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BendtheBar 04-18-2012 11:16 PM

Bending Knees - Commom Deadlift Issue
Focus on driving the hips forward to lock out the deadlift.

50% of deadlift videos I watch, I see guys leaving their hips back close to lockout. When you leave your hips back, your shoulders hang over the bar. This can lead to "knee bending".

Bending the knees is generally a subconscious action. It allows you to move your shoulders back where they should be for good leverage (think leaning back), but is poor form, lacks power and not the way things are done.

Test this out. Pretend like you're holding a bar right above knee level and then bend your knees, keeping the bar at the same spot on the legs. Now lean back slightly. See how this slight knee bend allows you to move your shoulders back a bit? It is merely a misguided attempt to get your shoulders back behind the bar, and will fail more times than not because your hips are not driving lockout.

The hips must drive the lockout. When you stall close to lockout, you shouldn't be thinking about pulling the bar up. You need to be driving your hips forward and shoulders back with all your might and will.

The next time you bend your knees analyze the video. You will see the forward hip drive stalling (or most likely non-existent to begin with) and the shoulders not moving back behind the bar. Once the knees bend the shoulders and torso will move back, but the deadlifter has lost his drive and power.

You must concentrate on exploding your hips forward on lockout and stop thinking about pulling.

You can see weak hip drive even with some very strong deadlifters. Layne Norton is one good example. He is leaving his hips back on lifts and gets a little hitch at the top as he seeks to find some method of leverage to get his shoulders back and "pull" the bar up. You will also notice he has fits locking out his lifts. Once Layne improves his hip drive his pulling ability will be scary.

Another example. No hip drive so he bends the knees to try and get the shoulders back and find some leverage. This is a textbook example, and shows where the hitch comes from.

Bottom your hips. Explode.

BendtheBar 04-18-2012 11:32 PM

Another common issue I see, mainly from bodybuilders (sorry guys), if starting the deadlift with too wide of a grip. A wide grip forces your torso down closer to the bar.

Because the angle is increasing away from the perpendicular, each additional 1/4 inch of arm width will lower your torso even more than the previous.

I am not saying your arms have to start completely perpendicular. But do watch that your grip is not too wide. Lowering the chest even a 1/2 inch can cause you to lose some leverage.

Marc Lobliner is a good example of what wide-gripped deadlifting does to form. He's strong, but his grip is too wide:

SeventySeven 04-19-2012 12:15 AM

"**** the bar"

LtL 04-19-2012 04:42 AM

Great thread. Feel free to look at my deadlift videos as examples of not driving hips through :rolleyes:


JTurner 04-19-2012 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by BendtheBar (Post 234285)
Bottom your hips. Explode.

This came in useful today, I need to look back at this every time I deadlift.

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