I recently tested my deadlift during Week 10 of the off-season protocol (and got a nice PR, thank you). At my last competition in March, I was given red lights for bar dipping just prior to my lockout (reference 19 posts back on my Instagram). Because I am pretty fast off the floor, in real-time the whip of the bar does seem to go up and down once I start locking out the pull. In slow-motion, the center of the bar never dips .. it stops and moves laterally inward as I push my hips toward it. It’s the ends that seem to go up and down. … In order to avoid this, I am looking for suggestions on smoother lockouts. Here’s video of my recent 1RM test of my deadlift (youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra6nk0V35Ts ) … I have done rack pulls/block pulls, but I don’t think those help me me with a smoother lockout. I think the whip of the bar creates a dip from the transition of a fast pull from the floor to a slower lockout. I do a lot of GHRs, mix in paused/box squats, block pulls, started doing dimel deadlifts, and KB swings. Any other suggestions?
Pause deadlifts. I’d pause just right below the knee. Normally with pause deadlifts I recommend folks do it just off the floor, but in your case it’s the transition once the bar passes the knees.
You’re a little in the balls of your feet, so the knees slightly rebend, when you push back into your heels to correct it. When you try to transition back into your heels, that’s the when bar stops (slightly dips). It’s more of a ramping than dip. The pause deadlifts can help insure that you’re in the correct position before passing the knees.
Couple other quick things that might help. Leave the arms long before pulling. A quick little yank on the arms and your lats get loose. Flexed triceps and pull them into your lats. “Close off” the arm pits is a cue I’ll use sometimes to help think about tightening the lats prior to pulling.
Alrighty, this is an easy fix. As soon as the bar breaks the floor, you lose back positioning. When this happens, you cannot effectively use your glutes and the last 3-4″ or so of your deadlift is you extending your spine (not optimal). This will make your lockout a lot slower. This also causes you to rock back and forth on your feet, not staying on your heels (as Will mentioned above).
The reason for this? You never get tension before you pull. Your set-up consists of you sitting in the bottom and then trying to fire up as fast as you can to yank the bar off the ground. When you do this your body searches for tension. Your hips shoot up to find tension in the hamstrings and your back rounds because your erectors aren’t strong enough to support the load. If you want to see what I mean, pause the video at the point where the bar just breaks the floor. You’re essentially in a stiff leg deadlift.
How to fix:
1 – Refine your set up and learn how to use the lifters’ wedge and create whole body tension. There should be no wasted movement when the bar leaves the floor.
2 – Strengthen your back. Lots of rows. If you think you’ve done a lot, do more. Focus on keeping a tight and neutral back during all rows to reinforce the position you want.
3 – I love Will’s suggestion of the paused deadlift. I would probably have you do them 1″ off the floor to teach you how to stay engaged and maintain position.
4 – (this should be a given) Make your midsection bulletproof. Birddogs, McGill Crunch, planks, stir the pot, weighted caries. Do them EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Hope this helped you brother! You can always look into getting some coaching as well. I, along with a few others on the team, would be really helpful to lend an objective eye to your training.