25 October 2010

Deadlifting Nuances, or more about your lats.

Recently, I was deadlifting, as it is one of my pastimes.  Recently, as was stated in the last post, I had some wonderful deadlift pointers imparted to me. 

Staggered grip=a grip that won't fail on a max pull.
These pointers include such things as, "wedging yourself between the bar and the ground,"  With this cue, you use your hips to bring your head up, as explained by a friend of mine.  This is a wonderful cue to maximize leverage, and another is to push the floor to either side with your feet, as if you were going to make a chasm beneath you.  
Pretty sweet drawing I found of Mount Doom.  Inside, there is a chasm, and it is the only one that can destroy the precious. 
After reading this article, I opted to go for practicing my deadlifts with a pronated grip because it is more symmetrical and "what you'll find is the more you pull double overhand, the more weight you can use. If you're used to failing at 225, give it a few weeks and you'll be up to 315," according to Jim Smith. It also feels less awkward and doesn't hurt my wrist, as opposed to the staggered grip.   

One of the reasons I think it allows more weight is because it is easy to engage the lat muscles--it's easier to break a stick, bend a piece of metal, or "break the bar" for a bench press or deadlift when you have a pronated grip. 

Recently, I was deadlifting with a pronated grip, and since I am still practicing it and am new to it, my grip started to go, and I switched to a staggered grip.  Immediately, I felt weaker.  The reason being is because I couldn't engage my lats well enough to do anything.  As I said earlier, if the grip is staggered, it's harder to bend the bar. 

This last nuance I stumbled upon myself, and it overcomes the lack of lat involved in a staggered grip:  when using the staggered grip, squeeze the shit out of the bar and try to move your hands closer together.  The friction will not allow it, your lats will be engaged, and you will feel stronger. 


  1. I've been very reluctant to switch to a pronated grip, but I do see your point in engaging the lats. I can feel them tense up much more in Olympic lifts than my mixed grip deadlift.

    Keep us updated on how it progresses.

  2. I have always used pronated grip with reps and then switched to staggered for the heavy singles. After reading this interesting post, I shall try to keep my grip pronated throughout. Great idea re: squeezing the bar to engage Latissimus (dormant) sorry.. Dorsi.

    Up The Irons !