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7 Dead Stop Exercises to Develop Explosive Strength and Power

When it comes to getting strong, people do a lot of fancy things, but there are already proven ways to get strong and dead stop exercises are one such tried and tested method. You may have noticed that the first rep of a Deadlift or Bench Press is always the hardest, and a hand release Push Up is way harder than a normal one. This is not because of exhaustion, but because you have no momentum or power from the eccentric movement phase. In other words you are generating all your force from a zero point. Movements that operate from this position are called “Dead Stop” exercises.

rich froning performs dead stop exercises with barbellSource: Rich Froning
Dead Stops are a great way to build strength and power

Focusing on this point can help you blast through even the most frustrating strength plateaus and get you on track to building muscle and getting stronger again. Pausing at the bottom makes the exercise significantly harder, which means you simply won’t be able to lift as much weight. That may sound like a bad thing, but it’s actually a positive. The lightened load means you’ll be able to support the weight more effectively and get used to being in that position during a lift.


One benefit of Dead Stops is that they shut off the stretch reflex so that it doesn’t offer any assistance during the hardest phases of a lift or movement, this means that they provide a different and effective stimulus for your muscles. It’s just muscle against load – no assistance from the interference stretch reflex or any other efficiency hack. It provides you with an uncompromising assessment of muscular strength for that particular exercise. Dead Stop exercises help keep you honest, and clean up form without the need for a ton of extra cuing. They can help ease joint stress and pain, and allow you to perform certain exercises you might otherwise have to avoid.

For stronger lifters, it’s a way to achieve great effects with lighter loads, meaning you can burden the muscles with less stress on the joints.


Dead Stop and Deadlift… they must have something in common right? And indeed, Deadlifts are the most common exercise to perform with a dead stop.


Dead-stop Deadlifts allow your back to reset between reps. As mentioned above, lifts get substantially more difficult with the dead stop. Take a second to ensure that your spine is straight, your ribcage/chest is raised and the bar positioned over your shoe laces.

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