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Deadlift Diagnosis for Me


I am without a doubt stronger with the "dip, grip and rip" style of conventional pulling.

I am worried that my form is going to hell because of this on max attempts.

I pulled 405 a few days ago and rounded REALLY badly.

Here's the video:

Now, I normally do not round in the lumbar- but it has happened on heavy sets. I normally pull with a rounded upper back. My shins also bumped the bar forward before I started pulling here- weird.I am also wearing shoes- so this lift was definitely an anomaly.

Nonetheless it's obvious that I NEVER want this to happen on a max pull, and NEVER want it to happen again.

I think this may be related to my start, in this particular lift.

What do you think and what changes should I make to improve my pull?

This was a max for a beltless, raw conventional pull.



maybe related

Rippetoe seems to think the shoulders should be over the bar. Tate's "Dead Zone" article says the shoulders should be behind the bar. This is specific to conventional pulling.

I've found that the cue of driving up and pulling back has definitely helped my pull but I can't say my shoulder position for sure on conventional, only that it is definitely behind the bar sumo. What I am doing currently is largely irrelevant because I've been having trouble with my start


I don't know. I don't think the rounding was too bad for a max/PR pull.


It was the music. You might pull better with earplugs.

Max pulls are never pretty.


It's because you're working out with someone wearing jeans.


Rippetoe and Tate have slightly different objectives in their explanations of the DL setup.

Tate will have you DL max weight and his setup is directed toward that. Rippetoe, as stated in his book, doesn't care about max weight but is trying to get you overall stronger. That leads to a less optimal, but possibly safer pulling position and the use of a greater amount of muscle tissue. It's a subtle point and I'm not explaining it very well..

I tend to think that Tate is factoring in the DL or Squat suit and shoulders behind the bar loads the maximum tension into the suit while forcing the bar into the legs. I would guess that practicing that raw makes it easier to do in the suit.


that's really interesting

do you have any video examples? of someone pulling with shoulders behind? and do you think it's different for sumo?

makes a LOT of sense



well, he was benching that day... double bodyweight raw for reps

He doesn't wear jeans when he pulls... over triple bodyweight

so I'd say cut him some slack, haha


so does my setup look OK then? It seems like the shins hitting the bar there and hips rising a tiny bit could be problematic... or just the setup in general, I don't know.

If it's necessary I can take a video the next time I pull which will be lighter weight


I don't know of any videos offhand, though I'll bet others reading will.

Dunno too much about sumo - still learning to pull that way myself so I'm all over the place. I do notice that if my shoulders go too far over the bar, I end up doing basically a wide stance conventional pull - with none of the leverage advantages of conventional.



I've mostly pulled sumo until recently because of hip/hamstring focus and not wanting to confuse clean pull and deadlift. So I feel like my conventional form is a lot worse.

I definitely know what you mean about the stiff-legging issue. I really need to pull back hard off the floor sumo. I don't know if it's the same for conventional or not, I just don't really know the technical stuff for conventional and that's partly why I made this post.


I seem to recall this question was posed directly to Rippetoe on another website. Rippetoe basically states that your scapula will be directly over the bar and the musculature of your shoulder will be in front of the bar. I believe he even had a phone conversation with Tate about it and they were on the same page.

You can't actually lift the bar off the ground if your shoulders are behind the bar. When the bar comes up off the ground, the weight is going to hang directly below the joint, it's just a matter of physics.

The only way to have your shoulders behind the bar, would be to have so little weight on the bar that you could do a front delt raise with it. Otherwise, as soon as you apply a force to the bar, it will either pitch your body forward, or roll the bar backwards to initiate the pull. Does this make any sense?


Just found the info I was referencing above (sorry that it comes from crossfit, I stumbled upon it last year while researching DL technique):


Skip down to the comments section. He says he won't reveal the contents of the conversation, but that anyone could call him to ask him in person. Post #19 would seem that it is written by Mark, and it's signed Rip, but the poster's name is steph. Maybe this wasn't actually Mark's response, and I didn't pick that up when I first read it.


thanks for the link. Good read.

I watched a bunch of vids and most people on heavy pulls, even guys like coan Cressey etc, seem to get tilted forward till they are over the bar, and the article seems to support this

kind of bothersome that the post isn't by Rip himself though. And I sometimes find rips stuff questionable ,related to the squat.. but this seems legit

I'm wondering now- it seems like my shoulders are over the bar, the bar travels up and in and stays pretty close

so really, the only way to stop the lumbar rounding, if that is the position where I am mechnically strongest, is to put the bar further out front or decrease my distance to the ground?

It seems to me the only ways to do that without the lumbar rounding would be improve leg strength/sink the hips lower, take off the shoes, and round the upper back as much as I can

what do you think?

either way I now know for the future, I don't want to waste any energy extending against the ground. I want to be in that position before I pull because that's where I am strongest.

I am reading the westside articles on the DL. I'm actuall gonna email rip as well...


shoulders back can be tricky depending on lever lengths but i reckon it's worth a look at a benedikt magnusson deadlifting clip on youtube. check out how he rolls the bar towards himself to get that momentum in the horizontal plane. even if you don't mimc the method it's food for thought


Yeah the rounding isn't that bad, but it's not your form that's the problem. It's that your upper back isn't strong enough to keep an arch when you pull. Whether you can keep your shoulders back or not, you need to be able to keep an arch. Hell, you need a tight, arched back for the squat and the bench too.


dunno what you mean. Just because my upper back rounds doesn't mean it's weak, and doesn't mean my lower back will round.

I thought lot of people round their upper backs when they pull. It gets you lower to the bar improving leverage. Dave Tate even says you are supposed to pull with a rounded upper back in an article on here.

tom is that you in that pic with Ronnie? if so thats awesome


Just try pushing your chest forward. That will straighten your thoratic spine.

Keeping your butt a bit lower and squeezing your butt and pulling your hips through will help keep your lumbar spine in good shape.


Start doing some heavy static upper back work. Scapular retractions, negatives on pullups, heavy bent over rows, and RDL's with a very tight back are some good ones. These will hopefully help you to lock in your lats a little better.


I REALLY don't think my upper back or core is weak to be honest... I row/shrug/chin a lot of weight relative to my pull. I think it's just the position of the pull

much more concerned with lumbar rounding and my general position in the pull and my body/legs/hips/bar and all that

I think hips a little lower might do the trick. I'll have to improve the strength of my legs some. And try pulling w/o shoes...

if my right hamstring feels fine I will pull sat and videotape it from the side and bump this with the video

thanks guy