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Bad Deadlift Form, What to Correct?


2 months ago I got a vertebra that turned during a heavy deadlift, it touched my sciatic nerve, it was kind of painful. I can still remember the "pop" in my back and the electricity coming down my left leg.

That's definitely a sign that I am doing something wrong in my movement. I decided to film myself when doing deadlift. I can say that I improved my form, but still, when I see the film, I don't find my form totally correct.
What I essentially tried to correct is the buttocks activation, ie I think "push with your buttocks" when doing the exercise. But still, it looks like I am falling forward and it looks like I am rising my hips too quickly. Also, I try to do a Valsalva maneuver (I inflate my stomach and block my breath) in order to stabilize the spine. But I am still afraid to get this "pop" in my back, so I keep deadlifting with light weights.
I've read that you have to think about pushing the heels into the ground, but it doesn't help me.
Could you point me out what you see that I am doing incorrectly ?

Thanks for your help!


Im not a form coach and you probably should have posted in the powerlifting forum but

the end of the deadlift should not be: hyperextending the lowerback. That is, leaning backwards.

it should be: flaring the hips, by flexing the glutes. You seem to understand this but you arent doing it.

When you are standing upright you shouldnt lean backwards. The lift is done when you are perpendicular to the floor and you lock out by flaring the hip, as I said. So your hips may come forward a little bit but your upper body shouldnt lean back


also, take a video from the front or behind.


It looks like the bar is too far from your torso throughout your lift.


Agreed. It also looks like your hips are coming up too soon and you're deadlifting the weight in two stages - straightening out the legs then doing a sldl.


The bar should be in contact with your legs the whole time.

Think about pulling the bar back as opposed to just straight up.

You should also scrunch you lats. Think about bringing your shoulders as close to your hips as possible. (I don't know how to describe it)


I am new but I am using this as a guide it may help you


As soon as you start the pick up, taking the slack, your arch in your lower back is pulled out. The set up (back arch) looks good and then as soon as the weight is felt its pulled out.


Maybe it's biomechanics, but this deadlift looks weird. I don't bent my legs so much. Just a little, like 140 degrees and your doing it like 90 degrees. That's deadlift not a squat. I don't know too much about deadlift form or powerlifting, so what I wrote might not be true. But it looks kinda strange.


Sit back and under the bar harder.This way you will keep you arch.


Where is the bar in relation to your foot? I can't tell from the video but it looks like it starts close to your toes/ball of foot.


Your hips look way too low at the start of the lift. It looks like your trying to squat the weight up. You may not have the flexibility in the hamstrings to perform the lift with the bar so low to the ground.


I'd like to thank you for all your advices. Today, I took a very light weight and tried to work my form. I took videos from it:

I really try to push with my heels, I even have the toes curling up during the movement. I read it's not a bad thing. Also, I scratched a bit my legs.
I also took another vid from behind:

Note that I am pushing my glutes strong, that's why I am "hyperextending" at the end of the movement. But like in revamp's video, it seems to be ok.

Thank you !!


Your first reps in both the videos looks better but from then you you still seem to be doing it in two separate movements. Your legs are locked out before the bar has got to your knees!


Hum, you are right, I am rising my hips too quickly. It means legs are too weak ?


Not bad overall, id agree that it does look like to separate movements. I could be wrong in this by i try to make my deadlifts look like a shallow squat almost. I'd work on adding a bit more arch in your lower back, this would mean you'll need to widen your stance and your grip. The wider your grip, the more you can recruit your legs rather than your back. I like practicing with really low weights before i get to work sets in order to really make sure i'm doing the correct motions. Flex your butt at the top like Bonez said, that also helps you realize which muscles are supposed to be doing what.


I find that when I keep my body extremely tight during a deadlift that my body kind of does the movement as one automatically.