Admittedly, watching someone pull massive amounts of weight from the floor is an impressive feat to see. Such a mix of power and speed displays an amazing ability, and often, a true athlete can encompass those athletic abilities to pull double or triple their body weight. So in order to perform these feats, what constitutes the proper way of performing a deadlift?
The first questions that we ask are what type of deadlift and what position are we using to perform? We can choose from doing a conventional style where feet are roughly shoulder width apart, and we add more knee and hip flexion to bring up the ascent portion. We can use a sumo style stance where we will have less knee flexion but more external hip rotation to begin the movement. Also, a common stance is a Romanian style deadlift where our feet are roughly shoulder width apart and we have just a slight flexion of the knee (less than 15%), but we still perform a full range movement from the floor to full lumbar extension. All of these styles have amazing impact on muscles that encompass the lower leg, upper thigh (both anterior and posterior compartments), lower back (erector spinae) and even upper back such as trapezius and latissimus Doris muscles.
There are always a few key components to make sure that we are doing what we need in order to optimize our power and technique to pull as much as we can in the safest way. My checklist always involves the following:
- Heel drive
- Bar proximity
- Hip flexion/Lumbar Extension
- Eccentric Control
- Head tilted upward/Chin parallel to the floor
All of these mark a safer and more formidable deadlift on either of the styles we chose. I know that some based on physique structure will always have a stronger style with one or the other, but all techniques are very effective and complete a full body functional movement that involves both lower and upper trunks.