T Nation

Deadlift - Am I Rounding My Back?


Hello all

Simple one, is my back rounded?

This snapshot is at the point where the weight leaves the ground on a lift of 127.5 KG

I have been deadliftfing for 6 months. I try to tuck my chin in but I can see my head raised here a bit and do try to keep a straight back…but this seems to be my natural “shape” when lifting.


Is your back rounded I would say “Yes”, At this point in the picture it may not to appear that way but the next frame or 2 I would suspect it would be more evident. The one thing I see is that your hips are not far from being higher than your shoulders which would definitely cause you to round and put a tremendous load on the lumbar part of your back. I suggest working on driving off your heals maybe use a lighter weight and do pause pulls making sure your shoulders do lean forward.


Yes. If you are truly inflexible, you could lift off blocks or plates. For now you could bend your knees more and make it more like a squat. Just to keep you safe in the meantime. Check out the deadlift threads here and the instuctionals on youtube. There is a lot of information there. Look up Johnny Candito he has a video on not rounding your back.


What’s the wood siding on your house called? The orange.


You might be better off with sumo, some people can’t set up for conventional with a neutral spine but can do it for sumo.


thanks to all that have commented on the question and suggestions, much appreciated.

jim - yes will bear this in mind next time, hips lower, push through heels

deci - flexibility hasn’t been an issue for me so far but points on knees taken on and will try to address this, I do look at deadlift form vids and will certainly check these out…it’s just putting it together when I do it …

reed - the build you can see is my new “man cave” in the garden, colour… “autumn gold”

chris - will look at this option, though I will try and address the above points before introducing a variation at this stage…haven’t been lifting long and need to focus on basics!

thanks again


It’s kinda rounded but it’s really light.

My deadlift looks like yours, my lower back or even more my butt looks rounded and I CAN’T fix it. I didn’t try off big blocks but I worked my technique for ever and ever this last year and I always have this kind of rounding.

I told myself it may not be an issue cause I had WAY more awful rounding by the past, my problem, and probably yours is like, even if I try to get my weight more behind the bar or like a squat, I just can’t go very low and have a perfect flat lower back. My DL always looks like a stiffy legged DL.

I think it may be a genetic issue like long legs/short torso etc…
I’m still doing conventionals but I switched principally to sumo to avoid getting too much pressure on my lower back, but it’s a tough and technical lift.


Here’s mine

bigger weights


I’m not talking about sumo as a variation, I mean that maybe you should just switch to sumo if you can set up properly.


Maybe try actively pulling your arms down and pulling your lats back. That will make it easier to start more upright since your effectively elongating your arms.

Also, start with bar around midfoot if you aren’t already and start with your shins against the bar and imagine keeping rigid shins and pushing your pelvis forward. This will help keep you in a more upright position as you break the floor and first part of the lift.

Since it’s just a frame, I can’t tell if you do it or not, but pull the slack out of the bar. If you hear a clank when the barbell hits against the plates, that’s a sure fire sign you’re not doing it.

To pull the slack out, you start with your lats pulled down and back. Grasp the bar, then almost kind of lean back some and apply a little bit of pressure on the bar so that the bar is already against the plates. When you put bigger poundages on the bar, it’ll even bend. Then you try to push your feet through the ground full force while keeping everything in your back super tight.

Not doing that often leads to the weight getting in front and/or a rounded back. It’s damned near impossible to keep the back as tight as you need to without pulling the slack out.


Many Thanks Fletch
Midfoot - check
Shins - Check
Slack from bar - check

Lifting again on Friday will address (or attempt to) the issues raised, including pulling lats back, leaning back more and the other points mentioned in the thread so far.

Really appreciate all the posts and suggestions


Here is a video of hybrid sumo style competition lift by me at WNPF World meet 3 weeks ago.


Jim: That’s a nice pull. But why would you refer to that as a “hybrid” sumo style?


I refer to it as a hybrid because I do not have my legs out as wide as many other sumo deadlifters. Im not in as close as many true conventional deadlifters therefore my reason for the term Hybrid. As you can see i drive off my heels and look to make it similar to my squat. The one area I need to improve on is taking slack out of bar on 3rd attempts.