T Nation

Critique My Deadlift

I’ve been deadlifting for a couple of months doing Starting Strength program. Below is my current 1x5 reps x 100kg deadlift.

A few things I noticed: 1) My back rounded a bit; 2)Need to work on lockout at the top; 3) The grip is terribly weak, the bar slipped down to fingers on 4th and last rep, basically was struggling with the bar on the fingers thus forgetting to breath and lockout properly; 4) Hips was low, should have raised it up by 3-4 inches?;

Please advises, thanks in advance guys, I’m new and confused lifter :slight_smile:

You need to get some flat soled shoes or pull barefoot for starters. Your butt is the first thing that shoots up which means your not pushing your heals into the ground and your not loading your hamstrings with tension. you need to get behind the bar more. Your shoulders are in front of the bar on the bottom of the lift which is causing the bar to not move in a straight line. start with the bar closer to your shins. And stay tight everywhere. Take a big breath and hold it till lockout.

Watch where you’re looking while you lift. Your head is pointed straight ahead (presumably at the mirror), causing poor neck alignment. Try to lift while keeping a neutral upper spine alignment (i.e., by trying to keep your chin tucked in towards your chest). I’ve found that this also helps eliminate the rounding of the lumbar spine, as it allows one to stay tighter by focusing more on keeping a straight spine.

Best of luck!

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
4) Hips was low, should have raised it up by 3-4 inches?;
[/quote]

I have a similiar problem, man. But if I start with my hips higher, I find myself locking my knees out too early, when the bar is maybe haging around half of my thigh, which makes me “stiff leg” the bar.

Could anyone give some input regarding what I could do to ease up this problem? This usually happens when I’m around my 1RM and wearing a belt.

Thanks in advance.

[quote]Brant2 wrote:

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
4) Hips was low, should have raised it up by 3-4 inches?;
[/quote]

I have a similiar problem, man. But if I start with my hips higher, I find myself locking my knees out too early, when the bar is maybe haging around half of my thigh, which makes me “stiff leg” the bar.

Could anyone give some input regarding what I could do to ease up this problem? This usually happens when I’m around my 1RM and wearing a belt.

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

you don’t have a similar problem. there is no general rule regarding the hips. what determines the hips position is the length of your limbs & torso.

just set up correctly with your feed, roll your shoulders forward (which makes you lean back a bit more which results in your hips being a little lower - that is not an universal “low”, just lower than when you dont roll your shoulders foward), grab the bar and pull.

for clarification look @ rippetoe and eliteFTS on youtube, they got really good videos explaining everything better than 99% of the chumps on this forum (including me) can

[quote]Ironsmasher wrote:
You need to get some flat soled shoes or pull barefoot for starters. Your butt is the first thing that shoots up which means your not pushing your heals into the ground and your not loading your hamstrings with tension. you need to get behind the bar more. Your shoulders are in front of the bar on the bottom of the lift which is causing the bar to not move in a straight line. start with the bar closer to your shins. And stay tight everywhere. Take a big breath and hold it till lockout.[/quote]
Maybe the camera angle didn’t show but I remember I was focusing alot of literally rubbing the bar against the shin and thigh the entire movement. As for the shoes, I’ll do barefoot next time, can’t afford nothing at the moment. Thanks anyway…

[quote]Kooopa wrote:

[quote]Brant2 wrote:

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
4) Hips was low, should have raised it up by 3-4 inches?;
[/quote]

I have a similiar problem, man. But if I start with my hips higher, I find myself locking my knees out too early, when the bar is maybe haging around half of my thigh, which makes me “stiff leg” the bar.

Could anyone give some input regarding what I could do to ease up this problem? This usually happens when I’m around my 1RM and wearing a belt.

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

you don’t have a similar problem. there is no general rule regarding the hips. what determines the hips position is the length of your limbs & torso.

just set up correctly with your feed, roll your shoulders forward (which makes you lean back a bit more which results in your hips being a little lower - that is not an universal “low”, just lower than when you dont roll your shoulders foward), grab the bar and pull.

for clarification look @ rippetoe and eliteFTS on youtube, they got really good videos explaining everything better than 99% of the chumps on this forum (including me) can[/quote]
I have Rip’s video everywhere, on work computer, my android phone, my son’s leapad even :slight_smile: I swear every time I watch it I’m like OK I understand how it works, I go to gym I lift and it all doesn’t stick because I forget everything under heavy load :slight_smile:

[quote]kgildner wrote:
Watch where you’re looking while you lift. Your head is pointed straight ahead (presumably at the mirror), causing poor neck alignment. Try to lift while keeping a neutral upper spine alignment (i.e., by trying to keep your chin tucked in towards your chest). I’ve found that this also helps eliminate the rounding of the lumbar spine, as it allows one to stay tighter by focusing more on keeping a straight spine.

Best of luck![/quote] Thanks bro, I’ll try to tuck it a bit and experiment with form next time, hell I’ll do 1 set of DL tomorrow morning which is 7 hours from now, hopefully I’ll get some sleeps too cause both of my toddlers are sick :frowning:

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:
I have Rip’s video everywhere, on work computer, my android phone, my son’s leapad even :slight_smile: I swear every time I watch it I’m like OK I understand how it works, I go to gym I lift and it all doesn’t stick because I forget everything under heavy load :)[/quote]

try to find/come up with some good cues which you tell yourself during the lift then. that way you’ll be able to work on it. this is to be done by weights that are less than your 1RM and a lot of volume because you’ll always break form the closer you get to your true 1RM. volume and lower weights are key for reinforcing technique. you will still break form but at a later point. eventually, when you REALLY have the form down you can start to look at muscular weaknesses but that point is so far away, i wouldn’t even worry about it right now. i think it was dave tate who classified EVERY problem with the lift to be either mental, physical or technical, technical being 70% of the cases.

My advice

  1. if grip is a problem buy chalk. It’s like 10 bucks online, on amazon.com or wherever to get a pound, which will make an enormous differrence and last you basically a year.

  2. barefoot is the way to go.

  3. your positions look pretty decent - I can tell you watch rip. To me, the problem appears to be that you are in the right positions but not using the right muscles, as other people have commented. You look to me like you are basically pushing with your quads to break it from the floow, and then using your back to get it the rest of the way up and lock it out. when you are setting up, you need tension in your hamstrings. You should feel them being tight, almost like you are stretching them, right up until your shins contact the bar and you initiate the pull. And, when you lock out you need to focus on squeezing your butt hard and bringing your hips to the bar. Again, it looks to me like you have studied proper technique hard and are mimicking it, but haven’t quite figured out how to use your muscles properly yet.

  4. speed. With deadlifts especially I have found speed is key. Set that tension in your hamstrings and RIP the weight up as explosively as you can. Do this with EVERy warmup set. Training yourself to move deadlifts incredibly explosively at lighter weights will make a big differrence when you go up heavy.

That’s what I’ve got for you. Keep up the good work, and I hope some other more experienced guys might be able to help more.

I thought speed is better left for clean or snatch i remember seeing video where elitefts guys said pull the bar fast, definitely worth a try plus i likexplosive lifts anyway

[quote]N.K. wrote:
4) speed. With deadlifts especially I have found speed is key. Set that tension in your hamstrings and RIP the weight up as explosively as you can. Do this with EVERy warmup set. Training yourself to move deadlifts incredibly explosively at lighter weights will make a big differrence when you go up heavy.
[/quote]

this was the first thing that came to mind when I watched this video. EVERY rep should be as explosive as possible when doing deads IMO. Also maybe try mixed grip, looks like you’re doing double overhand in the vid. Or just work on grip strength

Doing cleans helped with my dead lifts. Clean weight just under half of my current dead lift weight, do believe that explosive lifting carried across to my deads. My last session some of my dead lifts were just flying up, shocked me at first as I had already done squats,bench press and was feeling bit apprehensive about my sets of DLs :slight_smile: am doing about the same weight as you

As for your grip, I’m doing farmers walk, has helped my overhand grip for deads. Basically pick up 2 heavy d/bells, stand tall shoulders back, keep mid section tight then go walking until your grip weakens. Set up a route round the gym, then increase the laps and weight as you get stronger. As well as hitting your forearms and grip whole mid section is working as well. Cardio beast as well plus you be dead lifting the weight to start each walk. Using 40kg d/bells at the moment, extra fun doing them after dead lifting as well. May get some strange looks doing this but forget about them

One question for other lifters on here, ref bar hitting the knees lowering the bar. I started lowering the bar by shifting my hips back, legs straight, lower the bar then unlocking my knees once bar has past them. I find it comfortable that way just wondering if that’s how others lower it as well or I setting myself up for a fall once the weight gets heavy

Keep your lats tight and pull backwards. It almost looks like you’re trying to squat the bar up.

Rounding is fine. Rounding only becomes an issue when you start arched, and then round over. Look at every top-level conventional deadlifter- they begin the pull with a rounded back, but they keep the spine in that same position; they don’t fold over. I’ve noticed that if my low back does ever hurt after pulling, it’s from my back going from a rounded position, to an even more rounded position, and then I try to arch it back into the starting position.

I agree with ^angus. Rounding is not a huge deal, especially if your just getting into deadlifting on a regular basis. That will more than likely fix itself with more volume, whether through more deadlifting or rowing. Other than that, doesnt look bad at all. I would absolutely stop looking in the mirror when your lifting though. It creates bad habits. Takes your head out of the neutral position. pick out a spot on the floor 10 ft. in front of you, stare at it throughout the lift.

[quote]black_angus1 wrote:
Keep your lats tight and pull backwards. It almost looks like you’re trying to squat the bar up.

Rounding is fine. Rounding only becomes an issue when you start arched, and then round over. Look at every top-level conventional deadlifter- they begin the pull with a rounded back, but they keep the spine in that same position; they don’t fold over. I’ve noticed that if my low back does ever hurt after pulling, it’s from my back going from a rounded position, to an even more rounded position, and then I try to arch it back into the starting position.[/quote] This is definitely a good advice, I’m gonna deadlift tomorrow morning at 6AM and will psyched up for tight lat and big pull. Thanks for your time bro.

[quote]Essex silverback wrote:
Doing cleans helped with my dead lifts. Clean weight just under half of my current dead lift weight, do believe that explosive lifting carried across to my deads. My last session some of my dead lifts were just flying up, shocked me at first as I had already done squats,bench press and was feeling bit apprehensive about my sets of DLs :slight_smile: am doing about the same weight as you

As for your grip, I’m doing farmers walk, has helped my overhand grip for deads. Basically pick up 2 heavy d/bells, stand tall shoulders back, keep mid section tight then go walking until your grip weakens. Set up a route round the gym, then increase the laps and weight as you get stronger. As well as hitting your forearms and grip whole mid section is working as well. Cardio beast as well plus you be dead lifting the weight to start each walk. Using 40kg d/bells at the moment, extra fun doing them after dead lifting as well. May get some strange looks doing this but forget about them

One question for other lifters on here, ref bar hitting the knees lowering the bar. I started lowering the bar by shifting my hips back, legs straight, lower the bar then unlocking my knees once bar has past them. I find it comfortable that way just wondering if that’s how others lower it as well or I setting myself up for a fall once the weight gets heavy [/quote]
Will try, I don’t know where I can fit farmer’s walk into my Starting Strength routine tho, right now I already included assistance like Row, Dips, Cable Row and Tripcep works, basically all that Mark Rip described in his 3rd edition. I really like farmer’s walk, I used to do that and noted that my grip got so much better.

[quote]Rschwitalski wrote:
I agree with ^angus. Rounding is not a huge deal, especially if your just getting into deadlifting on a regular basis. That will more than likely fix itself with more volume, whether through more deadlifting or rowing. Other than that, doesnt look bad at all. I would absolutely stop looking in the mirror when your lifting though. It creates bad habits. Takes your head out of the neutral position. pick out a spot on the floor 10 ft. in front of you, stare at it throughout the lift.[/quote] The place I work out at is actually more of a “health spa”, the owner threw in bars and benches to attract some male lifters but mostly old women working out there thus mirrors are literally all around me, the only place I could look at without staring at the mirror is ceiling or treadmills (but than I’ll be staring at old ladies’ bums and it won’t be a pretty sight doing deadlift, red face full blown out eyes staring at the ladies with the bar in hand and on thighs), that’s why I like benching more than deadlift. Could I do deadlift with closed eyes?

[quote]N.K. wrote:
My advice

  1. if grip is a problem buy chalk. It’s like 10 bucks online, on amazon.com or wherever to get a pound, which will make an enormous differrence and last you basically a year.

  2. barefoot is the way to go.

  3. your positions look pretty decent - I can tell you watch rip. To me, the problem appears to be that you are in the right positions but not using the right muscles, as other people have commented. You look to me like you are basically pushing with your quads to break it from the floow, and then using your back to get it the rest of the way up and lock it out. when you are setting up, you need tension in your hamstrings. You should feel them being tight, almost like you are stretching them, right up until your shins contact the bar and you initiate the pull. And, when you lock out you need to focus on squeezing your butt hard and bringing your hips to the bar. Again, it looks to me like you have studied proper technique hard and are mimicking it, but haven’t quite figured out how to use your muscles properly yet.

  4. speed. With deadlifts especially I have found speed is key. Set that tension in your hamstrings and RIP the weight up as explosively as you can. Do this with EVERy warmup set. Training yourself to move deadlifts incredibly explosively at lighter weights will make a big differrence when you go up heavy.

That’s what I’ve got for you. Keep up the good work, and I hope some other more experienced guys might be able to help more. [/quote] Thanks NK, among all the helpful advices yours is the greatest :slight_smile: I can’t wait to apply it tomorrow for a deadlift session. Hopefully I won’t forget, every time I mentally prepare for the lift I think I got everything right, once the bar is off the floor primal noob’s instinct comes in :slight_smile:

[quote]tazui1982 wrote:

[quote]Rschwitalski wrote:
I agree with ^angus. Rounding is not a huge deal, especially if your just getting into deadlifting on a regular basis. That will more than likely fix itself with more volume, whether through more deadlifting or rowing. Other than that, doesnt look bad at all. I would absolutely stop looking in the mirror when your lifting though. It creates bad habits. Takes your head out of the neutral position. pick out a spot on the floor 10 ft. in front of you, stare at it throughout the lift.[/quote] The place I work out at is actually more of a “health spa”, the owner through in bars and benches to attract some male lifters but mostly old women working out there thus mirrors are literally all around me, the only place I could look at without staring at the mirror is ceiling or treadmills (but than I’ll be staring at old ladies’ bums and it won’t be a pretty sight doing deadlift, red face full blown out eyes staring at the ladies with the bar in hand and on thighs), that’s why I like benching more than deadlift. Could I do deadlift with closed eyes?
[/quote]

Deadlift with closed eyes… You’re eyes actually help with balance. Try this so you can see for yourself how much difference seeing and not seeing affects balance.

Lift your foot up and time yourself how long you can keep it lifted without losing balance. Now close your eyes and do the same thing. If you’re like most people, the second time will be much shorter.