Dead Lift Technique

GUys, when I DL heavy it seems that my lower back wants to round…I try to stop it, but when I ever I go heavy it seems the pull initiates in my mid upper back instead of with the legs and arms…what gives??? Tips? Suggestions?? Do I have some weakness I need to work on thru assistance exercises or something like that? Thanks in advance

You need to work on static power in your lower back. I would start doing some arched back good mornings. This will develop static strength at the same angle you should be maintaining while doing deads.

Are you keeping your head up? I find that if I allow my gaze to waver even a little, allow my head to drop at all, my back will want to round out.

The head leads and the body will follow. Keep your head up and you may be able to keep a straight back.

Hope this helps.

Question to John Roman: YOu mean keep my head straight up like looking towards the sky or just straight out…


any more tips??

A lot of people will likely debate me on this, but my personal feeling is that as long as your gaze is anywhere but down you’re all right. That is, assuming all other aspects of your technique are solid.

I've noticed that I have a tendency to elevate my line of sight to a greater degree as load increases. If I'm lifting very heavy, I'll cast my eyes skyward and look straight up.

Hope this helps.

Unless you’re really built to deadlift, if you put enough weight on the bar your back will eventually round. Go to a powerlifting meet sometime and watch the form displayed on max lifts…you’d probably be surprised by all the back rounding that goes on. Of course there’s also a lot of difference between a max powerlifting deadlift, a deadlift done for bodybuilding purposes, and an olympic style deadlift. One assistance exercise I like which may help you a bit is bottom position good mornings done from a rack or have the bar suspended from chains.

I like bent over rows to help keep the back straight on heavy dead lifts. First it strengthens the back of the shoulders and upper back. Second it teaches you to use and get use to a neutral (straight) back position. As far as keeping a straight back on heavy dead lifts it helps me to think of pushing through my heels as opposed of pulling with my hands. Also to get the weight off the ground (where you are most likely to round your back) try and lift it off quickly but not jerk it.

You can try a sumon deadlift instead of a conventional deadlift. The back is more upright and thus it has to exert less force to stay tight. You can also include light romanian deadlifts to really stregthen that lower back. Don’t worry, it’s all comming up in a deadlift article!!!

Any time you are lifting maximal loads you are going to have some rounding of the back.

Sure you could switch to sumo style, but that does not fix the problem, which is probably a weak low back…You have got to do good mornings…lots of good mornings! Also make no mistake When you pull heavy the back will round slightly…But WORK THE LOW BACK!! Good luck!

When I don’t keep up with my good mornings, my deads suffer. Reverse hypers is another good one to do to help stregthen your lower back.

I’ll second the others’ advice. Romanian deadlifts and good mornings are both great exercises for strengthening the back. Heavy back extensions are great too, provided you have access to a glute-ham or a roman chair.

I love stiff legged deadlifts. Back and Hams. I dont do the “new” style though i do em with my heels on a 45lb plate and my legs straight as can be.