Exercise Library
Clean Deadlift On Riser

AKA deficit clean deadlift, clean deadlift from deficit
The clean deadlift on riser is a variation of the clean deadlift that increases the range of motion.  
The clean deadlift on riser is identical to the clean deadlift with the exception that the lifter is standing on a riser or platform. Set the starting position the same way you would on the floor, but with more flexion of the knees and hips—that is, the angle of the back and arms and the balance over the feet will be the same, but the shoulders and hips will be lower relative to the feet because of the riser. It’s also important to initiate the lift in the same way—by pushing with the legs against the floor, which because of the riser, will feel more similar to a squat.

Keep your weight balanced over the foot, and maintain approximately the same back angle until the bar is at mid-thigh. At mid- to upper-thigh, your shoulders should be at least slightly in front of the bar. Finish extending the knees and hips to achieve a standing position with the bar at arms’ length, making sure to keep the quads, glutes and abs tight. The body should be extended slightly behind vertical to maintain slightly more pressure on the heels than the balls of the feet. Return the bar to the floor under control.
Riser heights can be anywhere from ½” to 4” depending on the athlete’s ability (based on height and mobility) or the degree of challenge desired. The athlete can also stand on bumper plates or any other hard, flat, stable surface. Riser heights should not exceed what allows the lifter to set a proper starting position.
Lifts from risers are used primarily to strengthen the legs for the pull from the floor, and to help train the proper balance, posture and initial movement from the floor. They can also be used simply for variety, and as a way to introduce more demand from the lift earlier in a training cycle that can then be reduced over time by reducing the riser height and/or eliminating the riser.
Generally the clean deadlift on riser should be done for 2-6 reps per set anywhere from 80%-120% 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 reasonably proper positioning—if being used for posture, position and balance training, weights need to be controlled to allow perfect positioning and movement. As a heavy strength exercise, it should be placed toward the end of a workout. With lighter weights, it can be used before cleanes as a technique primer.
The clean deadlift on riser can be performed with either a static start or dynamic start, with or without straps, and with prescribed concentric and/or eccentric speeds. Slower eccentric speeds in particular will increase the strengthening of pulling posture and back arch strength. The lift can also be done without allowing the bar to touch the floor after the first rep, turning it into a floating clean deadlift on riser.

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