Should you drop the weight when deadlifting? Have you ever seen people slamming the bar against the ground at the top of their deadlift?
Is there any benefits to doing so or is it mainly to show off?
Should you Drop the Weight When Deadlifting?
As long as you are using bumper plates and your gym allows it, dropping the weight can have benefits. If you are training for a power lifting competition where the eccentric is required, you should not drop the weight.
Benefits of Dropping Weight When Deadlifting
If you drop the bar at the top of the deadlift, you are only doing half of the lift. This means that you can use heavier weight and do more reps. This overloads the muscles and creates more muscle fiber breakdown.
Another issue is form. Everyone harps on proper form on the way up while deadlifting. However, not as many people are strict on their form when lowering the weight. Dropping a heavy load with improper form can cause a lot of damage. Dropping the weight reduces this.
If you have a lower back injury that causes pain when lowering the bar, dropping the weight is the safer option. The lowering portion of the deadlift is the most taxing on the lower back.
For those with lower back injuries, the eccentric part of the lift isn’t worth risking injury
Drawbacks of Dropping Weight When Deadlifting
One of the main points is that you’re missing out on the eccentric part of the lift. Your back and leg muscles are working hard if you slowly lower the weight back down to the ground.
If you drop the weight at the top, you are missing out on this portion.
Dropping the weight forces you to set up again. Since you let go of the bar, you must get into position again. This takes time. It also expends extra energy.
You will get stares from people and possibly get in trouble from gym staff when dropping weight. Ensure that is it acceptable to drop the weight and you are using the correct plates before doing so.
Considerations When Dropping The Weight
Ensure that you have proper bumper plates on the bar if you are dropping the barbell. Otherwise, you risk damage to the bar or the floor. Use a proper deadlift platform.
Bumper plates are made out of rubber and are a lot thicker. Rubber coated plates are also acceptable.
Ensure that your gym allows dropping of weights. Powerlifting gyms are a lot more lenient towards this.
Don’t gently set the weight down. The last couple inches before the bar touches the floor is the most dangerous to the lower back. If you don’t want to drop the weight from the top, drop it when it is a couple inches above the floor.
Otherwise, keep the bar as close to the shins as possibly when dropping it to the floor. Do so in a swift motion.
Proper Deadlift Form
If you are lowering the bar to the ground without dropping it, you must hip hinge. If you lean forward to drop the bar, you are risking a lower back injury. Let your glutes and hips go backwards as your drop the bar.
Whether you decide to drop the barbell or lower it back down, it is crucial to use proper form to prevent injury and get the most out of the lift. First you must decide if you want to do the conventional or the sumo deadlift.
The conventional deadlift places more emphasis on the hamstrings and lower back, where the sumo deadlift places more on the inner thighs, quads, and glutes. The best idea is to incorporate both into your training and reap the benefits of both.
A flat soled shoe or power lifting shoe with a raised heel are best for deadlifting. This ensures you have a flat, sturdy surface to push off of. They also prevent your ankles from rolling during the exercise.
Consider using a lifting belt to help with bracing the core during the lift and preventing lower back injury.
Using an alternate grip will allow you to pull more weight without losing grip. Straps or chalk with a double overhand grip are the best ways to ensure strong grip.
Conventional Deadlift Form
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and the bar lying directly over the middle of your feet. Grasp the bar slightly outside shoulder width and squeeze your lats down, straightening your back. Bend your knees until they slightly touch the bar.
Push off of the ground with your feet and thrust your hips forward as the bar comes up. The bar should travel in a straight line and stay as close to the body as possible. Squeeze the back and glutes and the top of the movement before returning to the starting position.
Make sure to keep the chest up and back straight. The shoulders should remain back and not creep forward.
Sumo Deadlift Form
The legs must be wide enough that the arms can extend downwards and remain inside the knees. Point the toes slightly out and grasp the bar inside the knees.
Pull the hips down to the bar and squeeze the lats. The back, core, and legs should be tight before pressing off the ground with the feet. Slightly pull up on the bar to remove the tension or slack before driving with the legs.
As the bar rises up keep it close to the body. Keep the chest up and squeeze the glutes and back at the top of the lift.
Most people find that they can pull more weight once they’ve learned to sumo deadlift. This means more weight can be utilized to break down and build muscle.
Sumo deadlifts also place less strain on the lower back. If you have lower back pain, give them a try. This is because the foot stance is wider, creating a vertical torso positioning.
Why You Should be Deadlifting
The deadlift is a compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups at a time. This results in the most amount of testosterone and growth hormone being released.
Testosterone is the major sex hormone responsible for increasing muscle size and bone strength. Human growth hormone promotes muscle growth and fat burning.
The more amount of muscle on the body, the more fat your body burns naturally. Deadlifts are also great for fat burning as they are a very exhausting exercise. Read more here.
The deadlift can be loaded with a lot of weight. This overloads and breaks down a lot of muscle fibers. This results in increased muscle growth.
Deadlifting is a great way to build up forearm and grip strength. This translates over to a lot of other exercises in the gym.
Deadlifts increase core strength. The core stabilizes the body throughout the movement. They are also a great way to improve posture. Many people have poor posture. Deadlifts pull the shoulders back, promoting external rotation.
Leave any questions or comments below and I’ll get back to you.