Why did I change my deadlift?

Yesterday I decided to change out my usual go to Sumo Deadlift to a “standard” Deadlift. As you’ll quickly findout, what I write about is my training and why I’m choosing it for me. These are not recommendations for you. If I write about someone I’m coaching, you’ll see a clear distinction between their training and mine.

Now lets get to it…

IMG_8038My choice to change my deadlift was based on something I noticed with my riding. My foot placement on my pedals was effecting my pedaling effeciency, and ability to move my hips on my bike. As you can see in this picture of me racing at Mammoth a few years ago that my heels are pulled in. This has been effecting my ability to manipulate my ankles, and I traced it back to when my fascination with sumo deadlifts started. I also noticed that my choice of using an alternate grip may have been effecting my ability to control my handlebars symmetrically. We see the issue, now I’m addressing it by lifting with a parallel stance and pronated grip.

Observation after my first day: To my surprise I pulled the exact same weight as I did the previous week with sumos. I felt more inline and was able to move a bit better with my feet parallel. We’ll see what happens with a few added exercises and over the course of a few weeks.


If you have any questions or comments, you’re strongly encouraged to leave a comment or use the contact form.

Published by: Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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