Block pulls: Feeling like a new kid on the "block" and how to hang tough
Well good news! New Kid’s are gone and we just have to see them on VH1 every couple of years or maybe a celebrity rehab show. More importantly I am going to share how you can not only tolerate block pulls but thrive.
Honestly what is a block pull?
A block pull is a partial deadlift where you pull from blocks or pins in a rack from anywhere from 4-8 inches but like many things in life length varies on the person and their goals. So if we have a bar 4” off of the floor what really is it? It is certainly a segmented lift so right from there we need to visualize where in the pull this lift is at mechanically for our own technique. Reviewing video can help a lot in this department. Where are your hips at the point? How bent are your knees? Head position? I am not about to open a can of worms saying what the respective form should be at there are rule breakers that seem to lift just fine with a rounded back and looking down. So focus on you and how you ideally look at that segment of the pull.
Hanging tough at the start
I deadlift conventional and like many my start is what helps me with the lift. A block pull is taking away a portion of momentum that you rely and and in some ways your deadlift is a dead start from a weak spot of the lift. Visualize that spot of the pull in a full deadlift. Keep replaying it in your head. Visualizing will help with the awkwardness you may experience with the movement. Understand, it will be harder than a full pull even if the weight is the same or lighter. Addressing our weak points are always humbling so just suck it up and attack.
Weird squat pulls need not apply
We see this a lot where people want to get their legs under a rack pull and end up performing something not at all intended to being effective. Block pulls are no different. An extreme Romanian deadlift might be more the idea to consider if that helps you coordinate with the movement. Steve Goggins is a legend and worth taking a look at performing this movement correctly and effectively.
Hopefully these three points can help you in the deadlifting. Personally I recommend block pulls primarily for a conventional deadlifter but any style will benefit just understand your goals, strength and weaknesses.