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Donald Lee
12-15-2009, 12:17 PM
I just thought this was interesting:

As the article states, "During heavy weight lifting, the leg-lift method does not appear to be the preferred strategy and may not be even possible (1820). ...when an individuals near their maximal deadlift capacity, the back-lift strategy appears to be the most commonly used technique."

Dr Tom McLaughlin stated much the same, years ago. McLaughlin noted that the firing sequence in a Conventional Deadlift was Back-Legs-Back, in a Sumo Deadlift it was Legs-Back.

"Biomechancis Of Powerlifting--The Deadlift"
Dr Tom McLaughlin-
Director/Biomechanics Labratory/Auburn University/PLUSA 7/81

"A kinetic analysis permitted us to calculate the resultant muscular torques for the back and legs. This information gives us an idea of whether the back extensor muscles or the quadreceps (thigh muscles) are primarily working to lift the bar at a certain time during the deadlift. How much and when a deadlifter uses these muscles are very important to success."

"Now, although most people probably think the initial drive off the floor is all legs, it is clearly done primarily by the back."

"Kuc, Kazmaier, and Anello use the back first..."

"I was talking to Lamar Gant this week here at Auburn, and he said that he felt years ago his leg drive was strong off the floor, but in recent years he felt his back pulling more at the start."

"This is probably a reason for the recent craze over stiff-leg deadlifts. They simply develop more back strength for the starting position."

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-15-2009, 12:49 PM
I think it's pretty intuitive really. Nice find. I would be curious to see how Ed Coan would comment. He was a true sumo puller (low hip posiiton) who switched to conventional, who then switched back to sumo but with a higher hip position. That's when, I believe, he pulled his 901 at 220.

All the best,
Arden

Dave Van Skike
12-15-2009, 01:52 PM
Ha! vindicated. RDL's DO help the DL start. I knew it.

Steven Low
12-15-2009, 03:15 PM
Ha! vindicated. RDL's DO help the DL start. I knew it.
Was there ever a doubt?

As a serious question though...

Dave Van Skike
12-15-2009, 03:42 PM
Was there ever a doubt?

As a serious question though...

RDL's seem to help everything...but. if it's RDL's versus pullinf from a deficit, most people will pick deficit work....it hasn't really owrked for me that way. RDLS's and repetiion DL work better.

Harry Munro
12-17-2009, 09:28 AM
I always felt my best deadlifting was started with the back, although I've not pulled more than 400 from the floor.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-17-2009, 10:53 AM
I'm more of "leggy puller" and get more when I concentrate on driving my feet.

All the best,
Arden

Leslie Poole
12-19-2009, 12:30 PM
Check out the variation in form. Never saw so much variation. Interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MepMDqjz8Es

I have noticed that most people I watch end up doing RDL or very similar-myself included.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-23-2009, 07:32 PM
I was surprised with how many pulled sumo. I have long been under the impression that most SHW pulled conventional - Save Brian Siders. Who's not from this planet, and is legitimately life time drug free.

Not sure what the difference is between IPF and IPW (or whatever was on the vid above). I saw what I thought was a few lifts that would not have passed in the IPF.

I was impressed that he heaviest weight moved at that meet was by a guy who DID NOT wear any supportive gear (including a NO BELT). That's some serious genes right there.

All the best,
Arden

Martin Bonn
12-25-2009, 07:18 AM
Doesn't a lot of that depend on how long your legs and arms are?

The longer your legs, the more likely you are to unload them and pull with your back (I used to do that before I started Oly lifting, and I feel a massive burn in the legs now when I do pulls).
Shorter guys tend to have stronger legs and weaker backs (in comparison) and v.v. for tall guys.

I suppose a lot of it is personal preference and will have to do with how you were taught as well.

IMHO, the sumo stance looks a bit more like a squat (a bit like a trap bar deadlift), thus using a lot more legs.

Doeas that make sense?

Jay Ashman
12-25-2009, 08:53 AM
When I used to be a bigger puller in the early 2000's I relied exclusively on the sumo stance myself.

you are right, Martin, about the load on the legs with sumo. Its a much more leg and hip oriented pull than conventional, and it used to work well for me.

And RDL's rule, I do them myself. Love them...

Dave, I haven't done deficit work since those days at all, makes me think I should try it again and see how it helps me. I really want to get back above 600# again.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-26-2009, 03:50 PM
From an absolute stand point, I believe i could likely pull more conventional than sumo, but I've never tried to pull those types of weights conventional. Getting too old to find out actually. Perhaps my best days of "ego weights" are behind me? If so, it's been a great ride.

But from a rep stand point, sumo pulls are much easier to bang out for extended sets (5+). At least for me.

All the best,
Arden

Leslie Poole
12-28-2009, 12:27 PM
Last night, I was still mulling over the sumo stance, and found this- http://www.elitefts.com/documents/deeper_into_deadlift.htm.

If I understand everything correctly, sumo stance allows or forces more leg, and a conventional stance moves more of the load to the low back (initially) which works if you have longer levers. Did I get that or am I way off?

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2009, 12:58 PM
Last night, I was still mulling over the sumo stance, and found this- http://www.elitefts.com/documents/deeper_into_deadlift.htm.

If I understand everything correctly, sumo stance allows or forces more leg, and a conventional stance moves more of the load to the low back (initially) which works if you have longer levers. Did I get that or am I way off?


I would say, generally, that is correct. The placement of the load (relative to the body as described in your post) is more about hip position and leg drive. In essence, Higher hips, more load on hips and back; Lower hips, more load on hips and legs.

I am a very leggy puller. I start with my hips low when I pull conventional. But when I convert to sumo, my hip position is relatively the same height. To be frank, I feel very little in my lower back when I pull sumo - it's all hips and legs for me. I only feel the real back engagement when I lock out at the top.

All the best,
Arden

Mike ODonnell
12-28-2009, 01:16 PM
Arden, how tall are you? I'm 6'1" and much better conventional puller than sumo....I think, although never really worked the sumo into a steady program to test progression. Judging by the size of my butt from hockey, I should be able to pull more sumo with enough practice me thinks.

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2009, 01:19 PM
Arden, how tall are you?

5'10.5" in stocking feet. But I'm very long armed and short legged (76" from fingertip to fingertip and a whopping 30" inseam). I was made for pulling, woodchopping, and hanging from s*it for prolonged period of times. I joke, but I'm very simian in build. I thank my parents for that curse.

All the best,
Arden

Arden Cogar Jr.
12-28-2009, 01:25 PM
Arden, how tall are you? I'm 6'1" and much better conventional puller than sumo....I think, although never really worked the sumo into a steady program to test progression. Judging by the size of my butt from hockey, I should be able to pull more sumo with enough practice me thinks.

I would gather that most folk with longer limbs, and strong legs and hips, would benefit from pulling sumo from an absolute stand point. Simply put, the distance of the bar path is less. It just makes sense.

To be honest, I deadlift once a week. I alternate pulling conventional and sumo from week to week. It works for me. Provides a different stimulus and keeps me excited about going into the sessions. Last week was suppossed to be crazy high rep heavy weight sumo pulls but I ended up straining something on my last warm up (535lbs). This week, I'll pull conventional but likely will not go any heavier than 200 kilos.

Now, I must digress. I "deadlift" once a week. My current program has me:
Day one - power snatch, OHS, Back Squat, Snatch Pulls, 4 board, abs
Day two - power clean, push press, front squat, clean pulls, 2 board, abs
Day three - snatch, clean and jerk, back squat, deadlift, ring push ups, abs

So technically, I'm pulling every other day. Just with no where near optimal weights except once every few weeks.

All the best,
Arden

Mike ODonnell
12-28-2009, 02:22 PM
5'10.5" in stocking feet. But I'm very long armed and short legged (76" from fingertip to fingertip and a whopping 30" inseam). I was made for pulling, woodchopping, and hanging from s*it for prolonged period of times. I joke, but I'm very simian in build. I thank my parents for that curse.

All the best,
Arden

I'm 6'1" with longer legs and shorter arms...not really built for pulling (probably more with my back than hips)...judging by past experience I am apparently made for playing some hockey and beer drinking....but now have an amateur love for picking up heavy stuff in my later years. Has provided a new love of training once again after getting burned out from all the years working as a trainer in a gym.

Only wish someone told me to ditch the machines and lift stuff off the ground when I was in high school.

Derek Simonds
12-28-2009, 03:33 PM
I have been playing with my conventional stance. I tried to sit back into it more like Arden does. That puts more on your legs and hips if I understand it correctly. It did not work for me. I have switched back to a higher hip start. I also have simian arms at 80 inches fingertip to fingertip.

I love DL'ing and love thinking about it.

Brian Stone
12-28-2009, 06:37 PM
I'm 6'3" and very long limbed (arms and legs). I haven't really tinkered much with the sumo stance, but if I drop my hips low in a heavy DL it puts a lot of strain on my knees vs. the high-hip position. The latter generally feels much cleaner to me, although a trainer at the gym recently told me my knees "must" be bent past 45 degrees.

Dominic Sirianni
12-31-2009, 06:53 AM
I push my legs down until the bar is above the knee and then it's all back for me at that point. I only pull conventional and I dont pull that often.

I haven't up to this point thought about it in this frame of reference. I know that when I am pulling heavier loads, my legs feel like they are going to go right through the floor. The top of my back rounds slightly but my lumbar stays intact.

I dont use any straps or belts or anything and I mix grip a little past ~370

Mike Kerce
02-25-2010, 01:07 PM
sorry to bump an old thread but this was quite interesting to me. just yesterday i had a DL day and i used Sumo as an assistance lift. it was only maybe my second time trying sumo...like Arden suggested, it was much easier to bust through sets sumo at a lower weight, but i felt like i'd definitely struggle to pull anywhere near what i can in a conventional stance.

i see that everyone is a fan of the RDL...i have virtually no exposure. i've looked around but found differing information - does anyone have a trustworthy article or video of RDL instruction? thanks as always!

Donald Lee
02-25-2010, 01:39 PM
sorry to bump an old thread but this was quite interesting to me. just yesterday i had a DL day and i used Sumo as an assistance lift. it was only maybe my second time trying sumo...like Arden suggested, it was much easier to bust through sets sumo at a lower weight, but i felt like i'd definitely struggle to pull anywhere near what i can in a conventional stance.

i see that everyone is a fan of the RDL...i have virtually no exposure. i've looked around but found differing information - does anyone have a trustworthy article or video of RDL instruction? thanks as always!

People do RDL's two different ways. One way is from the floor, and another way is from the hang.

Here's a video demonstrating from the floor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noA5iBH-WIw

Here's a video demonstrating from the hang:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3x75_YpsE

I like to do it from the hang. They bend their knees in both videos, but I don't like to bend my knees much when I do it. Usually, if you're doing from the hang, a little past the knees is sufficient.

Mike Kerce
02-25-2010, 02:05 PM
People do RDL's two different ways. One way is from the floor, and another way is from the hang.

Here's a video demonstrating from the floor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noA5iBH-WIw

Here's a video demonstrating from the hang:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS3x75_YpsE

I like to do it from the hang. They bend their knees in both videos, but I don't like to bend my knees much when I do it. Usually, if you're doing from the hang, a little past the knees is sufficient.

thank you...so am i right in saying that the RDL is like the Good Morning movement, but from Deadlift position instead of Back Squat position? do you feel this more in your lower back or in the hammies? actually, i guess i'll find out when i try it!

Donald Lee
02-25-2010, 02:22 PM
thank you...so am i right in saying that the RDL is like the Good Morning movement, but from Deadlift position instead of Back Squat position? do you feel this more in your lower back or in the hammies? actually, i guess i'll find out when i try it!

For the Good Morning, you feel it mostly in your lower back. For the RDL, you feel it mostly in your hamstrings. And, you're right. The Good Morning and RDL are similar movements; you move your hips back for both.

Robert Callahan
02-25-2010, 02:53 PM
Would incorporating RDLs or GMs into ones program be done as assistance work done at the end of a workout once or twice a week? and would optimal rep schemes be on the higher end? 3x10, 3x8 and weight that can facilitate that?

Or would you do it as a main lift for heavy weight? I don't think this is correct from what I have read but have no experience to base it off of.

I ask because as a long femur, short armed individual I have always struggled with my pulls and am considering how to tweak my program to continue gains.

Donald Lee
02-25-2010, 03:27 PM
Would incorporating RDLs or GMs into ones program be done as assistance work done at the end of a workout once or twice a week? and would optimal rep schemes be on the higher end? 3x10, 3x8 and weight that can facilitate that?

Or would you do it as a main lift for heavy weight? I don't think this is correct from what I have read but have no experience to base it off of.

I ask because as a long femur, short armed individual I have always struggled with my pulls and am considering how to tweak my program to continue gains.

I don't think there is any optimal rep range. I think the RDL off the ground are the only ones that should be done for singles or doubles. RDL from the hang can be done for triples or more. GM's should probably be mostly done for 5 reps+. People have done GM for fewer reps, but most seem to avoid trying to max out on them.

Currently, I'm using RDL's for lower reps (3-5) and GM for higher reps (5-10). It just depends on the purpose you're using them for and the way you like to program.

Allen Yeh
02-26-2010, 04:10 AM
I think somewhere on the interwebz there is a video of Dan John teaching the RDL from the hang. Though the one on the webz isn't me I have first hand experience with his teaching method and has worked very well with other people throughout the years. Basically though it's better if Dan is talking since I'm bound to muck this up. You hold the bar snatch grip and stand with your back to a wall. Now push your hips back until your ass hits the wall. Now move your feet forward a little bit and repeat, keep doing this until you can't keep your balance and stay that far from the wall and repeat.

After doing that with an empty bar you'll feel it. Oh and to quote Dan "eat your fiber" to help with the soreness, yeah my hams were really freaking sore.

I personally don't like low rep GM's I feel like my form goes to crap when I load too much.

RDL's I like doing all kinds of rep/set variants.

Robert Callahan
02-26-2010, 11:17 AM
Do you guys mostly throw them in at the end of a workout though as assistance work?

I just want to make sure I program them in appropriately and don't screw my whole training week up :)

Donald Lee
02-26-2010, 11:22 AM
Do you guys mostly throw them in at the end of a workout though as assistance work?

I just want to make sure I program them in appropriately and don't screw my whole training week up :)

Well...this is how I organize my lower body workouts:

Mon:

Back Squat (1-5 reps) - Main Exercise

Romanian Deadlift (1-5 reps) - Deadlift Assistance

High Rep Back Squat, Lunge Squat, or Step-Up (5-10 reps) - Back Squat Supplement

Thurs:

Deadlift (1-5 reps) - Main Exercise

Front Squat (1-3 reps) - Back Squat Assistance

Good Morning (5-10 reps) - Deadlift Supplement

Howell Hsieh
03-02-2010, 09:41 PM
I tried doing RDLs from the hang today, and easily pulled 50+ lbs more than my usual working RDL from floor sets (for triples). I have a feeling they will really help in developing low back strength. Great exercise!

Derek Weaver
03-02-2010, 11:48 PM
Wait, are you feeling the exercise in your lower back more than hamstrings?

Howell Hsieh
03-03-2010, 06:32 AM
Oh, I tried to keep the bar touching my knees/shins as much as possible and was definitely feeling the hams stretch as described in the video. My main problem has always been initial drive off the floor for conventional pulls, so this will be a great assistance exercise.