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Become Strong & Successful with Tom Hibbert

Winning Performance Articles

Deadlift Tip: Tension from Floor

If you watch the biggest Deadlifters in the World, none of them ‘yank’ the barbell off the floor. Success leaves clues so the question of how can you develop your technique & starting strength from the floor arises. Here’s one of many different ideas you might want to consider implementing into your program if you want to improve your deadlift.

How to Perform

Stand on a 1″+ Deficit and pull bar anywhere between low to mid shin and perform an isometric. The position you are aiming for is the starting position from a standard deadlift from floor. The goal is to learn how to effectively take the slack out of the barbell through contracting & recruiting the appropriate musculature. Some considerations:

  • Grip: squeezing tighter, try to snap the bar in half
  • Elbows: turn them back or think of contracting lats
  • Lower Back: arch & contract to stay tight
  • Shoulder Position: they should be above the barbell ideally and not in front
  • Quads: can you feel them ready to push the ground away from you?

How to Program

I prefer to utilise this as an assistance exercise which means after your general deadlift work. E.g.:

  • A) Barbell Deadlift (Clean Grip, Floor): 3 sets of 5 reps, X2X1, 240s rest
  • B) Isometric Barbell Deadlift (Clean Grip, Floor): 3 sets of 5 reps, X114, 120s rest

But it can be used as a superset to enforce transfer of the technique into the full movement. E.g.:

  • A1)¬†Isometric Barbell Deadlift (Clean Grip, Floor): 3 sets of 3 reps, X114, 10s rest
  • A2)¬†Barbell Deadlift (Clean Grip, Floor): 3 sets of 3 reps, X2X1, 240s rest

Want to take this a step further? Pull the bar against pins for the isometric instead of just holding it there!