Deadlift technique – Pull the slack out
The deadlift is a lift that many people love, and for good reason. It is usually the lift that allows you to lift the most weight, and it is often seen as the least technical of the compound movements. You have probably heard someone say ‘grip it and rip it’, and for some this is the extent of the technical requirements 😛
In reality, the deadlift has fundamental ‘rules’ like any other lift that, when adhered to, set you up for continued success over the long term while minimising injury risk.
Pulling the slack out of the bar is one of the first technical cues we will teach a lifter who walks through the doors. It sets us up for success in a number of ways –
1. It provides a consistent setup and position from which to pull
2. It correctly sequences the movement (ie pushing with the legs and hips rather than pulling with the arms and back)
So, how does it do these things?
One of my favourite analogies is a car at a red light. When the light goes green, you can a) punch it! (aka yank the bar off the floor) or b) accelerate gradually (aka pull the slack out of the bar).
In scenario a), you’ll get to the speed limit faster – but you’ve also gone from 0 to 100 very fast and if something happens along the way you are already committed. In scenario b), you’ll still get to 100 – but you’ll do so without disrupting your passengers, spilling your coffee, and if something were to go wrong you’ll have more time to avoid an accident.
For more information on pulling the slack out of the bar in the deadlift, check out this video where coach Chris goes through the specifics: