T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


background: this was my first heavy pull session in about two months. I had previously pulled my right hip flexor squatting, then pulled my left erector(s) about mid-back chasing a rep record while jackhammering my DL's.

I've self-diagnosed as much as I can. SSC mentioned that it looks like I'm not pulling through my heels enough. I also think that maybe my hips are too low at the start of the pull. if that is the case, then should I lower my hips only up to the point that my shoulders just clear the bar (looking down from my point of view), because iirc my shoulders are behind the bar completely.

also, about the upper back. i think Dave Tate said allow your upper back to round, Tony gentilcore and others say to lock your shoulder blades and put them in your back pocket. others say to flex your armpits. after I get my air and get set, I try to keep my chest out as much as possible. is some upper back rounding acceptable?


You're correct in thinking your hips are too low. You're pulling like an oly lifter pulls a clean. When the weight gets heavy enough, you're butt will shoot up without your shoulders putting you in theoretically the correct position when the bar starts to move.

Shoulder blades/scapula should be directly over the bar, putting your shoulders slightly in front.

Some back rounding is acceptable, or more like unavoidable. Try to stay strict as possible learning/working up, so when you get to heavy weights its not a form issue, but a heavy weight issue.


ok thanks. I'll try to take a video of my next pull session with that cue you mentioned and see if I'm doing it right.


your hips are indeed to low.
the upper back thing - what i do is start with a roundish upper back(enough to get set), then do the shoulderblade tuck as i pull up, culminating in the lockout where everything is squeezwd together tightly


I think your pull looks pretty good. I wouldn't bring those hips up too much (but maybe a smidge). You are doing a great job of pulling back instead of up and I think in the long run that will lead to bigger weights.


looks like you need some more weight on the bar! form looks pretty good to me, just try to keep it that way when the weight starts going up


thanks for the help guys. in addition to the cues mentioned above, I also had my feet at shoulder width instead of narrower (shins lined up with the smooth part of the bar inside the knurling). the gym was busy though, hence the lower angle.

deadlift 295:

it felt like a 7/10 difficulty at the most. I was more apprehensive about the form tweaks than anything, so I left a semi-grinder rep in the tank.


Looks much better to me.

How did the form changes feel?


well, when I made tweaks to my squat, even the first warmup rep felt so right that I somehow knew I was doing it right. the same thing happened here as soon as I tightened up and dipped my hips just with 135. by the time I pulled that 295, it felt easier than when I pulled 275 in the first vid. I somehow know that pulling a new PR with 315 won't be a huge problem.