engages the lats (which in turn provides more spinal stability), and activates the thoraco-lumbar fascia, which helps to better transfer force from the lower body to the upper body.
I am no scientist, but I can say for sure that pinching, locking or squeezing the shoulder blades does transfer a lot more power in the initial pull.
Deadlift Tweak # 4 – Optimal Spots For Shin Placement
Obviously height will play a major factor in shin placement.
Because tall lifters tend to keep the bar as close to their shins as possible and also keep their shoulder blades locked throughout the movement.
This may be true for some, but even then some tall people I have seen have less than perfect form.
But hey, who am I to judge! Now the opposite consisting of thicker/shorter built lifters have a tougher time lining up the bar with their shins.
Plus they would also have a tougher time pulling their shoulder blades back. The goal is to pull the bar towards you, not out and away.
The main takeaway? View deadlift videos with similar builds and few placement, stance & how they pull from the floor. Take below for example
Deadlift Tweak #5 – Go Caveman Style
Ok, not exactly all the way caveman where the only thing clothed is your (yes, women included) goods!
But deadlifting barefoot or even in socks for that matter allows to recruit more hamstrings and glute activation to a certain degree.
It also helps by improving performance as well.
May seem like a myth, but deadlifting allows you to get more leverage in the deadlift.
Deadlifting in shoes helps for those who are vertically challenged. On the other hand, it can be not so beneficial for deadlifting as it means the bar must travel farther.
Many have reported deadlifting barefoot or in socks an increase of around 20 pounds in their one rep max. Not sure if it was the type of socks they wore or they tapped into their inner chi.
When in doubt, if you want to increase your deadlift, skip the shoes. Or better yet, if you have a smell emanating from your feet that makes paint on walls peel, you might want to leave them on for safety.