Straight Leg Deadlift Form

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by volatile, May 14, 2004.

  1. volatile

    volatile New Member

    When I maxed out this week for Straight Leg Deadlift, the form I used was not correct.

    When I did Straight Leg Deadlifts, I stood a little less than shoulder width apart.
    With a reverse grip on the bar I lowered the bar to the ground, the legs bent a little as I lowered the bar to the ground(past the point where my back is straight).
    I then pulled with my lower back/butt very hard to get the bar up to the starting point.

    I want to know, is the right idea for SLDL?
    -Start out standing straight, just less than shoulder width apart.
    -Have the hand w/an alternating grip
    -Lower pushing on legs until back is parallel?:confused:?
    -Then come up using the legs and glute(butt)?

    I'm unsure exactly
    1) How far low to go. Where should the back and legs be?
    2) How to use the hams, glutes, and legs to push the weight up instead of the back.
    3) How to lower. I have been going down with the weight like a lever. Should the hips be pushed back?

    I've tried it just now standing (no bar) and it seems hard to do that motion.

    If this could be answered or a clearer procedure be written I'd greatly appreciate it.

    One more thing, I was maxing for a workout on SLDL. Since I did the wrong way with this form, would my maxes be much higher or lower with the correct form?
    Should I keep the maxes, redo them, or add or minus weight from it instead?
  2. [xeno]Julios

    [xeno]Julios New Member

    I prefer to do em sorta like keystone or romanian deadlifts. Keep the shins immobile during whole movement, and bend the knees about 45 degrees while going down until back is parallel to ground. In order to keep shins immobile, your @$$ has to protrude outwards.

    I also prefer to do em with both hands pronated as this really builds up grip strength.

    scroll to bottom of this page to see how i do em:
  3. Kate

    Kate New Member

    [​IMG] these work best for me, too!

    Some things that really help me with form:

    1) The proper name is stiff LDL not straight.

    2) This is primarily a hamstring exercise. The lower back should not be doing any of the pull (although it will work very hard at stabilizing).

    3) Stick those glutes waaaaaay out behind you and try to feel a stretch on your sitbones (where the hammies attach to the pelvic girdle).

    4) Your personal biomechanics should determine your range of motion, (or in this case how close you get to the floor). I have shortish legs and long arms, and I don't get but a few inches past my knees.

    5) Getting to the floor is not the object of this exercise. Focus on feeling a nice stretch on the the hammies on the way down, and try to make the hamstrings do the work of pulling the bar up. [​IMG]
  4. Arbitro

    Arbitro New Member

    Arch the back thru the entire movement; don't round it.
  5. Jake

    Jake New Member

    And look *out* at some imaginary horizon (or actual object), not *up* toward the ceiling, or *down* at the floor on both concentric and eccentric phases. You'll find that this is very effective in keeping the arch in your back and consequently not straining your erectors. Even more importantly it helps reduce strain on your neck if you tend to look up. BTW, the same strategy works for DLs too.
  6. Jake

    Jake New Member

    Yeah- I can't stress how important this is. Watching others do SLDLs struggle to get down to the floor is just downright painful! If your architecture is such that you can do that, fine, but those of us who can't shouldn't feel inadequate.
  7. volatile

    volatile New Member

    OK, here's the way I did it today:
    -I picked the bar up with the weight from the floor until I was holding it standing straight
    -I then pushed my butt back, which caused my shins to slant out like this: / and the hams to slant back like this:\
    -I kept loweing the bar at normal speed until my back was about to straighten. This was around mid shin.
    -I then contracted my butt, using that to quickly push the bar back to the starting point.
    Did I do Straight Leg Deadlift correct here?
    One of things that felt awkward was the initial bar raising.
    Once you load the weight onto the bar, are you supposed to bend over with your back to get it up to the start?
    I did this, and it felt straineous on my back.
    Also I had a hard time keeping my grip. It almost slipped off with my hands overhead on the bar, and then when I went to an alternative grip the remaining overhead hand was still slipping.
    FYI I maxed 185 for 5 reps, the very same weight I thought I got correctly with 10 reps. I think I could have gotten upwards of 200, but I thought since I am unsure of the form I should go conservative with my first cycle. I plan on on lowering the 15 and 10 maxes by 20 pounds each. Good idea?
  8. volatile

    volatile New Member

    In the event that I did the wrong form, are there other exercises I could do which work this area that would be easier to do correctly?
    I choose Straight Leg Deadlift because I thought my legs and back needed more compound work besides squats.
  9. Scott S

    Scott S New Member

    I like how it's not politically correct to do SLDLs with back flexion anymore...
  10. Jake

    Jake New Member

    [​IMG] I don't know that it's so much a matter of political correctness as it is proper mechanics. It's a hamstring exercise, as Kate points out, and the more you flex your back the more you work your erectors at the expense of your hammies. At least that's the way it works for me.
  11. Jake

    Jake New Member

    Volatile, if you're looking to work your lower back, DLs are a great choice. Hyperextensions are another. When you say "legs," I'm assuming you mean quads and hammies- if so, you might try squats plus SLDLs (in the same w/o or even as a superset if you're OK with that), perhaps alternated with DLs.
  12. Kate

    Kate New Member

    [​IMG] :D [​IMG]

    Scott! Are you a power lifter by any chance?

    It isn't politics... it is, as it has always been for me, establishing your primary goal and weighing risk vs. benefit.

    There is a definite benefit to a PLer who may suddenly be swaying with hundreds of pounds across his/her shoulders, to force the lower back to be strong and mobile in unusual situations. For someone whose primary goal is hypertrophy, there is little additional benefit in lumbar flexion and extension during this exercise, beyond what could be gained in far safer situations.

    To me, this is just like adding a shrug at the top of a DL. Yes it can be done, yes lots of folks "get away with it", yes it has some benefit. For the average lifter reading this advice, the risk vastly outweighs the benefits. ;)

  13. volatile

    volatile New Member

    Ah hem.......I'd like someone to let me know if I did the right form and if I am right to set my maxes a little lower for the first cycle so I don't jump too quickly. Thank you.
  14. Blade

    Blade Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, it sounds like you did it correctly. And if you felt it in your hamstrings, you're on the right track. Same goes for the increments - start out low, sounds like you are pretty new to this, so remember that you have plenty of time to increase the weights you are lifting.

    And stop worrying so much. Stress = cortisol, which is bad for you...
  15. volatile

    volatile New Member

    Blade, I'm not that new. I've been doing SLDL's THE WRONG WAY since January, I just found out. So obviously I want to make sure I have it right and don't look like a fool again in the gym.
  16. a good mental trick while doing SLDL is too concentrate on pushing your heels through the floor on the upward part of lift. It seems to make your hamstrings work much harder.
  17. volatile

    volatile New Member

    I'll try to keep that in mind, thanks.
  18. Scott S

    Scott S New Member

    Hey all, sorry I've been gone from the internet for a while...

    Kate, what I meant was that no one seems to recommend letting the back flex. It would seem that weighted hypers and rounded-back goodmornings would also be a no-no.

    I've always done my SLDLs with back flexion, figuring that it's more dangerous for the erectors to SUDDENLY flex than to do them with the flexion built-in. I worked up from 95 lbs to 165, and didn't worry too much about touching my toes.

    Strangely enough, I only started having back pain when I stopped doing SLDLs! :D
  19. Kate

    Kate New Member

    :D Not strange at all! reverse hypers straightened out my back problems. Doing purposeful flexion with great consiousness can be a very healing thing. I just think keeping it separate from DL's is the safest thing for most lifters.

  20. volatile

    volatile New Member

    When you are standing straight just before the exercise starts, should you push your back as far as you can all at once, then lower your back?
    Or should you gradually push your butt out while lowering your back at the same time?

    When going down on SLDL, what position should you're back in? Should your back in a fixed slanted position the entire time, or should your back be moving until it just flattens out?

    How far down is the normal range for SLDL? I thought I had read that about mid shin is the normal ROM, but today I was able to go close to my socks down low on my leg.
    I'm just asking because I thought with that large an ROM I might be doing it incorrectly.

    Also, after I did SLDL which was after Squats, my lower back felt cramped. It went away by the time I was done with the next exercise, but still is this bad and or does it show I did form in an improper way?

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