T Nation

3x3 150kg Deadlift Form Check

Hey T Nation, just want your opinion on my form. I have taken your advice on my previous thread, however, I’m scared that my back may be rounding. Am I just paranoid or does my back look okay? Thanks guys

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Back looks great, you had a fishy lockout on that last rep but your back looks totally fine.

If anything that belt is a piece of shit, lol.

IMO, the back being slightly round isn’t a terrible thing. I think significant rounding during the lift isn’t great. It looks like it maintained it’s position, so you are probably alright.

For me, what has helped me keep back position the most, is pulling all (or nearly all) the slack out of the bar. I like to imagine that before I break the bar from the ground, that if scales were under each side, that they would only read a couple lbs. If you back is steady in that position, I doubt the few extra lbs are going to round you more.

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I was just talking about this in my log. I did “perfect” deadlifts for years where 0 rounding was allowed, and fucked my shit up over and over again, and now I pull where my body feels best - in a high hip, close stance position with a rounded upper back and neutral lower back, and I went from numb feet and sciatic pain to virtually pain free. As long as your lumbar spine doesn’t go from straight to cat-back during the lift you’ll be fine.

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I believe there can be too much focus on form. Obviously one should be consistent, but I’ve seen guys focus in so much that they are leaving gains on the table, and perhaps the form they are trying for doesn’t fit their body. They are missing the forest for the trees.

Many top level powerlifters lift with a rounded back. They start the lift rounded.

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Yeah - some pretty good ones, haha. KK was that dude.

And agreed about form, mostly because the idea that there’s some universal “form” akin to the lifting version of an absolute truth that applies to all people ranging from 5’0 to 6’8 with all variations of limb lengths and proportions is silly.

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I remember kk (rip) saying that he tried a flat back deadlift, but was upset that he could “only” pull like 750.

I have a bit of rounding, but it starts that way. Haven’t had any injury from it.

Yep, it’s more movement in the back under load than a rounded back but to be fair, in lots and lots of people rounded back usually means movement.

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I have a question for all: If the deadlift work volume is not high, shouldn’t the negative be worked better? Why has no one mentioned the near “drop” as the bar got close to the ground?

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I think the drop near the bottom is smart. If you are going to break form and get injured, it is going to be right before you reach the bottom. That is where I’ve had my issues and I spoke with another guy who told me the same thing.

I agree that it may be time to move on tapered front belt to a real, PL specific, 4 inch belt.

What’s up with the George Leeman, super high belt position? I don’t mean to attack OP, but what do people think of this? Is it OK, or has time proven this to be a bad idea?

Controlling the negative is maybe a good idea too. Maybe not for every rep of a heavy set, but for sure on lighter work. Like some controlled, non-bounced touch and go reps where you don’t go all loose and pump your legs between reps. Keeping the technique tight, and using the negative to find and groove the shortest bar path and l really learn how to “wedge” under the bar and remove any slack.

Whatever you decide to do, Stop turning your head mid-deadlift!

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I found I got better results when I tried to end a rep in the exact spot I would start the next rep. No resetting, no shifting hands, no hump, no little bounce from letting the weight drop the last few inches, no rounding and readjusting the back. Just take a breath, brace and go. It’s kinda like a hybrid between a touch and go rep and dead start.

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When I try to help someone with their deadlift this is the first thing I suggest. Most all “beginners” perform a very inefficient first rep, to the point, if they can pull one rep the second is usually easier. But if you reset for every rep, it is difficult to find/discover their most efficient form.

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This is huge - once I learned to wedge myself in like a fulcrum, the act of wedging simultaneously pulls the slack out and almost pulls the bar off the ground by itself.

It’s all personal preference from my part - in terms of building one’s deadlift, it’s a concentric movement from a dead stop, so there are a lot of pretty high level powerlifters who drop the bar at the top, and I don’t see anything wrong with dropping it, but I personally maintain control throughout and find a HUGE benefit from the negative. When I do 5x5, my last set of 5 is with 3-4 second negatives, not with a ton of weight of course - like 360-380 range.

I personally disagree about the drop being for safety’s sake. I think losing tightness and dropping the bar halfway down is just as ‘dangerous’ as anything else. Just my opinion on the matter.

Clusters are pretty sweet to practice that inefficient first rep that Nomad’s talking about, too.

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Here’s a quick video that popped up first.

Maybe this guy goes a little slow on the lowering with this light weight, but as the guys mentioned, Each rep starts where the previous one ends. Or dude only lowers his hips enough to get the bar to the floor, then lift again without humping or dropping the hips too low. For an efficient pull.

I like the Westside style of a bunch of sets of 2 for deadlift. Half the reps are dead-stop and half are touch and go.

When I have heavy weight I go fast, but if it is lighter, I go slow. I touch and go with the slow eccentric, but it is slow to the point that it has no bounce, and I do a slight pause. I don’t know if this is where I got good gains, or if it was from all the chinning, but the combo seemed to bring me from 550 to 600.

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While the deadlift is concentric only, it’s concentric composed of a ton of muscle and some of the best way to build those muscles is with the negative portion.

If I’m pulling ME work, sure for my top singles, you can go down really fast, but for volume ALWAYS control it down. Don’t turn 3x3 into 3 x 3 single cluster sets lol

Id never advocate slowly lowering a max single.

Like you said, there is a huge benefit in the negative portion.

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My advice to you is to dial in your technique with a lower training load (weight).

You need more “first reps” to develop the broad aspects of your lift (foot placement, back position, hinge, wedging into the weight to create initial tension, etc). Matt Gary of SST has a beautiful deadlift program based on timed singles and prelipen’s chart (easy to find online) . IMHO 9 timed singles will go a longer way in building your technique, strength, and speed then 3x3s.