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Deadlift Feedback


Quick background:
I don't have a whole lot of experience deadlifting. I had a 3 month stretch about 5 years ago and started again this summer before injuring my elbow and having to stop lifting altogether. Since the elbow healed, I've been focusing on the big 3. My form on bench and squat is fine, but deadlift, I'm not so sure.

I've been doing 5x5 for about a month now and after my last deadlift session, my lower back was sore for about 5 days, so I figured something might be screwed up w/ my form. This is 305 for my first set of 5. I probably should have filmed a later set where the form breaks down worse. Thanks in advance...


Your hips are rising way to fast. Somebody is going to come on here and tell you to lower your hips in the starting position, but they are actually ok there. Watch how your knees are almost locked before the bar even moves. Remember that you aren't just picking the weight up, but you should also be pulling back. Your goal should be to at least maintain the angle your back is at in the starting position. To do this, you just need to make sure you are pulling back and your shoulders rise at the same rate, or faster, as your hips.

Take some weight off and do some slower reps so that you can feel what a proper DL is like, really concentrating on pulling back and making sure your hips don't come up until your shoulders and thus the bar does also.


Yeah, try to maintain the back angle throughout the lift. You can tell how your back angle changes as your legs extend. That's a no no. It actually hurts me watching this lol. Youve turned the lift into a SLDL. I think a 5x5 on deads might be too much volume.


5 x 5 on deads would murder me!

I found the best way to keep my hips down has been to narrow my stance and front squat more.


Seems alright to me. I can't tell if you are keeping the bar on your legs on the way up. If you aren't, you should be. I would shit-can those shoes for deadlifting. Wear something with a thin, flat sole or maybe just kick your shoes off for the work sets.


Look at your low back at the start, ever so slightly rounded. Try to lock it in a little more. Some people are more stiff leg deadlifters some aren't, i think the key is loocking in the low back regardless of how you pull.


Find the style that suits you best.


Try doing some pull-thru's to figure out how your supposed to activate your hips in a deadlift.

Keep your lumbar spine flat and chest out.

Good luck dude!


Tedro gave the exact same advice I would have, and probably said it better. Follow this advice, drop the weight, tape yourself and add the videos here for further advice.

Get the form down, then add weight. If you get injured again, you won't be able to lift at all...so drop some weight, get the technique right, then move up again.


I agree with this opinion too!
Generally speaking; the legs should lock out last(as stated above:".....should also be pulling back.")


Thanks for the advice fellas. Will try a few different things, notably what tedro said. I'll also try some sets with hips in a lower starting position, since I think that's how I did it 5 yrs ago and might force me to get my shoulders moving earlier.

As for the shoes - I think they are ok. Old tennis shoes that don't compress (not sure if that's the word I'm looking for) and a low, almost-flat sole. Maybe I'll get chucks at some point in the future, but I doubt it'll make much difference. Don't think w/o shoes is an option


I don't think anyone mentioned it but the way you're lowering the weight looks a little awkward. You do sort of the opposite of what you're doing on the concentric and bending at the knees first then you sort of throw the bar in front of them (or let it roll off your knees I guess).

You should bend at the hips (sit back) and bend at knees as soon as bar passes knees.

Hopefully I explained it correctly.

Once you get the stuff tedro and others describe down your deadlift will shoot up since you're SLDLing now.

Good luck.


Hips are going up before anything else.


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I agree. It seems as if you are just squatting it down, and letting the bar travel along your legs. You should be pushing your hips back, and your legs should be moving out of the way of the bar. It should be traveling straight up and down.


IMO, the deadlift has two phases:

1) Floor to just above knees. In this phase the back angle should remain static (the one you showed at the start is pretty good). All of the movement should be knee extension; think about pushing the floor down and dragging the bar across the shins. This is all vertical.

In this phase, the quads are the prime mover and the glutes/hamstrings anchor the pelvis in place isometrically.

2) Knees to lockout. In this phase, the movement comes from hip extension. The legs should almost be locked out here, and the movement comes from bringing the hips forward to meet the bar. This is more "horizontal," if that makes sense.

In this phase, the glutes and hamstrings become the prime movers.

You are essentially neglecting the first phase and relying exclusively on hip extension. This is a pretty common mistake and, IMO, results from not having sufficient static strength in your glutes and hamstrings to allow you to hold the isometric while your quads break the bar from the floor. As such, you will need to lower the weight and really concentrate on the first part of the pull from the floor to knees.

As Tedro said, the hip angle you show at the start (when the bar is on the floor) is pretty good actually. I'd focus on holding that angle as you break it from the floor with the legs. Good luck.


Gym rules, maybe? Looks like he's at a gym in the vid.


Depends how you set up 5x5:
Two common ways are: warm up then do 5sets of 5reps with the top wt (def. hi vol.)
Second common variant: increase weight each set and do one top set of 5 (much less drastic).


All I can say is good luck. I tend to SLDL anything over 315 all the way up to my max. I've been incorporating a lot of glute activation stuff on my off days, and strengthening my hammies a ton to see if it helps.

If I gave any advice here, I would feel like a hypocrite.


I deadlifted yesterday trying not to SLDL. I used 225 and 245 for 4 "work sets." While this weight was light enough to practice better form, it was heavy enough that I have a better understanding of what happens when I bump the weight. I can't hold that angle of my back as the weight increases.

According to Cressey (Mastering the Deadlift 2), turning deads into SLDL can be caused by bad knees, posterior chain weakness or not pushing thru the heels. I suspect posterior chain weakenss. Any suggestions for remedial exercises? My gym has every variant of leg extensions and leg curls but nothing for reverse hypers or glute ham raises.


You can do a poor man's GHR by hooking your feet backwards on an ab bench.

Also, I'm a big fan of good mornings.