07 November 2012

Deadlift still stuck? Poor you.

To be honest, in light of the crap I was physically dealing with this year I am surprised I was able to hit a 500lb deadlift, much less a 400lb deadlift.  Though at the beginning of October, my PR was only 40lbs up from the competition ten months before, I expect that to go up by another 20lbs.  If you aren't increasing your deadlift at a rate of speed your satisfied with--or at least able to deal with, if satisfaction is not possible--do something different.  Deadlift more, and deadlift with varieties and do more contraspecifics.

A deadlift is a hip hinge.  Pretty simple, right?  Yes.  There's also a shitload of ways to hinge at the hips.  Testing this sort of thing will be of great help to you, since it will allow you to hip hinge more often.

One of the first ways to get started is to test out the difference between a conventional stance and a sumo stance.  This shit is your call.  You have your own form for each, and it won't be the same as mine or anyone else's form.  The best we can agree on is that a conventional stance has a narrower distance between your feet, and your hands will be on the outside of your legs.

The sumo stance has a wide(er) stance, depending on who you are and your biomechanics.  And your arms will be inside of your legs.  If you have ever done ballet, think second position plie.

What do you do if those don't test well?  Shorten the range of motion, and see if that tests well.  You can do rack pulls, or Plateau Buster Swing Handle Deadlifts.  You can find innovative ways to further vary the heights of those lifts too.  Racks are adjustable, and you can use all sorts of size plates on your Plateau Buster.

There's Arielle and myself demonstrating these things.  She catapulted her deadlift from a mere 155 to 285 since March using this model.

Now, you might be asking yourself "I tested out all that shit, and it still won't test well. What the fuck do I do?"

Fear not.  One of the best alternatives is to squat.  Just in general, this is a good idea.  Its a variety of hip hinge, it makes your ass look nice, and provides more range of motion than a deadlift.

On to the subject of your spine.  A lot of people give us at the Movement a lot of grief about some of the shit that we do that looks really fucking odd.  The reason it looks so odd is because we promote moving as much and in as many ways as you can.  So applying this line of reasoning to our deadlift, we come up with cool variations to test.

Here is a good one.
This is a one handed deadlift.  Easy note is the fact that it is good for your grip.  It's also good for practicing your spinal rotation.  Since your spine is capable of it, you might want to do it.  If you have ever moved shit up flights of stairs, or picked up weird shit, this sort of thing happens.  You don't want to be that guy who shits his spine out on the slightest rotation because you deadlifted the exact same way for years and years.

Here are some other good ones too.  I am a big fan of the Jefferson lift with the eagle loops.  It is a huge confidence builder, it is asymmetric, and it gives you a feeling of picking up heavy ass weight.  You will do more in this than in your conventional or sumo stances.  It is also good for spinal rotation.  Ditto the dinnie lifts.  I can't speak much for them other than they are done on rings, which is a different way to tax the grip.  Perhaps I will try them one day when I get some rings.  The axle is also a good one to throw up in the "things to test" section, since it is close to a regular deadlift.

Adam explains the model sort of too in this one.  If you look over his video training log, you can see as he explained that all the shit he did allowed him to deadlift again.

This is not an exhaustive list of deadlift variations.  There are a lot more.  I think I have mentioned swinging a shitload of times so that it doesn't need repeating.  There are also things you can do with your hands to change it.  Use youtube, or your own creativity to figure it out.

If all this fails, test your contraspecific movements.  Some of my favorites include hanging leg raises, hanging leg raises to a tuck, sit-ups (weighted), pull-ups in an L-sit, and reverse hyper extensions.  I figured these would be most common to all of you, I didn't link a video.

On second thought, this chick is hot, so I will put a revers hyper video up.

Hopefully, these will help you if your deadlift fucking sucks.  Drop me a line and let me know.

I'm pretty sure she hinges her hips at some point in her life.