A deadlift isn’t successful until it’s done! But the lockout might be the hardest part.
If you’re one of the many lifters trying to improve their lockout, here are 5 things you should look into:
Strengthen Your Upper Back: A strong upper back is essential for a solid lockout. Focus on exercises like barbell rows, bent-over rows, and pull-ups to target those upper back muscles. Building a strong upper back will help you maintain a tight and solid position during the lockout.
Boost Your Hip Extension Strength: The lockout relies heavily on hip extension, so it's crucial to strengthen the muscles responsible for this movement. Incorporate exercises like Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, and glute bridges into your training routine. These exercises will develop your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, which are key for a strong lockout.
Pause Deadlifts: Try adding paused deadlifts to your routine. Set the bar just below your knees and perform deadlifts with a deliberate pause at that position before completing the lift. This exercise helps you generate force from a paused position, translating to a stronger lockout.
Include Accessory Exercises: Incorporate specific accessory exercises that target weak points in your lockout. For instance, deficit deadlifts, block pulls, and rack pulls can help you focus on specific ranges of motion and strengthen those areas. Experiment with different variations to find what works best for you.
Refine Your Technique and Positioning: Technique is vital for a successful deadlift lockout. Make sure you maintain a neutral spine, engage your lats, and push your hips through at the top of the lift. Focus on maintaining tightness throughout your body, from your grip to your core, to maximize your strength potential. Also, feel free to experiment with foot placement and grip width to find the most advantageous positions for your body mechanics.
Remember to gradually incorporate these tips into your training routine and listen to your body to avoid overtraining or injury. Working with a qualified coach or trainer can provide you with personalized guidance to optimize your deadlift lockout. So go out there, give it your all, and dominate that lockout like a pro!