Reverse the Deadlift


One of the least favorite and frustrating lower body exercises for many is the deadlift. There is, however, a way to make it less uncomfortable…and for some, perhaps even enjoyable!

Unlike the squat and the bench press where the lifter starts from the strongest position, the deadlift begins from the least favorable leverage position. This means the lifter has to generate maximum force immediately without jerking the bar or rounding the lower back. It’s a challenge.

Rather than starting from the floor, a lifter can begin the exercise by starting from the finished position by either removing the bar from power rack supports or using a Smith machine. From here, they can perform the exercise in reverse, gradually lowering the bar to the floor. There’s more!

To prolong the time under tension and use heavier weights, they can decrease the range of motion with each rep. They can lower the bar to the floor on the first rep, to just below the knee on the second, and to just above the knee on the third. They can also do a slow negative rep for a single repetition, such as by lowering the bar in 10-15 seconds – these make for a great “finisher.”

BOTTOM LINE: Don’t give up on the deadlift – try doing them in reverse. (TSS)

— Miloš Šarčev photo

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