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Advanced Deadlift Technique – Taking the Slack Out of the Bar

In our next installment from Jesse Burdick (, Jesse details probably one of the best tips ever for the deadlift.  When you are learning how to deadlift, this crucial technique will improve your pull by leaps and bounds.  It takes lifters years to figure this out and Jesse is giving you all of the details in this article, so please listen up.

Side Note:  To view the entire series, check out the Diesel Training Center

Taking the Slack Out of the Bar

Jesse defines the “slack” as the distance the bar travels or bends before the weight moves and comes off the ground.  Due to the weight on each end of the bar, when a lifter pulls on the middle of the bar, it bends slightly before the weight starts to shift and move upward – this is called ‘the slack’.

Jesse then states that if you take the slack out of the bar correctly, you won’t here the ‘snap’ or clank that is associated with jerking the weight off the floor.  Most novice lifters try to explode into the bar and jerk the weight up to try and pull more weight then they should be deadlifting.

When they do this, a lot of stuff goes wrong.

When you jerk the weight too fast or too hard off of the floor, your hips shoot up and you lose your starting position.  This is the easiest way for your spine to shoot out and smash into the back wall.

Cleaning Up Your Form and Dominating

The better technique would be for the lifter to lock their torso in place and ‘squeeze’ the weight off the floor by driving the ground away – as if they are performing a leg press.  I talked about this technique in a previous article.

If you take the slack out the right way, then everything is “connected together” and you’ll end up in a very good mechanical advantage. Taking the slack out means you are getting the proper pre-tension before loading your hips downward into the starting position.  In fact, Jesse states that you should use the bar to “pull yourself down” into the starting position and lock yourself into place.  This is huge and a very important tip for you to use in your setup.

More Benefits for Pulling the Slack Out of the Bar

Jesse states that pulling the slack out of the bar will help to:

Benefit #1:  Make your deadlift a very efficient movement. Breaking it down to the most fundamental and basic hip extension movement.

Benefit #2:  “Pull yourself into position” and pre-tension in the bottom starting position.

Benefit #3:  Shorten the range of motion for the entire movement.

Benefit #4:  Be in a safer starting position.

Benefit #5:  Life more weight – boom!

Benefit #6:  Keep the bar as close to your midline as possible and give you the best mechanical advantage.

Stay tuned for more training wisdom from Jesse, as we are only getting started!

Side Note:  To view the entire series, check out the Diesel Training Center

By on July 23rd, 2012


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