T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


#1

I wanted to get some objective opinions on my deadlift. For starters, it's obvious to me that my upper back is rounded--which is ok, right?--but is my lower back flat enough? Second, how is my timing? It looks and feels like I'm using a lot of back to finish the lift, but I've tried watching lift vids online, and I'm not sure my lift is that bad.

Anyway, any advice--from set-up to timing to whatever--would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


#2

First thing I notice is your ass and hips shoot up a few inches before the bar weight leaves the floor. Keep the bar close, drive thru the heels, trying to keep the hip hinge and back angle pretty stable until the bar reaches right around the knee cap, then really push the hips and glutes thru and into the bar. Keep the chest up, and why not on working sets try to keep your t spine extended


#3

Only thing I’d say is to keep your hips in the position they are before you “float” right before you lift off. If you keep them in that position, or just lower your set up so they get into that position after the float, you’ll be fine.


#4

I think you are not taking the slack out of the bar before you pull. That is leading to the premature rises of your hips. Pull the bar tight, then start the lift, when it is ready to break the floor.


#5

Are you wearing shoes? Lose them. And x3 on what the other folks said about rushing the start of the pull. I’d also recommend a more neutral head position for the first part of the pull.


#6

Thanks, guys. I’ll deadlift again on Sunday, and I’ll work on keeping my hips down at the start and keeping a neutral head position. I do have a couple of follow up questions.

  1. Regarding pulling the slack out of the bar: I’ve heard this before, but I guess I don’t know how to make it work for me. I mean, as a cue, I’m setting up and then pulling with what? Thoracic spine/lats? Lumbar? Hips/knees?

  2. On pulling without shoes: I’ve also heard this recommended to help start closer to the bar/not have to pull it as high off of the floor. Are there any caveats regarding foot/ankle stability or anything else to think about before I try lifting this way?


#7

My 2 cents on your questions:

  1. Don’t think of pulling with any specific muscle groups so much as just getting tension throughout your entire body and the bar. I personally do this by rocking back (sitting my hips down, getting my chest up) and as I get further back and more vertical the bar can’t have slack because I’m using it so I don’t fall backwards.

  2. As long as your shoes have a hard, flat sole like skating or wrestling shoes you should be fine to wear shoes. When people say to deadlift without shoes its because people are deadlifting in trainers or running shoes which is a problem. If you really want you could invest in some deadlift slippers but it isn’t really necessary unless you plan on doing a meet. And if you do plan to do a meet all feds will make you wear shoes so why would you train without them?


#8

I have people tell my form is wrong when i’m lifting 300+pounds. Yes, I do round my back when i do deadlifts and I’ve never injured myself once doing them. As long as you use hook grip and properly position your feet and follow the motion correctly, i dont believe it matters if your back is rounded when doing them. Standard straight back deadlfts are great for lower weight, but i always round my back and have never had a problem, because your legs are supposed to be doing the work before you can straighten your back during the lift.


#9

[quote]Antho wrote:
Thanks, guys. I’ll deadlift again on Sunday, and I’ll work on keeping my hips down at the start and keeping a neutral head position. I do have a couple of follow up questions.

  1. Regarding pulling the slack out of the bar: I’ve heard this before, but I guess I don’t know how to make it work for me. I mean, as a cue, I’m setting up and then pulling with what? Thoracic spine/lats? Lumbar? Hips/knees?

  2. On pulling without shoes: I’ve also heard this recommended to help start closer to the bar/not have to pull it as high off of the floor. Are there any caveats regarding foot/ankle stability or anything else to think about before I try lifting this way?[/quote]

In my mind, taking the slack out is simple, get set up, and pull tight against the bar. You want to feel the bar get heavy in your hands while your hips and back are still in position. Otherwise you end up getting a running start against the weight. Best example I can think of, when you are using your truck to pull something, your down get a running start with a slack rope do you? You tighten the rope (your arms and back) against the thing your are going to pull, then you start pulling. Make sense?


#10

[quote]Patranator wrote:
I have people tell my form is wrong when i’m lifting 300+pounds. Yes, I do round my back when i do deadlifts and I’ve never injured myself once doing them. As long as you use hook grip and properly position your feet and follow the motion correctly, i dont believe it matters if your back is rounded when doing them. Standard straight back deadlfts are great for lower weight, but i always round my back and have never had a problem, because your legs are supposed to be doing the work before you can straighten your back during the lift. [/quote]

That might explain why your deadlift sucks…


#11

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:

[quote]Patranator wrote:
I have people tell my form is wrong when i’m lifting 300+pounds. Yes, I do round my back when i do deadlifts and I’ve never injured myself once doing them. As long as you use hook grip and properly position your feet and follow the motion correctly, i dont believe it matters if your back is rounded when doing them. Standard straight back deadlfts are great for lower weight, but i always round my back and have never had a problem, because your legs are supposed to be doing the work before you can straighten your back during the lift. [/quote]

That might explain why your deadlift sucks…[/quote]

^truth, for several reasons.
Who actually needs a hook grip for a 300lb deadlift in the first place? I know very few powerlifters who ever use hook grips. Most use mixed. Really though, most people should be able to double-overhand 300. Grip should not be a limiting factor at that weight.
Patranator, you have no business giving advice that you’re basing on ‘what’s worked for you’, because quite frankly, nothing’s worked for you. You have to have achieved something first for this to be the case. Go achieve something, then tell us all how you got there. A 315 deadlift just does not cut it.


#12

Your hips shoot up way too early. Your upper back needs to be TIGHT. Maybe try an over/under grip instead of double over (can’t see both hands but it looks like double over). I’d suggest doing rear delt flies and back extensions, as well as romanian deadlifts. Goodluck!


#13

[quote]Confinative wrote:
Maybe try an over/under grip instead of double over (can’t see both hands but it looks like double over). [/quote]

What would be the reasoning behind this if his grip isn’t failing? A mixed grip is used solely to prevent grip failure.


#14

Ok, this is obviously a work in progress. Head position is not fixed, but I think the hip hitch at the start is much less dramatic.


#15

And here’s the second Joker’s set from that session. This is closer to failure than the other. Note that I had to switch grip for the last rep; grip strength is my weakest link here.