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Curling in the squat racks - Deadlift Day


When you see a MONSTER pulling over 800lbs raw, you may be asking yourself; “How can I Deadlift more?” While time in the gym working on your pulls and perfecting your technique can help boost your numbers, you may still see a halt in progress. To get the most out of your Deadlift, we’ve asked Renegade Founder John Davies to provide some insight and share what auxiliary movements should be added to your current routine.


The Deadlift is suitable for every training goal (barring injury or the like) and can be approached with a variety of subtle permutations and mediums. A Deadlift, despite every complex suggestion, is simply lifting a still object from the ground and thus creating optimal movement patterns that will increase performance and reduce the potential risk of injury. Simple. Or is it?


The major concerns that must be addressed are ‘efficient movement’ and eliminating muscular imbalances that invariably develop via training, sport and occupational demands, and, of-course, injury. This inherently lends to some simple observations within the Deadlift, particularly as it relates to 4 easily identifiable concerns:


  • Hip Flexibility
  • Maintaining Grip
  • Shoulder Capsule Integrity
  • Lower Back and Hip Strength


Each of these can be addressed with my top 7 auxiliary movements that effectively answer the concern of ‘being as strong as your weakest link’.


Simple, any back training is not complete with Rows and Pull-Ups. Perform on a regular basis and vary with overhead and underhand grip as well as with dumbbells. Equally, make use of a non-conforming object for rows such as sand bags, or one of my preferred choices- a shot put (rock or softball) wrapped with chains.


A powerful developer of the mid to lower back, the Yates Row will greatly eliminate a ‘weak link’ in a typically difficult region to train.


Forearms and balance with the biceps are often overlooked, leading athletes to be more susceptible to injuries. Each of these movements has proven to be invaluable to training. Regarding the Zottman curl it is a complex dumbbell movement that develops the forearms and biceps. Start by curling one dumbbell out to the side, nestling elbow in and on the hip, turning weight over as it reaches the top portion and lower, as you lean and turn slightly into the action, and across the body. Ensure that as one dumbbell reaches the apex of the movement and begins its descent the opposite hand begins to raise the weight. Stay light.


  • Towel Chins

You can’t complete the lift if you can’t maintain a grip on the bar. Simple. Rather than using straps or hooks to assist grip when performing chins, hang a towel on the bar and develop a grip that will not fail.


All forms of ‘Good Mornings’ are tremendous but the ‘Squat’ variation is a unique movement that targets the posterior chain, but with strength and dynamic range of motion.


A classic that should not have been forgotten, but, as with the Good Morning Squa,t places tremendous emphasis upon the VMO, glutes, hamstrings and hip mobility.


Perform daily with PROPER movement and you will see your level of athleticism improve dramatically over time.


Try adding a few of these movements into your routine over the next couple months. We’d love to see them on our @USPlabs social channels. If you have any questions about these, feel free to ask in the comments section. Live Modern. Be Ultimate


TEAM USPlabs Anthony Thomas


Prepared by John Davies


Follow John on Twitter


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


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