T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


Hi guys

Been struggling to get my deadlift form right for my entire lifting career due to lower back problems but I feel I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My lower back fatigues quickly when deadlifting currently, but I'm unsure if that is due to a technical issue or that fact my lower back is just weak. I've linked to Youtube video below, if anyone could have a look at it I'd appreciate it.

Due to being 6'3" I'm struggling to sit back enough and get my shoulders behind the bar, even with the bar starting out reasonably far in front of me. If I widen my stance slightly I feel this is better but I lose leg drive so unsure how to continue. The weight in the video is only 110kg, I'll record a heavier set soon as the bar being light I struggled to pull any slack of the bar without pulling it off the ground.

Apologies for shaking at the start.


Try to scrape some skin off your shins with the bar. Back and head position look okay so that should mean you can continue training without worrying about more back problems.

Try lifting in socks or barefoot–hard to tell what your footwear is–looks like Chucks, but even those put you a half inch further off the floor than you need to be.

As far as making the lower back stronger, C.T. mentioned that something he learned from Crossfit is that frequency of training can yield good results. KB swings, RDL’s and KB good mornings can be supplementary exercises. Also, if intensity is low (i.e. less than 85%) you could experiment with pulling twice a week.


That’s actually one of the better deadlifts I’ve seen on here. Your shoulder position is good. They shouldn’t be behind the bar as it’s impossible to pull from that position. Correction: Impossible to pull any kind of weight.

I’d recommend you play with the amount of knee bend you’re using just to see how it feels with straighter legs but there’s nothing “wrong” with having your knees bent that much and using a lot of leg drive off the bottom.

Check out this pic from starting strength re: shoulder position.


I agree, the lift doesn’t look too bad. But if chronic lower back pain is hindering your performance, have you ever thought of transitioning to sumo? It’s hard to tell exactly, but it looks as though your levers might be suitable for that.


As of recently, it’s not lower back pain but fatigue. Normally after a session I know if I’ve done something wrong, but lately it just feels tired with no pain. By the end of the main deadlift sets my lower back is toast but I’m not sure if this is due to the fact my lower back is just weak in comparison to everything else and is having a hard time keeping up or technically there is a problem.

I’ve tried with straighter legs but end up pulling with all back and no leg drive. I’m essentially thinking about shoving my shins way forward to the bar and trying to get my hips to the bar which creates a lot of tension and then pushing through/pulling back. It’s working better than any other way I’ve tried.

I did try sumo and it did feel more comfortable but as I’m only using light weights at the moment to strengthen my back and form, I believe it’s in my best interest long run to get my conventional to a respectable level, and in turn my lower back strength up, before I look at sumo properly.