Ed Coan and Dave Tate continue their group coaching at Omaha Barbell. In this video, Ed uses volunteer lifters to demonstrate five key areas where deadlift form can be improved. Watch the video below to see how expert instruction can immediately improve a lifter’s form and maybe get some insight into how your deadlift can be better executed.

Keeping Palms Flat

Ed immediately hones in on the first lifter’s elbow not locking out during his deadlift. This has the potential to cause an injury, and Ed briefly discusses how he avoided disaster by hearing a “pop” and immediately dropping the weight in one of his own training sessions. If he hadn’t reacted quickly, Ed might have lost his tendon, so lifters should pay attention to how Ed corrects grip when performing this lift.

His advice is that its OK to move your grip out further. The important thing is that you keep your palms flat against the bar. This is what will allow your elbow to lock out at the appropriate time.

Early Hip Utilization

The second lifter Ed critiques is waiting far too long to push his hips forward during the lift. He tells the lifter to hold the bar just below his knee, and then to use his hips to pull the bar towards his groin.

Waiting to use your hips to lift the bar may not matter when you are lifting only light amounts of weight, but as you push towards your max, you need to make sure your hips are in a position that you can lock out the weight.

Proper Lat Activation

At this point, the master steps in to give a demonstration of true proper deadlift form. Ed tells all in attendance to get behind him to see how its done. His focus for this demonstration is on the lats, and making sure that you are approaching the lift with the proper form, even before you actually begin.

His reasoning is that when you approach the bar and make sure that your lats are working against the weight, you make yourself a tighter package and you are better able to push to lift the weight. Just like a squat, and just like a bench press, you really want to make sure your lats are tight before beginning the lift.

Center of Gravity

Showing what years of experience can provide, Ed seems to diagnose the next lifter’s issues by just the sound of his lift. Seemingly engaged in discussion with another participant, Ed tells the student his center of balance is too far forward.

Even if you are able to straighten your back, you do not want to be leaning forward at all, Ed tells the lifter. Rather, your lower abdominals should be extended past your chest, almost as if you are thrusting your groin outwards.

Slowing It Down

Slowing down the deadlift is something that Ed repeats throughout the course of the instruction, across all participants. Even when working with demonstration weight, it is important to move slowly so that the proper form can be developed.

When Ed steps up to the bar, there are no jerking movements or rushed procedures in his lift. While it can be tempting to move quickly, slowing down and approaching each lift with diligence and caution is the mark of a true professional.

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