60 Second Deadlift Tip: Get the Slack Out of the Bar

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“Get the slack out of the bar.”

You hear this cue a lot with regards to deadlift technique and performance.

I could say something as equally abstract like, I don’t know, “banana honkeydorey train whistles” or “please pass the parmesan, Chad” and seemingly get the same message across.

Which is to say…

…what the heck does “get slack out of the bar” even mean?

Well, I’ll Tell You

In short, it refers to getting better leverage and “connectivity” before you initiate the pull.

Many lifters yank the bar off the ground, which in turn makes me cringe because I’m always afraid someone’s going to rip their bicep tendon off the bone. Moreover, the yanking action elicits a loud “clank” noise (barbell hitting inside of plates).

Getting the slack out of the bar means using the barbell as a counterbalance to 1) gain leverage, and 2) get everything connected – inner cylinder of the plates “connecting” with the barbell – BEFORE you initiate the lift.

I like to tell my clients/athletes to get two clicks: bend the bar (get the slack out), then pull.1

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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  1. Technically, push (if you recall from a prior installment of this series).

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