Always Do This Before You Deadlift

This is something that gets looked over all too often. Or even if you do, do this, its only done before your first rep and not between reps. This will help not only in your strength but with rep consistency and can be better for your body overall.

So what is this mystical thing that you should do before you deadlift? Well, pulling the slack out of the bar. You do not need to be deadlifting on a deadlift bar in order to pull the slack out. It will still happen on a regular bar but you will need to hit a certain threshold(probably 4 plates) before you see it, its just far more noticeable while using a deadlift bar.

What is the slack? When you are at the bar and you start to pull slightly and you see the bar bending up slightly, that’s it. Learn to build tension in your body prior to initiating your pull. This means you are braced, firm grip, back tight and posterior chain loaded. Doing this is a good indicator that you are getting the tension in your body that you need. Unlike the squat and bench, which both begin with an eccentric portion, the deadlift begins at a dead stop.

Since it begins at that dead stop, you need to build that tension into your body somehow. This means loading your hamstrings, loading the glutes, keep your back tight, use your arms as hooks so that when you grab the bar you are pulling it into yourself. That’s building tension and when you do this the slack in the barbell will be pulled and show that bend. "Pulling the slack out" means exerting some force against the barbell prior to the pull. You can think of pulling yourself into the bar to get tight(using the barbell to pull your body into position).

Focus on building that tension, pulling that slack out and this will also lead to greater rep consistency. The first rep we always see people taking their time with a 5-10 sec setup and then pull, then on that second rep, they drop all their tightness, all that tension in their body. Be sure to keep that tension on the barbell, maybe slow that decent a little and be sure to keep the slack pulled out of the bar(that little bend). If you would prefer we do see some just full resetting after each pull and neither way is right or wrong. Doing this can make you stronger at your bottom position and just help with the lift overall and potentially reduce form breakdown.