Critique Deadlift Form

I was wondering if some of the powerlifting gurus out there could tell me what I am doing right and wrong.

I pulled 405LB (raw) this day…I was hoping for more, but I didn’t give myself a rest before attempting 1RM day.

I did manage to bench 275 (raw), but got crushed when I attempted 405 squats.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

I’m far from an expert, but the biggest thing that I see is the start of your pull. You seem to dip and jerk up right away to start the lift.

You’re body looks loose and it’s dangerous to have your body that loose. You should try to stay tighter to start your lift.

Get in the starting position, tighten your upper body, and begin to pull upwards with about 100lbs of pull; not enough to actually start lifting the weight, but enough to keep your body tight.

Also, it looks like you roll the bar back to you a couple of inches right before you begin pulling. Was that intentional?

Otherwise it looks pretty good and speed looks decent. Keep pulling. Oh – what’s up with the gloves?

Good luck,

I guess you didn’t get any feedback earlier, so I’ll say a thing or two that I noticed (no expert, mind you).

You might be able to bring your hands in straight down from your shoulders to minimize some of the distance.

Also, it looks like you stay in the down position a bit long. I think you are losing the “stretch reflex” there.

One last thing, personally I think you might have jerked on it a bit much at the beginning. Maybe you could work on powering it up more smoothly instead of jerking it for the starting inches?

Again, I’m no expert on form, just some suggestions.


You handled that easy. However for a conventional deadlift- hands on outside of legs, your feet are way too wide. Put your feet very close together or try a sumo style- wide stance, hands on inside of legs. Lose the gloves, gloves are for pretty boys. From how fast you pulled that one and if you figure out a better stance you could be good for 455-460.

malonetd and Matthew9v9, You are right. I do need to tighten up before pulling. I do know better, I just wasn’t thinking.

The roll-back wasn’t intentional…don’t know what that was about.

AS FOR THE GLOVES, I don’t normally wear there, but I tore the crap out of my hands doing 10X4 powersnatches a few days before. I stopped using them a long time ago, but the open sore was really raw.

Thanks for the advice on the stance. I’ll have to play around with different stances to see what works. I have have been leery about sumo, only because it seemed I had a hard time balancing it from two narrow points (grip).

I think it’s time to start working on pulling again. I have been doing allot of TBT, but not allowing me enough time to dedicate to the technique.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I’m no world class deadlifter, but it being one of my better lifts I wanna comment on a few things.

That lift is really slow. I can’t see anyone pulling a 1RM for more than 3-5 seconds. I don’t know who “muscles up” the weight for longer than that, but bar speed is a big determinant of how much you’re gonna pull. Check your rack pull at slightly below knee level. It should be much lower than your regular deadlift. (IE if you’re pulling 395 at slightly below knee. You’re slow. Speed it up.) That should be your weakest position to start from biomechanically.

He was right on about the taking the slack out of the bar. You look kinda ballastic and it is dangerous to do that.

Good luck.

Tear it up Strong Man.

I have to agree with the above posts. I do have some additional thoughts.

1.Your setup needs work the bar was probably out an inch to far for the begining of the pull as you were already told.

  1. It is hard to tell from that setup but you might want to sit back a little farther before the star of the pull.

  2. Once the bar was cracked of the floor you were pulled slightly forward refer to #1 and cressy deadlift article he mentions that tight hip flexors will pull you forward at the beginning of the lift

  3. The last thing I noticed when I watched it at slow speed is that you twisted a little as you came up this is do to using a mixed grip.
    work on a few things with lighter weight and you should be good for another 20-30 lbs

Much appreciated guys. I’ll try to work on it and post a follow-up next month

[quote]StrongMan wrote:
I have have been leery about sumo, only because it seemed I had a hard time balancing it from two narrow points (grip).

First of all, nice lift! I agree with the others here who said that you’re probably good for more weight if you get your form a little tighter at the bottom.

If you do try a sumo style deadlift, make sure your hands aren’t too close together. In fact, the optimal grip for a conventional and sumo deadlift will be in about the same place on the bar. With either variation of the deadlift, your grip should be just wide enough to bring your arms back along the side of your body. If your grip is any wider, you will increase the distance that you have to go down to grab the bar. If your hands are closer, your upper arms will come into contact with your chest and lats too much when you’re trying to lock-out the lift.

What everyone else sais plus you nead to retract the scapula.

  1. Keep the elbows extended throughout the entire set-up and lift. You’re flexing the elbow and then rapidly extending as you start the pull. This is a serious risk factor for a ruptured biceps tendon.

  2. Bring your feet about six inches closer to one another, and slide your hands in so that your forearms touch the sides of your thighs.

  3. Get the head extended earlier; you’re looking down.

  4. Those look like cross trainers, but I can’t tell for sure. If they are, get some flat-bottomed shoes that will allow you to fire your heels into the floor more easily.

  5. Lose the gloves. Calluses make the man (or at least that’s what I’ve convinced my girlfriend to believe).