……..some of my notes in preparing for a DL article being published soon
……..some cool DL videos as well
Squat vs. DL Defintions
Semantics will always prevail, but I would consider a deadlift anything that has a vertical tibia, and a squat anything with an angled tibia.
A true box squat is technically a DL and more pure hip hinge.
Only the most nimble acrobats, as Thomas Myers would call them, can legitimately pull off the floor with a vertical tibia and spinal and scapular integrity. Going off the floor, when the hip hinge runs out, the movement will turn into a squat when the tibia angles.
So all in all, a DL off the floor starts as a squat and then turns into a deadlift when the tibia become vertical.
For instance, we never did any angled tibia work the NBA, and squat/DL movements were always high. DLs were out of the rack, and box squats were to a high box. If guys could get parallel, then that would be fine, but I was more interested in the hip hinge and deloading the knee.
A good morning would meet the Deadlift vertical tibia (20 degree knee flexion) criterion with just a bar on your back instead of in your hands.
As far as legs straight, I would never have the knees locked. Legs straight, to me, would mean 20 degrees flexion. Knees unlocked, but in the deep hip hinge, the hamstrings are still very tensioned through length. This is in the catch position of the KB Swing.
There are many other versions of semantics and hybrids, but this is how I define the choices.
I think in testing athletes the Deadlift is a better option than the Squat for a double-leg movement. They both yield risk in a max effort single, but the Deadlift has some advantages.
1) You don’t have to walk it out. Walking out the bar is not only a limiting factor, but walking backwards, teetering from 1 leg to the other with 6 wheels are on your back isn’t going to be a hallmark to a Do No Harm athletic training program.
2) If you feel your back going, you can drop the Deadlift if you want to. You either have to dump the bar down your back, or if you have spotters, you have to either call for them or have them pull you out of the hole. Relying on yourself is probably a safer approach.
3) Yeah, some folks are farther away from the floor, but I think testing is a measure against yourself, not against others. Athletes don’t have to be powerlifters, but they do need to keep getting stronger. And even though folks are different distances from the floor, the floor is still in the same place for everybody. Clearing a depth time for squat is a different reference for everybody, and it’s arbitary for each person’s limbs. Deadlifting should have better test-retest validity.
As far as the DL, I think it is very efficacious to test 1RM in the Deadlift.
I would not test 10RM or 5RM in a traditional sense because reps of the DL are really multiple sets of 1. Resetting the complete grip setup is actually not a bad idea in as much as there no controlled eccentric pattern of a heavy deadlift. This is certainly what we do when using the DL for conditioning and correction.
Whether it’s bounced or not, the 2nd and beyond DL is not the same as the first one unless you take 3-5 seconds to go for the next rep. Those aren’t reps. Those are series of singles.
Reps after #1 may have some level of stretch reflex which will not be indicative of a 1RM when the bar is at rest. The DL is not a reactive pattern in terms of the stretch-reflex (it is in the spine), so the 1RM is in my opinion a more useful tool.
Variations of Deadlifts
2-arm, 1-leg DL
1-arm, 1-leg DL
–Toe Touch Pattern
–Chop and Lift
1-leg Dowel DL
Progress to the floor[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ImscBeP_yI[/youtube]