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Using the Lats for a Big Deadlift

In our next installment from Jesse Burdick (, Jesse talks about one of the most misunderstood techniques when learning how to deadlifthow to use the lats to finish the movement.

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

When deadlifting, Jesse first discusses why it is important to use the lats – i.e, keep tension on the lats by actively pulling the bar into you.  He also talks about shoulder position and how the shoulders depress, especially during heavy deadlifts.

Benefits of Using the Lats for the Deadlift

1.  Keeps the bar close to you – keeping the bar close to the midline is much safer for you and you have a better mechanical.  Think of “dragging the bar up” the front of your body.

2.  Allows the shoulder girdle to depress – this will ensure you finish with a “chest through” position at the lockout.  Allowing your shoulder girdle to depress will also shorten the distance you have to drop to get into position at the start of the movement.

Great Exercise to Properly Engage the Lats

Jesse states that that an old school exercise – the straight arm lat pulldown- is one of the best ways to “feel” how to use the lats properly when you’re deadlifting.  I talk about this same technique in a hip hinge video I posted a while ago.  I talk about pulling the bar into your legs with an active lat engagement.

Using the Lats for a Big Deadlift

By on July 8th, 2012


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Comments (2)

  1. Posted by - Zayna on July 9, 2012

    What’s the rationale for such a wide stance?

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