The deadlift is one of the most iconic exercises in the health and fitness world. Being a compound movement, it utilizes all major muscle groups. With proper training, good form, and ample rest, you can build a seriously strong back, arms, glutes, hamstrings, and core.
Time after time, you can find yourself struggling to add more weight to the bar. You could find a sticking point getting the weight off the floor, getting past your knees, or locking the movement out at the top. Using a power rack or blocks, you can easily increase the weight with a few methods.
These are useful when you’re having trouble getting the weight off the floor. Deficit pulls build speed off the floor. They also can help you build up momentum off the floor to lock out the lift at the top.
Standing on a platform (sometimes called blocks), you’re pulling with an increased range of motion. Weight plates are commonly used for this. They’re easy to stack, sturdy, and easy to grip under your feet. Some gyms have unique blocks of various sizes for deficit pulls.
Rack Pulls/Box Pulls
These are used to do just the opposite of deficits: shorten the range of motion. After you discover your sticking point (mid shin, knee level, just above the knee, etc), you can utilize a power rack or boxes to pull from. If you can’t use the power rack or there are no boxes at your gym, you can use weight plates as a substitute.
Set the safety bars of the power rack or boxes at a height around your sticking point. Maintaining the same form you would for a normal deadlift, and pull the bar to lock out.
Isometric pulls help those having trouble locking out the move. Utilizing the same power rack or blocks, you place the bar just below lockout. Then you load the bar with weight you’d never be able to move. Using proper form, pull the bar as if you were trying to move it. Ideally, you shouldn’t
The idea behind this is, even though the weight isn’t moving, your muscles are still working.
Another great move, good mornings hit your entire back, core, glutes, and hamstrings.
By essential performing a “bow,” you put the weight on your shoulder just as you would for a squat. Keeping your back arched and legs slightly bend, lean forward to horizontal or just slightly above. Return to standing position, using your hamstring, glutes and back to hoist you back up.
Use proper form. Whether you have a convention or sumo stance, double over hand or alternating grip, use proper form. If you need to, grab some chalk for better hand grip and a belt for more core stability. Good luck!