Deadlift Setup Fix: Set Up Vertically Over The Bar

A simple setup tip in the deadlift that can make a big difference is making sure to set up directly vertical over the bar. With both @jontsang83 and @kegs_and_kilos (CLICK HERE), in these side by sides we can see a very noticeable difference in their ability to maintain position as they wedge in. And while for both of them there were other cues involved in this improvement, the most noticeable in this visual is how they are leveraging the slack vertically on the right side videos. Whereas on the left side, they are setting up well in front of the bar. I cover this setup in detail in my slack pull Youtube video, but with that being 57 minutes long, I did want to pull this tip out of that and make a specific post, as it’s a simple change that can benefit most lifters.

The fact is at some point for the bar to break the floor and maintain its center of gravity over the midfoot, it’s going to have to receive direct vertical tension. Any horizontal tension is going to create a deviation from that optimal bar path and starting position. And while some lifters can make due with starting over the bar and self correcting that position as they wedge, I find this to be a very simple change that is low hanging fruit for many others who continue to struggle with deadlift positioning, especially on sumo. Starting with the arms vertical and shoulder blades directly over the bar allows us to create a more efficient slack pull, as we create that direct┬ávertical tension that is needed, and then use the shoulder joint as our fulcrum to rotate and wedge around. This also tends to coincide with a lifter having more awareness of a proper hinge in their initial setup. People tend to set up over the bar because they just lean over and grab it, instead of hinging to the bar. Take your time, hinge, and let the bar come to your rather than reaching for it.

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