Top 4 Assistance Exercises For The Deadlift

What are the best assistance exercises for training the deadlift if the sticking point is just off the floor? – Benjamin

Benjamin, there are  quite a few things you can do if you are having issues with starting strength. Before we get into the exact assistance exercise you’ll need to do, let’s review a few things.

1-Fix your technique. If your technique is off from the beginning then your not maximizing the weight you can lift and going be more vulnerable to injury. Here is a list of common mistakes in the setupL:

  • lats aren’t tight
  • not filling your belly with air
  • not pulling the slack out of the bar
  • back isn’t in a good starting position position.
  • Neck is hyperextended
  • bar is too far away from the body

These are just some of the most common mistakes when deadlifts. Even if just one of these things are off, it will throw your deadlift off.

So before we talk about assistance exercise, make sure your technique is dialed in.

Now onto your question. Below are my top 5 exercises for building starting strength in the deadlift.

1- Speed deadlifts

Everything we talked about above can be dialed in with speed deadlifts. This is a great exercise because the repetition will help you realyl dial in your setup and make you a more consistent and efficent deadlifter. Just make sure you are treating each rep as its own set and pausing oat the bottom. If you are weak at the bottom of the deadlift, never tap and go. 

Speed deadlifts are also great because they teach you to apply more force and be more explosive. Also known as CAT, Compensatory Acceleration Training,  is one of the best ways to increase your strength. In a nushell, you want to make sure you are moving the bar as fast a as possible for maximal gains!

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2- Deficit deadlifts

Another great way to improve starting strength is increasing the range of motion by standing on 1-2 inch mats. Enter deficit deadlifts. If you can build strength through this range of motion, it will have a tremendous carryover to your deadlift.

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3-Deadlifts against chains or bands

While accommodating resistance is best suited for improving lockout, it will also improve starting strength because it will teach you to be powerful and explosive. You can’t lift weights slow against chains or bands, you have no option but moving the bar FAST! Increasing force output will help you get stronger.

Here’s a video of Mark Bell breaking down the deadlift with chains

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4- RDL’s

RDL’s are an excellent exercise to strength the hamstrings and hip extensors. Why is this important? The hamstrings play a major role in getting into the proper starting position in the deadlift. If you can’t load up your hamstrings and create tension, you will crumble under big weights.

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Hopefully you picked up 1 or 2 exercises you can add to your arsenal. Go ahead and try these lifts out and let me know which one you like best.

PS For the next 3 days, when you purchase ‘Deadlift Like A Man’ you’ll also get Gaining Weight Made Simple for FREE. CLICK HERE for details.

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