There can be many reasons why you are not reaching your full potential on your deadlift, its a complex movement, but todays blog is based on one of the most common issues I’ve seen working with clients over the years.
Let’s get into it…
When lowering the weight we want to ensure that the barbell doesn’t travel too far away from our legs; if the weight travels away from the body it will increase the moment arm and make the weight feel heavier than it is. I will explain why this happens shortly, but firstly I want to show you 2 examples of what this increased moment arm looks like so we understand.
Moment Arm example 1
The red line is the path of the barbell and the green line is the ideal path. The green line is close to my centre point of gravity which is the mid foot; as you can see here the red line has finished over my toes away from my mid foot which in turn will pull my body weight forward onto my toes. This moves it away from my centre point of gravity making the movement harder, and the weight heavier.
Moment Arm Example 2
Again the red line is the barbell path. As you can see, the red line is closer to the mid foot which means the moment arm has been reduced making the weight feel lighter than in example 1. Making the movement feel more efficient and easier to perform. That will in turn allow me to increase the load.
Why does this happen and how can we correct it?
The most common issue I see when looking to get that correct bar path is bending the knees too much too early and squatting the weight down. This means you have to bring the bar around your knees causing you to go too far out and taking the inefficient path.
Example (inefficient path)
(as you can see in this video – knees bend too early causing the bar to travel round them and finishing over my toes and away from my shins)
A great way to re-train this movement pattern is to do it with a light load so you can keep it slow and controlled.
Example (correct path)
Using something like a broom handle means you can take time to spot, re-train and correct any faulty movement patterns.
Correction. So, what you want to do is bend your hips and keep pushing them back until you feel tension in the hamstrings and the bar reaches your knees, once you reach them this is your cue to bend the knees, slide the bar down your shins keeping contact. The cue I like to use is keep saying hips, hips, hips until you reach your knees then say knees knees knees in your head until hit the bottom position.
A great way to asses your deadlift is to film yourself, use a mirror or find someone to watch you.
If you have questions regarding your deadlift then please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. We are here to help and would love to hear from you!
Follow this blog as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions or ideas.