For God Sake, Deadlift with Your Shoes Off

Yesterday, I was volunteering my time at my alma mater (Gloucester Catholic H.S.) training some track athletes.  While in the weightroom, a few football guys were lifting, and one of them set-up the weight that he was going to do for a conventional deadlift.  I did not see him actually do it but I knew one little problem, he was wearing sneakers.  If there is one simple tip we can apply to deadlifts for a better pull it would be to do so barefoot/ in socks.  Why? Two answers.

  • Without your shoes on you are 1-2 inches closer to the ground, which means the bar has to travel 1-2 inches less.  That distance is crucial when pulling heavy.  At the end of a max deadlift for me, I know that if I had to pull that weight a few more inches, I would probably vomit.
  • Also, when you take your shoes off, you can now effectively recruit your posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) more efficiently

So, some gyms around town may not allow you to take your shoes off or use chalk (which you should then find another gym that will let you!).  If this is the case (sad face) then the best way to go about this is to find some Chuck Taylors (Nike Frees could be a second choice)

A way better alternative than normal shoes!

And those who do not know…chicks dig deadlifts …not mine, its only 425×2, but I am working on that.  Here was the PR I had this past week.  425 x 2.

Categories: Strength Training

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