Post Workout Quickie – Deadlift Grip

Last week in my Deadlift Setup article I touched on two deadlift setup approaches, the two count deadlift and the three count deadlift. In watching a new lifter last night, I captured one of the difficulties with the two count deadlift.

Notice in the picture to the right that the lifter’s left hand is at least a half an inch wider than his right hand. This is a problem I see frequently with novice lifters. When squatting down to the bar to set up, it’s difficult to watch your hands to ensure proper hand position. Improper hand position will lead to inferior pulls:

  • When your hands are off-center like this, the bar will be off-balance, making the pull more difficult
  • If your hands are too wide, it shortens your reach, forcing you to squat down farther to get to the bar; you then have to start lower and pull the bar farther
  • If your hands are too close, they will drag across your legs, increasing friction, and impacting your grip on the bar

Quick pointers on hand and foot position for the deadlift:

  • Feet should be ‘inside the shoulders’, this is a relatively close stance
  • Hands should be right on the outside of your hips and legs; your arms should hang straight down from your shoulders, but not drag across your legs
  • I like to keep my hands right on the edge of the knurling, so that I have a very easy time finding the correct placement; this is dependent, of course, on the width of your build and the bar that you use
This is one reason I like bending at the waist to grab the bar, versus squatting, before dropping my hips into the starting position (three count deadlift). I can quickly and easily see exactly where I’m placing my hands before tightening up in that position.
As with all lifts – a cleaner setup leads to a cleaner and more powerful pull!


One Comment on “Post Workout Quickie – Deadlift Grip”

  1. Sloth says:

    Good stuff, Ripper. Did me some 80% 5×3 pulls tonight. Took some notes from Saturday about resetting for every rep, makes a difference.

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