A deficit deadlift is an advanced form of deadlift exercise, only that it has a wider range of motion compared to the traditional ones.
The fact that this routine is done on a raised platform gives it a higher range of motion compared to other deadlift exercises. Using a raised surface will help you in raising the barbel and increase your strength and speed.
Since they are an advanced form of conventional lifts, they are therefore recommended for experienced weight lifters who have specific strength goals to achieve.
HOW TO DO DEFICIT DEADLIFT PROPERLY
When it comes to this routine, proper form is key as it will help you avoid injury risks. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.
Stand on a raised platform, like a large weight plate that is a few inches off the ground (say1-4 inches)
Ensure that you are standing right in front of the barbell with your midfoot aligned underneath the middle of the barbell.
To ensure an efficient posture, stand tall with your feet at shoulder-width apart and a slight bend at your knees. Aim to have your shoulders directly above your hips with a neutral head and neck position.
Additionally, your shin should remain tucked throughout this exercise- think of it as though you are holding an egg under your shin.
Distribute your weight evenly along each entire foot and grip the floor with your feet in order to create a stable foot position. All this time, your hands should remain long by your sides with a sight bend at the elbows.
Perform a good inhale and exhale before lowering to the ground towards the barbell. This will help to pre-tension these parts.
Hinge from your hips and start bending both your hips and knees towards the barbell on the ground. Aim to have your shin close to the barbell while remaining upright.
Using an overhand grip, grab the barbell and engage your back muscles by using your arms until the inner elbow is facing forward. Also note, your hands should be inside your feet.
Lift your hips up and back until a point when you feel a stretch at the back of your legs. During this time, your hips should be higher than your knees and your shoulders higher than your hips.
Maintain a neutral spine and begin your upward movement by pushing your feet into the ground. As you stand, squeeze your glutes and allow your hips to move forward. Continue to finish the upward movement by squeezing your glutes.
Start the downward movement with a neutral spine and a hinge from your hips until the barbell reaches to your knees. Bend both your knees and hips in order to lower the barbell back to the floor. This is one rep.
Pause briefly to reset your position before embarking on another rep and repeat for the desired number of reps.
DEFICIT DEADLIFT MUSCLES WORKED
Deficit deadlift is a full body range exercise that serves to increase strength in your posterior chain. Your posterior chain muscles include hamstrings, gluteal muscles upper back, erector spinae, calves and lower back.
Your quads will also be worked because the greater range of motion needed in the deficit deadlift requires greater knee and hip flexion, which will in turn build muscles in your quads.
DEFICIT DEADLIFT BENEFITS
Below are some of the deficit deadlift benefits.
INCREASED QUADRICEP STRENGTH
While the deficit deadlift is not a squat, it has a similar hip and knee flexion to that of a squat. Due to this, the quadriceps will end up being more activated.
BUILD POSTERIOR CHAIN STRENGTH
As mentioned earlier, your posterior chain runs from your upper back all the way to your calves. Strengthening these muscles can help in increasing athletic performance, stabilising your hips and spine and improving your general body posture.
INCREASES LOWER BACK STRENGTH
Since the deficit deadlift is performed on a raised platform, lower back strength is needed while reaching for the barbell on the floor in order to prevent rounding of the spine.
By doing this, you will develop maximal tension and strength at the end ranges which is essential in developing lower and middle back strength.
GREATER FORCE PRODUCTION
The great range of motion associated with deficit can help to teach you to be more powerful from the beginning. Inasmuch as it helps in building strength, the deficit deadlift is also essential in increasing force production.
INCREASED TIME UNDER TENSION
When you want to increase strength, progressive overload is extremely important. This is what you get from the increased range of motion in deficit deadlift.
The longer you take to lift the barbell off the ground, the more you increase your time under tension and in turn the more you build more mass.
LEADS TO STRONGER PULLS
Simply getting a heavy barbell off the floor as in deficit requires significant pulling strength. Increasing the pulling distance in this routine will eventually ace your pulling game in shorter distances.
DEFICIT DEADLIFT ALTERNATIVES
If you are aiming at trying out other routines that work similar muscles as the deficit, below are a few to go by.
SNATCH GRIP DEADLIFT
This is a great alternative that works as the deficit but fires up your lower back and traps.
This variation involves a wider stance starting position. It increases the engagement of the quads and hamstrings, and relieves the lower back.
This alternative is inverse to the deficit. In its case, raising the barbell will reduce the range of motion.
COMMON DEFICIT DEADLIFT MISTAKES TO AVOID
Avoid performing this exercise if you have pre-existing back conditions. Instead, contact your doctor first.
Avoid ego lifting as this will cause unnecessary stress to your muscles. Only go for weights you can manage.
Deficit deadlift is preferred by most instructors due to its specificity and carryover to build strength in the regular deadlift. Consider including it in your strength routine.