T Nation

Deadlift Critique


#1

Hey guys, merry Christmas.

I was just looking for some advice about my deadlift technique - this is my top set from today’s 5/3/1 session (350lbs x9). I know it’s ugly - my hips start too high and I don’t use enough leg drive - and I’d really like to hear any and all advice.

Background: 25yo, 6’3", 215lbs, training for 9 years, coming back from a shattered tibia/surgery in Jan. Squat/bench max both 255lbs.

Many thanks!

@MaazerSmiit @t3hpwnisher @jblues85 @ActivitiesGuy


#2

Looks like you are losing most of the tightness in your lats. Looks like more of a yank than a pull past rep 4 or so. Also it’s not as much that your hips are too high, it’s that they go from to low to high within the first quarter second of your lift.
But, your back remains relatively neutral. How does your grip feel?


#3

They look pretty solid to me. Good hinge. For leg drive/hips, try bringing each foot in about an inch and flare your feet out slightly.


#4

I think the hips rise too quickly as well. Still looks fairly easy and solid. Perhaps try a heavier weight and see how it looks. It so easy to criticise and very hard to do well in this lift. At 6 3 you should have some great leverage.


#5

Thanks a lot for the feedback guys.

@brady888 - Thanks man, any particularly cues that work for you for lat tightness? It’s not something I really think about, which I need to fix! My grip feels good thanks, I don’t think it’s a weak link - everything else seems to fail before my grip does.


#6

I can tell you have made improvements since I looked at one of your earlier videos in your log

I think the rising of the hips too early is a lack of leg strength, losing tightness and your back taking the load more than the legs. You and I are a pretty much the same height and I had that exact problem. Front Squats and Weighted Lunges were my best friends when it came to strengthening my legs and also don’t let up on your kettlebell swings and ab work either. Once your leg strength catches up to your back strength you will be pulling mid 500’s before you know it. When I was doing Snatch Grip Deadlifts for a while, that also taught me how to drive with my legs and not pull/yank so much with my back.

You’ve got the strength my friend, just need to bring up some weaknesses and refine your technique a bit. Like I said earlier, this looked a lot better than previous videos. I’m not good with critiquing videos of a lift but just sharing what has worked for me over the past year.


#7

Externally rotate elbows at the start of the lift .


#8

You’ve already gotten plenty of solid feedback from some of the usual suspects, and given that I’m just a regular guy with a 505 deadlift, I don’t consider myself much of an authority. I found this article (“What We Mortals Can Learn From Eddie Hall’s Deadlift”) helpful. In particular, it helped me understand the “hips rising too fast” thing a little better.

Pay particular heed to the discussion of people who take a deep squat position at the start, and how that actually relates to proper hip position when the pull really begins. Some people think that you have to “get low” at the start of a deadlift, but you shouldn’t confuse “getting low” with really getting into proper hip position.

I also think that you might consider wearing your belt a little higher. That was a big a-ha for me, learning what the “real” purpose of a belt in a deadlift is. Once I started wearing my belt a little higher up, I felt like I could really brace my core HARD against the belt, and that really gave me more confidence that I was getting ALL of my body into the pull.


#9

Here’s mine, pick what works for you:

First I make sure I’ve stretched my hamstrings and ankles. It’s really hard for me to keep my lats tight if I can’t start in a good position

some rowing or straight arm pull down variation prior to pulling

Try to “tuck” your lats into your back pockets/hips

Don’t just pull up, also pull back and into you on the way up

These cues allowed me to get back into conventional pulling. I had abandoned it for a long time because of lower back pain from crummy form.


#10

@jblues85 - yes thank you - I think that’s the first time I did 405lbs that you are referring too - horrible deadlift haha. You are definitely right about leg strength, I will continue to work on that. Thanks for having faith in me.

@decimation - thank you very much, those videos were really useful

@ActivitiesGuy - awesome I’ll check out that article just now, I really appreciate the advice - and 505lb ain’t “regular” mate!

@brady888 - great, thank you very much


#11

I always found this interesting, because I try to wear my belt as low as possible on the deadlift. I know folks like George Leeman were big on a high belt position, but for me the belt is most valuable for breaking off the floor, and that means I need it low against my abs.


#12

Hmm. I mean, considering that you’re pulling 150 pounds more than me at a lower bodyweight, clearly you have figured out what works for you…but I will say that I always hated pulling with a belt until a few weeks ago when I read some articles about wearing it higher and gave it a try. Now I really feel that core-bracing and, for whatever reason, that gives me a weird sensation of really feeling my whole body is engaged.

Probably should acknowledge that this might have something to do with a combination of limb lengths, flexibility, etc. No two people will deadlift exactly the same.


#13

Yeah, it’s more why I find it interesting vs simply thinking it wrong. I imagine it’s going to vary from lifter to lifter. I’m thinking having a short torso is one of the factors involved here. Those with longer torsos might need the support higher, since their torso has a longer lever arm, whereas shorter torsos need it more at the base. Or it could be height of the starting pull, or the fact that I use a rounded upperback.


#14

Not much wrong here imo. Its not perfect but not bad. My biggest issue is when you go down it doesn’t look the same as when you go up. I’m a huge advocate for proper and consistent movement patterns, but thats just me being ocd