I have – and it sucks!
You get the bar moving off the floor, but then, the bar drifts out in front, rounding you over, and putting you in a horrible position to finish the lift.
Not only does this limit the weights you can handle, but it puts you in a position where you could get injured as well.
Proper lat activation is a key to pulling heavy weights. The key, however, is to use the lats to keep the bar in tight, and not to increase the arch in your lower back.
This video should give you a brief explanation as to why lat activation is important, as well as how to properly engage your lats prior to lifting.
To recap, here are a few key points:
- The lats are critical for “pulling” the bar back into the body.
- Cue your client/athlete to do this without the bar first; have them stand up tall and “pull” their straight arm back into your hand.
- If necessary, poke them in the lats as well to further cue facilitation.
- When pulling (deadlifting, RDL’s, cleans, snatches, etc.) cue the client to keep the lats tight throughout the lift and “pull” the bar back into their body.
This simple tip has made a profound difference in my deadlift over the past couple of months. Kudos to both Glenn Pendlay and Greg Everett, who both discuss this in their Olympic lifting videos and textbooks.