7 Tips for Bigger Deadlifts!
You must have heard it a million times, but we cannot repeat it enough: deadlift is one of the most complex exercises, involving a lot of muscles. This exercise also triggers a powerful endocrine response. So, if you want to increase your strength or muscle mass, it is simply inescapable. However, a lot of things can go wrong, right because of its complex nature.
These are the 7 most common ones.
Deadlifts or squats?
This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes.Often the move is started with a squatting move, instead of actually lifting the weight.
If you check out some videos of the biggest deadlifts, they basically have one thing in common: the move is not started with a squat. Instead, the legs are much more stretched out in the starting position, using the total strength of the hams, the glutes and the hips.
Plus, you need to find a position in which your hips are as close to the bar as possible, your shoulder blades are above the bar and you lower back is straight.
What are you looking at?
The body always follows the head. If you are looking down, the bar will start to move forward. On the other hand, if you are staring at the ceiling, you will fall over.
Instead, pick a spot to fix your gaze on somewhere in front of you, that allows you to keep your head in a somewhat neutral position.
This exercise helped Matt Dimmel develop almost 100 kgs in deadlift in less than 2 years. This means, he made it above 400, from over 300.
The exercise is actually quite simple. It is great for learning to use your hip muscles, especially in the second half of the move (kind of partial reps).
So: grab the bar with a shoulder-wide grip, and stand up. The weight should allow you to make about 15-20 reps easily.
Then, lower the weight while keeping your back arched and your abs flexed. By pushing your butt backwards and bending your knees, lower the bar no further than below your knees. Then, flex your glutes as much as you can, and stand up with the bar in the most explosive manner possible.
The form is wrong if:
- You lower the bar too far.
- You don’t push your butt and hips backwards enough. These will help keep your hams flexed.
- You are bending your lower back.
- The pace is too slow. This exercise definitely requires explosive technique. You might do the first few reps slower to get the groove, but you should try to be as fast and explosive as possible.
It is recommended to finish your back workout with deads, with 15-20 reps.
Even if your technique is alright, you might drop the bar because your grip is not strong enough. We have a simple solution for this problem.
All you need to do is grab two hexagonal dumbbells, but not at the bar but at the head. And just hold them.If you can hold on for 20-25 secs with a certain weight, you can go on to the next pair of dumbbells.
If there are no hexagonal dumbbells nearby, you might as well hold heavier regular dumbbells for 30 or 40 secs.
Deads with high rep counts?
Next time you see somebody do deads with high reps (i.e. more than one rep), watch him and check whether the next reps are like the first one. I am about 99% sure that what you will see is bouncing the weight and using the kinetic energies of the bar, the rubber flooring and the plates. This might look spectacular, but it definitely won’t bring you the strength you are striving for.
The only solution is to make each rep like it was the only one. Stand in the starting position, lift and lower. Then, stand in the starting position again, lift again etc.
How to breath
As in every exercise, here too, you should learn how to breath. Stand in front of a mirror and take a deep breath. Did your shoulders rise? If they did, you need to learn to breath again. Use your abs! When breathing for deadlifts, you should not blow up your chest. This is not the beach to show off. Breath until your abdominal cavity is full of air and then, push it out a little bit further.
The lifting move doesn’t start with pushing yourself up from the ground but by filling your abdominal cavity up with air properly.
Use a belt; this will make it easier for you to control your breath. However, you should not pull it too tight and squeeze the crap out of you. Just to the extent that it can support your abs while you are doing the exercise.
Another common mistake is trying to stabilize the back by approaching their shoulder blades to each other. But what they actually achieve with this is that they have to bend and squat down further so they can reach the bar at all, and this will lengthen the movement range of the bar. Plus, this position is impossible to hold when using heavier weights. Instead of closing your shoulder blades, involve the lats in the work. Doing so, not only your arms will hang lower but the straight position of your upper back will be granted by a much larger muscle group.
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