It’s not easy for some. Flexibility, biomechanics and limb lengths can all come into play. There are, however, ways around these limitations to boost your deadlift significantly.
Firstly, make sure you can maintain a neutral spine (no excessive curve or arch) in your starting position. Regular hamstring stretching will help (we’re talking daily here!).
From there, identify your weakness. Do you struggle to get the weight moving off the ground? Or do you get stuck trying to lock the weight out?
For those struggling to get the weight moving off the ground, try these two options:
- Deadlifts from a deficit: just like a regular deadlift, but place your feet on blocks/mats to increase your range of motion. The idea is that when you return to regular deadlifts, the starting position doesn’t feel as difficult.
- Stiff-leg or Romanian deadlifts: same as a normal deadlift, except the knees stay straight (or almost straight). Focuses more on the posterior chain and forces the hamstrings to pull strongly from the floor.
For the guys and girls finding it tough to lock out at the top of the movement, try this:
- Rack/block pulls: shortens the range of motion and focuses on the sticking point of the lift. A good lift because you can handle high weights and extra reps without completely burning the body out.
As the weights get higher, grip becomes a factor. To counter this, try doing some working sets with a regular prone grip, as opposed to a mixed grip or hook grip.
Talk to the trainers and try a few of these exercises out. You can use them in your warm-ups, as accessory exercises to the deadlift, or as a supplement to the deadlift every now and again.