Halting Clean Deadlift
AKA Pause clean deadlift
The halting clean deadlift is a pull variation that stops short of full extension at the top to strengthen and reinforce the position of the lifter over the bar during the pull of the clean.
Perform a clean deadlift up to the designated height (usually upper thigh or hip), keeping the shoulders over the bar, and hold this position for 2-3 seconds before returning the bar to the floor. Most commonly the pause position will be at the upper thigh or hip; in this position, the shins should be approximately vertical, the bar in light contact with the legs, and the shoulders slightly in front of the bar. The weight should be balanced slightly more toward the heels than the balls of the feet but with full foot contact on the floor.
Halting clean deadlifts can be performed without a pause in the top position (i.e. just stopping at a point prior to full extension but not holding the position at that point), but this limits the potential effectiveness of the exercise. Pause times can be adjusted as needed.
The halting clean deadlift is primarily a tool to strengthen an athlete to allow him or her to be able to stay over the bar long enough during the pull of the clean. It also helps reinforce position and balance earlier in the pull because it’s typically performed at a more controlled speed.
Generally the halting clean deadlift should be done for 2-6 reps per set with a 2-3 second pause and anywhere from 80%-110% of the lifter’s best clean depending on the lifter and how it fits into the program. In any case, the weight should not exceed what the lifter can do with proper positioning or it is failing to achieve the intended purpose. As a heavy strength exercise, it should normally be placed toward the end of a workout.
The halting clean deadlift can be performed standing on a riser, with the pause at lower points (such as the knee – this variation is sometimes called a clean lift-off), and with a finish into full extension following the pause. The lift can also be done with either a static start or dynamic start. Multiple pause positions may be done, turning the exercise into a clean segment deadlift.
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