The Difference Between Touch & Go and Dead Stop Deadlifts, and Why You Should Do Both

Touch & Go (also known as TAG) is a deadlift technique in which you keep your core and back tight in order to control the weight as it goes down, and lift it up the moment the plates touch the  floor.

Dead Stop deadlifts involve lifting weight from a standstill, and allow you to drop the weight down with little or no control over its descend.

Both techniques are effective in building strength, and neighter is wrong. Bouncing the weight off the floor is wrong and unacceptable. Each technique stimulates the muscles involved in performing deadlifts differently. TAG deadlifts, for example, keep your back and core under constant tension, building your strength and size. The iniatial pull isn’t worked on (except during the first rep when the weight is still) because when the plates touch the floor, slight momentum is generated which assists you in getting the weight off the floor. DS deadlifts focus on the initial part of the lift, separating the weight off the floor. There is no benefit in the descend but a reset is required before the next rep. The benefit of the reset is that you get to check your stance and assume the correct posture before executing another lift. Dead Stop deadlifts are better for people who are still learning the correct form and need more practice. In contrast, you need to have the correct form in Touch & Go deadlifts as otherwise injury may occur. TAG deadlifts help cement your form so make sure it’s already good to avoid injury.

I find TAG deadlifts easier than Dead Stop ones. My weakest area seems to be the initial pull, getting weight off the floor. TAG sumo deadlifts have allowed me to bypass that stage and build up to 4x180kg. Recently, I’ve decided to switch to DS sumos in order to address the problematic area. When my TAG and DS personal records become equal, I plan to start using both techniques. I train legs twice a week, so one day I’ll do TAG, the other DS, getting the best of both worlds. If you care about lifting more, I highly recommend practising the two hand in hand, rather than focus on a single technique only.

For more information, please check the following links:

Dead-Stop Vs Touch-N-Go deadlifts – Common mistakes in technique and application

Things I Think I Know – Touch and Go Deadlifts




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