Exercises You Should Be Doing: Hover Deadlift
Anyone who’s read this site for any length of time knows I have an affinity for several things:
1. Matt Damon1
3. Beef Jerky3
4. Star Wars.4
With regards to strength and conditioning there’s probably no one topic I’ve written about more than the deadlift.
And, as it happens, I’m currently working on a project for the Personal Trainer Development Center I feel will end up being one of the most thorough (and entertaining) resources on the deadlift ever written.
It’s tentatively titled Deadlift – catchy, right? – and based off my initial draft, looks as though it will run the length of a Dostoyevsky novel. Or a Bret Contreras blog post.
So keep your eyes peeled for it within the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
And on that note I have a new exercise you should try.
Who Did I Steal It From: Massachusetts based strength coach, Mike Perry. You should check out his website Skill of Strength. Amazing stuff on there.
This is an excellent drill for newbies learning to deadlift correctly.
What Does It Do: For me the biggest mistake many people make when it comes to performing the deadlift is taking a haphazard approach to their setup. The key is to get (and MAINTAIN) tension throughout the duration of the lift (or set).
Ever watch someone deadlift and immediately see their upper back rounding or the their hips shoot up first? This is usually indicative of lack of tension (or the weight is too heavy, but the sake of brevity lets assume the former).
The Hover Deadlift is a simple (and quite ingenious) way to help teach someone how to get tension in their lats/upper back, and more importantly to MAINTAIN that tension throughout their rep/set.
Key Coaching Cues: I used two kettlebells in the video above, but you could just as easily use one if that’s how you roll.
Stand directly above the bells, push your hips back, knees out, and try to melt the handles in your hand(s). This last cue will help teach you to pack your shoulders.
Instead of standing straight up with the weight, you’ll first “hover” an inch or two above the ground. This will ensure you maintain tension in the lats/upper back to prevent rounding (and so that the bell doesn’t move away from the body).
Lock out at the top, squeezing glutes hard.
Return back to the ground, hovering again 1-2 inches above the floor before coming to a complete stop.
Reset and repeat for 6-8 repetitions.
Comments for This Entry
disqus_4gJGalC1BsNice! I think I've done these as paused deadlifts with a bar. Would you not recommend doing this with a bar based on the bar path? Would this be better with a trap bar, if a bar is used?
July 8, 2015 at 9:13 am |
TonyGentilcoreI've discussed paused deadlifts with a barbell on this site before, and really like them. I just feel for beginners this is a better fit.
July 8, 2015 at 10:45 am |
Mike PerryThanks for sharing Tony!! -Mike
July 8, 2015 at 9:52 am |
Shelley Smilek Loewen"Dostoyevsky novel. Or a Bret Contreras blog post." Nice! Great article.
July 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm |
July 10, 2015 at 8:11 am |
Jon_PTDC"Run the length of a Dostoyevsky novel, or Bret Contreras post." Amazing. And for those who know Bret well, he talks more than he writes. Can't wait to get War and Peace - Deadlift version for the site man.
July 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm |
TonyGentilcoreIt's coming along nicely. Still not even close to being done, but it's getting there.
July 10, 2015 at 8:12 am |
Andrew GaiA beard? really? In all sincerity been looking for a better way to fix my own conventional deadlift due to lack of lat tension, this and some SIJ discomfort (trying the rotational deadlift from a few months back), might be my new assistance stuff on on lighter DL days. Gracias senor
July 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm |
TonyGentilcoreGlad you liked it. The beard AND the exercise....;o)
July 10, 2015 at 8:13 am |
Shane McleanOh that looks like a blast. Looks like a user friendly version of the paused deadlift, like my favorite exercise of all time.
July 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm |
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July 12, 2015 at 10:26 am |
Rob BurtonI am so happy to have found this blog. Your confidence and drive to educate readers is inspiring. Great Work Tony. Mens Health
July 14, 2015 at 6:14 am |
TonyGentilcoreWhy Thank you Rob - appreciate the kind words.
July 15, 2015 at 7:59 am |
Roberto VázquezI have been practising this exercise since I saw it here several times. I usually do it between deadlift series, during rest time (with much others "postural corrective" exercises). I have also considered some indications that I saw in a video about kettlebell deadlift with Gray Cook and Brett Jones (https://youtu.be/2cwGRCnmgag) I have to say that it's a very powerful exercise. It's more functional than it looks like. I could realise my neuronal effort while I was trying do it with a correct form, especially, the first part of movement. You "have to think" for pulling the weight with your hips instead with your lumbar region. In my opinion, this would be a good exercise to lumbo-pelvic disassociation problems too. Very glad for all you teach us!!!
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