Wednesday 121205

Three rounds for time:

Row 500m

30 meter bear crawl (25#/15#)

Run 400m

Post times to comments and BTWB.

IMG 72653 475x316 Wednesday 121205

Troy, readying himself for 3,2,1….

Oly Deadlift vs. the CrossFit Deadlift ~ Luke Palmisano

We sometimes get feedback from athletes who say that they are confused about how coaches have them set up for deadlifts on different days.  A lot of times this has to do with days with deadlifts in the workout, verses days with cleans or snatches in the workout.  Allow me to explain. 

It’s all in the hips.  Could it be any simpler??  All right, allow me to explain again. 

In the CrossFit deadlift, hips are high. High enough, in fact, to allow the hamstrings to be under tension.  Not so high, however, that the hips are above the shoulders. Most often though, you will see CrossFitters performing deadlifts in a workout with a near-horizontal torso at the bottom of the movement (when the bar is either touching the ground, or near ground level).  Again, this positioning is because of the muscles we are trying to recruit.  We want the glutes and hamstrings to be carrying the load.  It’s not a dynamic movement; the importance of body positioning is relative to recruiting the strongest available muscle groups.

In the Olympic deadlift (the deadlift associated with the Clean and Snatch), the hips are lower (See, it’s all in the hips.  Told you.). Why?  Because now we’re not worried about recruiting the strongest muscle groups.  We are concerned about putting our  body in the most optimal position to jump from.  This would be a more upright torso position.  This helps you control the trajectory of the bar, as well as perform a faster jump, which helps you get under the bar faster.  So body positioning is more important than the muscles we recruit.  If you compare your one-rep-max deadlift verses your one-rep-max clean or snatch, you may notice that your deadflift number is much higher.  Why?  Because how much we clean or snatch is not dependent on how much we deadlift.  It’s dependent on how much we can front squat and overhead squat, respectively.  So higher hips is discouraged in the Oly lifts.  

Look at these pictures to consider the difference.

IMG 72831 300x200 Wednesday 121205

The CrossFit deadlift, with hips high.

IMG 7284 300x200 Wednesday 121205

The “Clean” deadlift, with hips low, but the torso in a better position to transition to an aggressive jump.



  1. Kevin :

    Great info…. as always!!!

  2. Joe S. :

    Thanks for letting me drop in. Great class. Altitude kicked my butt.


  3. Luke is awesome. ‘Nuff said.

  4. Zachary :

    Awesome blog, It really helped me to understand the difference between the 2 movements

  5. Nate :

    Great article. Keep Em coming!


  1. […] Verve had a GREAT post the other day about the differences between the regular deadlift and the deadlift used in an […]

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