Build More Strength – Deadlift Stance

Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Articles | 211 comments

As much as I try to find the time in my day to sit down and write about a variety of topics I seriously just have yet to find the time to get it done.  If I’m not coaching at the gym, for the military or at a high school I’m home chasing 2 or 3 kids around.  So I have finally come to the conclusion that it just won’t happen.  I have had a few draft posts in the queue for the last 6 months that I just haven’t gotten finished.  So its time to try something different.


We will try a weekly tip of the week.  I will see if the short and more often works any better than the long and never approach.  If you have any ideas for topics let me know in the comments and I will spin them up each week.  This will be a place to get questions answered also so ask away.  I answer a lot of questions over the phone, in person, on Facebook and by email every week.  If we get these questions centrally located for all to see I may spend less time answering the same question each week.  We will see.


Deadlift Stance

Lamar Gant, one of the greatest deadlifters of all time. Notice the width at the heals and the bar position at lockout! Just above the knees. Amazing!

One of the most common corrections I make with the deadlift is the stance width.  I always say to take a more narrow stance than you would like, but what exactly does that mean and why do we want a narrow stance?  A narrow stance really does two things.  First it allows you to shove your knees out at the bottom of the deadlift.  A knees out stance lengthens the adductors and this lengthening makes them help in hip extension.  This is a pretty important function of the adductor and will immediately make your deadlift stronger by adding a significantly large muscle into the pull from the floor.  The second thing a narrow stance does is allow you to narrow your grip on the bar.  The more narrow the grip on the bar the less distance the bar has to travel to lockout.  This is important for everyone but especially if you have long legs and a shorter torso.  Anyone with long legs and a short torso knows the deadlift comes off the floor pretty easily but will grind to a halt the closer you get to lockout.  Reducing the distance to lock out becomes real important to these folks.

So how narrow of a stance should you take?  Just over a fist width at the heals seems to work

Notice the stance and the bar position as it nears lockout. The best part of this picture is the boy in the background willing the bar up!

pretty well for most people.  Point the toes slightly out with a little over a fist width between the heals and I will bet you will have a stronger pull.  Remember to shove the knees out at the start of the pull and keep them out.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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