T Nation

Deadlift Critique


I’ve viewed these forums for years, just never had a reason to make an account til now.

A little about me… I’m 24 years old, and have been lifting in some capacity since high school. But it’s really only been the last 8 months that I’ve completely focused on being consistent with lifting/diet. I’ve “bulked and cut” back and forth between 170-180 for the last few years, being inconsistent in college. Now I’m up to about 205, and have been having good progress.

I had never taken squats/deadlifts seriously until recently, and I’m still having issues with the conventional deadlift. I irritate my lower back often while doing them, and assume it’s an issue with form.

I attached a couple videos. I’d appreciate any advice on what I could fix. I had a friend tell me to pull my shoulders back and get my chest up more, but in order to do that I’d need to lower my hips more I think?

Also, I am doing a Push/Legs/Pull routine. My latest numbers are 225 x 6 on bench, 265 x 3 for squat and DL. And I realize I don’t need straps for that weight, but I do mix them in when needed. If you wanted to know any other info that would help, just ask.

I don’t see a video, kind sir.

Having trouble uploading them… Sorry for the delay.

Any advice?

You can also skip ahead to about 58sec in the videos, when I start to pull.

Your form isn’t that bad, but:

Ditch the straps. You don’t need them for a number of reasons–get chalk if you are having grip issues. They are also impeding your set up.

Your head and chest are too far out over the bar in the set up and in the initial pull. You need to make the lift more of a “pull” than a “pick.” Think block and tackle or pully rather than crane. Drop your ass another inch or two and get your weight on your heals. You will need to feel like you are pulling back to get in the right position, but in reality you will be lifting straight up. The difference between a better position and what you are doing now is only an inch or two, but that’s a big difference in leverages. This will also take some pressure off your lower back when you get to a stronger pulling position. Then, when you are in a good starting position, you will be in a better position to snap your hips through when the bar passes your knees for a stronger lockout.

The straps aren’t helping this issue in the set up any, again, get rid of them.

Keep up the good work.

Thank you for the response, that actually makes a lot of sense. My next DL day is Thursday, so I’ll try putting that to work.

And I just ordered the Metolius Eco Ball, sort of a chalk substitute. Hopefully that will help with grip issues, most of the barbells at my gym are pretty worn out and slick.

And I’ll hopefully have another video to compare in a couple days, if you wouldn’t mind critiquing again.

This video really helped me understand the deadlift set up. Replay the last bit from 1:40 a few times until it sinks in.

And this article by Eric Cressey is worth a read. It mentions “Thou shalt not deadlift in cross-trainers”. Go barefoot or get some chucks,NB minimus or nike frees.

As jack said, ditch the straps, they’re totally messing with your set up. On a positive your keeping the bar close to the legs during the whole lift and it looks like your back is staying reasonably flat.

Looked pretty clean to me. I agree though, drop the straps. Use chalk or go over/under grip. If it’s still a problem start adding in more grip work until it’s not