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6 Tips to Deadlift Better – How to Pull More Weight


Here is a recent speed deadlift session.  We hit this right after our giant cambered bar squats.

Pay attention to the following deadlift coaching cues that you’ll hear throughout the video:

Head up at lockout

You’ll notice during my deadlifts, I tuck my chin at the lockout.  I actually want to keep my head in a more “neutral” position and have it follow the angle of my torso.  As your torso comes up, so should your head.  I typically say, “take your head with you.  This means when I hit the lockout, I should be looking straight ahead.

Pull your chest through

At the start, you’ll want to cue your athletes to pull their chest through their arms.  This will help keep them in a good position at the start which will give them the best potential for staying in a good position throughout the entire lift.  Eric Cressey uses the cue that he wants to see, “the writing on your shirt.”

Drive to lockout right after bar passes your knees

After the bar passes your knees, the only thing you should be thinking is – drive your hips forward with a powerful glute contraction – to finish the lockout.  You don’t have to over pull the finish, just drive the hips forward until your body is in a straight line.  Think to yourself, shortest distance between two points.

Take the slack out of bar

Taking the slack out of the bar is huge for setting your full body tension and pulling yourself down to the starting position.  If there is 225 lbs on the bar, you should be pulling up on the bar with 224 lbs of force before the weight even moves.  There has to be that much tension on the bar.  Watch when Brad goes and see how the bar bends when he pulls his hips down.

Put your lats on tension

This cue goes hand-in-hand with taking the slack out of the bar.  Both are trying to set your back, get more tension, and get you into the best starting position possible.  Pulling up on the bar sets the lats and subsequently creates a tighter core.

Drive the floor away

Once you are locked into your starting position and have the greatest amount of tension possible, drive the floor away as if you’re doing a leg press.  This is an amazing coaching cue and will most times eliminate the athlete’s hips from shooting up at the start of their first pull.


How to Deadlift a Comprehensive Guide

How to Deadlift – Deadlift 101 on


By on February 5th, 2013


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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by - Frank DiMeo on February 7, 2013

    Good solid advice, once again. Thanks, Smitty!

    • Posted by - Smitty on February 7, 2013

      Thanks Frank.

  2. Posted by - b-ball player on February 7, 2013

    i forgot to tell you, but, thanks for how to squat, it made me squat the weight i was squating before with NO effort, you are amazing, thanks man

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