Deadlifts ala King

Is there anyone out there who can do deadlifts as prescribed by Ian King. Love his stuff but damned if I can do deadlifts so that they do not emphasize, and fatigue, the lower back. If you guys can, please give me a pointer.


King deadlifts can be tough to nail, but once you get them…money. A teacher of mine went to one of King’s Boot camps so I’m gonna book some time with him and get the low-down on his techniques.
Perhaps outline your current technique and others could help in correcting.

One thing that helped me was following Ian King’s suggestion of working your abs first in your workout. Once I strengthened my abdominals, my deadlift felt so much better. You MUST suck your abs back hard. I think of it as kind a support for my spinal column. Think of deads as a leg exercise and not a back exercise, and push those fucking legs right through the floor! I’m not up to 2x my bodyweight yet, but I really just started doing them a couple months back. Just keep practicing dude, even if its only with an empty bar. Somebody the other day gave some instructions starting from the top of the movement (sorry I can’t remember your name if you’re reading this)… he said when your going down and your technique starts to fall apart… bring your ass back up a couple of inches and reset. Do this only 3-5 times, and just keep on keepin’ on. Try it with a broomstick or something at home. Good luck dude.

Tinman, Here is the answer I wrote to Big D in his post “Deadlifts…” It’s copied in case the original post is removed. If you need more explaination, I’ll be happy to help.

Great exercise! For a beginner I’ve found it easier to teach from the end of the movement or the top to the start or bottom. Follow these steps for improved jumping/sprinting: 1. Feet hip width, maybe slightly narrower than hip width. An “athletic” stance. Use the same stance as if I asked you to jump as high as you can. 2. Feet pointing straight ahead. 3. Bar against upper thighs. 4. Pronated grip with both hands shoulder width apart. 5. Retract and depress scapula. 6. Pull belly button in towards spine as hard as you can. Keep abs tight throughout ROM. 7. Tighten the glutes and rotate your pelvis so that your back is flat. No arch. No rounding of lumbar spine. 8. Slightly flex your hips and slightly flexing the knees will help get you into a good starting position. Pick a spot about 6- 8 feet in front of you to look at. This is individual depending on height. Now start the descend. Perform the movement very slowly as form can fall apart as you near the floor.
9. Push your hips out by flexing the hips. Depending on your arm length and eventually with a load, the bar may not touch the upper 2/3’s of movement until it reaches the distal end of the quads. Shoulders must be over or slightly in front of the bar. 10. Hold the belly button in. Glutes tight. Keep the back flat. Scapula retracted and depressed hard. “Secure” your upper body to your pelvis as one complete lever. This is the point where you might see some tecnique changes. At this point, you should be leaning over at an approximatly a 45 degree angle. Back flat. One lever. Weight distributed evenly over both feet. Slightly posterior to the arch. This is very individual just a starting reference. 11. Flex the knees. Slide the bar down the lower leg towards the floor. Shoulders, hips and bar all move at the same speed. Shoulder and hip angle must remain unchanged. 12. Descend until the bar touches the top of ankle. Eventually with a load the ROM will be less unless you stand on a block.

A good teaching point is: On the descend, when the technique breaks down, particulary the glute,abs,flat back technique, move back up 2" to where the form was better, correct it, then start to lower the bar again. Only try this 3-5 times. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated. You’ll get it with practice. Begin the ascend. 13. Abs in. Glutes tight. Back flat. Scapla retracted. 14. Contract the glutes hard! 15. Push your feet into the floor hard! 16. Slowly, and I mean slowly. Even if it takes 20 sec. Start to straighten the legs. In doing the so, your shoulders and glutes will rise at the same angle. Shoulders nor the hips must not rise first. There is no compromise here. Bothe at the same time. You will loose the effectiveness of this exercise if technique changes here. 17. Around knee height, again, purely individual, bring the hips forward. The back is still flat. The bar leaves the thighs briefly, then touches the quads again as you near vertical. 18. Stand up 98% of the way. Don’t “lock out”. Keep the tension on the legs and begin again.

You can do this exercise right now! Get a broom stick, hockey stick, shovel or skinny kid brother. Let me know how you made out.

Hey man, I printed your instructions and gave them to a buddy of mine who just started working out a couple of months back. He loves em. I work opposite shifts as him so I never really get a chance to train with him, so I can’t teach him much. But he says he’s got deads down now. He wanted me to tell you thanks. Happy New Year bro, take it easy.

Ryno, You are welcome. Glad to help.