T Nation

Am I Doing Deadlifts Right?

I have no pictures or any other way of showing you how i actually do them so I’ll do my best to describe my action.

I’ve seen and read how to do them plenty of times, but I’m still having trouble.

my back is flat, my chest is up and i have a shoulder grip. When i pull up i drive with my legs but about halfway between my legs being fully extended i start to use my back. at that point, the rest of the lift seems to be me straightening my back while my legs straighten out from under me. I feel the weight going onto my toes and not my heels, and i feel my lower back burning.

Is my back supposed to have the same angle with my legs until my legs are fully extended? Or should it change halfway through the lift.

WTF am i doing wrong? It hurts like a biatch sometimes

It sounds like you are rounding your back. You should not be getting pulled on to your toes. how much weight are you using and have you ever injured your back before?
Paulos

If I understand your post correctly, you end up doing a stiff-legged deadlift half way through your lift.

To correct this, start hitting your posterior chain hard. If you haven’t done glute ham raises, start, even if you have to do negatives at first. I have been doing negatives for a while now, and I still can only get one rep with bodyweight. They’re hard, real hard.

You can search for articles on the posterior chain, I think Dave Tate has one. He loves GHRs and reverse hypers. If you can’t find a GHR bench, or a reverse hyper bench, let me know, I can give you a way to do them without one. Or, you can search for them, they’ve been talked about a lot around here.

Good Luck

By the way, the same thing used to happen to my deadlift, and it’s getting better and better, so I know this will work.

I had a similar problem when I first started doing deadlifts. during the upper half of the lift, it felt like my back was doing more of the work as opposed to my hamstrings and glutes.
After reading up on what the correct form is supposed to be, I started doing reps with a broomstick every night while I’d watch TV and just tried to consciously focus on forcing my hips forward and squeezing my hamstrings at the top of the movement.

I’m not sure how to describe what I was doing differntly before, but when I went back to the gym and tried it with weight, deadlifts felt a hell of a lot better than they had before, and for the first time I really felt my hamstrings working during the lift.

Hope that helps,
Jay

Practice, even just visualizing without moving a muscle, activates the same pathways in the brain as learning the real motion. Hence, what you describe sounds totally credible. In fact, visualizing yourself doing it right will go a long way to actually doing it right.

Good race car drivers often visualize the problem areas on the track to try to get the move right. A good race driver can drive the course in his head in almost the exact same amount of time it takes to drive the course in real life.

The only caveat here is: don’t practice/visualize it wrong! Else you’ll just be reinforcing the wrong move in your brain. Get the move right, then practice and visualize it. Next time you do it in the gym, it will be automatic.