This Three-Way Workout Series Maxes Out Your Deadlift

There’s no disputing the benefits of deadlifts. This workout from trainer Paul Sklar, C.S.C.S. maxes them out.

Sklar shows off three moves in the video: the hybrid deadlift, hybrid deadlift to shrug, and conventional deadlift to shrug. You can stack all these moves into a vicious circuit series in the same workout, which is what Sklar seems to be doing, but that’s not the only way to do things. You can also work through just one of these moves in your next leg session. Keep the reps low if you aim to train heavy; think of doing 4 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps, focusing on technique. If you want to follow Sklar’s guidance and perform 10 reps of each exercise, make sure to use a weight that you can lift safely for all of the reps, not just the first few.

Not sure of the right technique? Sklar does a good job of showing you that for all three moves.

First, when getting into a hybrid deadlift stance, your feet should be halfway between a conventional and sumo position—outside your hands, but not like you’re about to do the splits. With hybrids, in the raised position, your hands will be directly in front of your thighs.

The conventional deadlift to shrug requires you to keep the feet at hip-width apart, with the hands outside of the legs.

Next up, when executing the shrug, let it flow directly out of the deadlift to give yourself the benefit of momentum (you likely can deadlift more weight than you can shrug), but don’t initiate the movement until your torso is vertical and you’re almost at lockout.

And, most importantly, in all three variations, you want to keep the bar in close to your legs throughout the entire movement and maintain a strong, stable trunk at all times. Skylar does an awesome this. see how the bar is dragging against his shorts and his back is straight and stiff as a board? That keeps the weight in your hamstrings and glutes and out of your low back.

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