WATCH: Dave Tate and Ed Coan Show the Women How to Deadlift at Omaha Barbell

TAGS: lifting for women, powerlifting women, powerlifting coach, training partner, workload, coaching, ed coan, deadlift, powerlifting, dave tate, Video

It’s just another day for Ed Coan and Dave Tate as they continue coaching at Omaha Barbell.

Ed's already talked about deadlift cues with the dudes, but in this video, Ed and Dave have their female team working on their deadlifts.

The Set Up

“Liz, just set up and deadlift,” Ed barks. The first lifter does just that as she laughs through her first attempt. She smiles as she plops the bar down on the ground, seemingly pleased with her deadlift.

Ed and Dave, on the other hand, aren’t nearly as cheerful as Liz is. “Don’t try to set up so low,” Ed says.  “Don’t set your hips too low.” If they’re too low, she’s not going to get the leverage she needs.

Liz gives the deadlift a second try. “Remember to drive your hips as soon as it hits your knees,” Dave says as Liz is just about to lift the bar — and lift the bar she does. She places the bar back on the ground as Dave continues to speak: “There, see? Don’t wait. If you wait, you’re gonna arch.”

Ed joins in: “Don’t wait until it goes over your knees. It’s too late. Think a little earlier than that because the bar’s gonna travel a little bit before you actually use ‘em.”

The lifter who follows Liz doesn’t need a whole lot of attention. She lifts, then looks to Ed and Dave, who don’t have much advice to share.

It’s the third lifter who needs the most guidance.

It’s Called the Deadlift, Not the Stiff Leg

Lifter 3 grips the bar and attempts to pull it up.

Almost immediately, Ed and Dave tell her to stop.

“Walk up to the bar and set your legs right,” Ed says. “Squat down to the bar without bending over.”

Lifter 3 looks at him in disbelief, but she does as Ed instructs:

“Now lean a little bit forward, pop your chest and chin up.”

Lifter 3, now leaning forward with her chest and chin popped out, grips the bar and looks like she's having a bit of an out-of-body experience.

Dave tells her to stop and asks her what feels wrong: “Your hamstrings? Your ass?”

“I don’t feel like it’s going to move at all,” she replies.

“Forget that,” Dave says. “It’s deeper than that.”

Ed butts in with some technique suggestions. “Use the leverage of the bar to pull yourself in tight.”

“I feel like my hips aren’t good and my legs are wide here,” Lifter 3 says.

Ed assures her she’s doing this squat perfectly in the style they’re teaching her, but he asks Lifter 3 to set up the deadlift using her usual stance. He has her stop so he can mimic her set-up stance and show her how she looks — a bit like the titular character in Disney’s Tarzan.

“How does that look?” Ed asks, going back and forth between standing up from a crouch, then he crouches again. “How can I lock this out right here? Look where my weight is, looks where my hips are. I can’t lock that out.” He pops his chest up and shoulders back, just how he advised Lifter 3 to do in her first attempt. “How’s that look?”

“Easier,” she admits.

He drops back down to Lifter 3’s usual stance and compares it. “Look where your hips are. You can’t move it. You’re not using any legs, either.” The fix? Drop low and pull in right. “See this? Move your crotch in closer to the bar and start there.”

Lifter 3 gives this improved stance another try with Ed pulling the bar up with her. “How do you look conventional?”



“It’s not good. There’s like a 100-pound difference.”

“Really?” Ed couldn’t mask the disbelief in his voice even if he tried. “Because the way you’re deadlifting is almost like a stiff leg.” Ed has her get closer and do a stance sumo before attempting the lift again.

Lifter 3 grips the bar and begins to pull up.

“How does this feel?” Ed asks.

“I feel like I want to go down,” she says.

Ed and Dave take a quarter off of the bar. “Do your deadlift, and let me watch two and a quarter,” Ed says.

Finally, Lifter 3 is able to get in that deadlift... with one little correction to keep her chest and butt up a little bit. “When you pick up the bar, it naturally comes into you.”

Ed pins her deadlifting problem down on a weak upper back and adductors. “Your perfect is different than our perfect,” he says. “But you have inherent weaknesses that are making your form inferior to take you to a higher level. The form you had before got you here, but it’s not going to go any further unless you change it a little bit.”

Clear Your Head

Dave picks up on Lifter 3’s frustration: “Just clear your fucking head. You’re overthinking, you’re frustrated, you’re mad, right? Clear your head, make a joke, fucking laugh.” He addresses the rest of the room. “Everybody, fuck off. Do something else.”

This gets a laugh out of her... and a couple successful deadlifts following Coan’s instructions to get her chest up a little faster.

“Hey,” Dave says. “Take the pressure off of yourself and increase your standard. You’re getting too frustrated, alright? It’s fucking everything up when you get mad. Sometimes you just gotta chill out, step back, and fuckin’ laugh a little bit, then step back and do it again.”

5 Deadlift Cues with Ed Coan


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