Deadlift Plateau Busters, Part 2
by Robby Sparango
Are you stalled out on your deadlift? Does the following describe what your last 1RM attempt felt like?
Your hips shoot up first, legs stiffen and your back rounds, then as the bar passes your knees you scoop under it with your thighs as you then drag it up to lockout.
Seem familiar? Your body just ran a relay race and it went something like this.
The quads took one step and immediately passed the baton to your hamstrings, who took 5 steps and passed the baton to your back, which then ran a marathon before finally passing the baton down to your glutes, where your ass had to crawl to the finish line trying to lockout.
Too many imbalances, this will not do.
The front squat is the remedy. It addresses all of the areas in which your deadlift is breaking down (Grip excluded. If that’s you, lets fix that). With a deeper ROM than back squats, front squats hammer the glutes and quads for big “off the floor” power. They command the posterior and anterior chains to work in unison to maintain a rigid bracing, imperative for strong deadlifting architecture. The real gems are that the front squat autocorrects your breathing and balance. Properly executed front squats not only require, but teach you how to brace and track over your center of gravity, for a sound structure and efficient linear pull on your deadlift.
Stay sub-max on your deadlifts for a while. Up your front squat frequency during this time and perform them with intention, the slower the better. Sets of heavy doubles, triples, and pauses below parallel (but not rock bottom) are all on the menu.
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