T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


#1

Hello everyone, I decided to post here because it seems T Nation has the most knowledgeable and serious lifters.

This is a video of me pulling 506 lbs, which is 92% of my max, for a double and I'd greatly appreciate any input and feedback concerning my technique, form, set up, what I need to work on or fix, etc.

Thanks guys!


#2

A side view would show the hips and back positioning a little better. One thing I noticed was the bent elbows and yanking the bar. It looks like your current setup helps you with explosiveness to initiate the lift and you do maintain good bar speed throughout. Have you considered pulling more slack out of the bar before the actual lift?


#3

Thanks for your reply!

I have tried different setups and varying the amount of slack I pull from the bar, but my current set up feels the best and most natural to me. With other set ups I always feel slow off the floor, with my current set up speed off the floor is not an issue but when i do fail a lift it happens right above my knees. I haven’t been deadlifting for very long though which is why I thought it would be good to post a form check video.


#4

Anything else to work on?


#5

Form looks decent aside from the bend in your elbows, but it looks like you use a hook grip (the video is a bit grainy so it’s hard to tell for sure) so you can get away with that without tearing a bicep.

You mention that you sometimes fail reps above the knees, this has to do with the fact that you pull with a rounded back. It gives you better leverages to pull of the floor but the lockout becomes harder. You could do rack/block pulls and pause deadlifts, all below the knees, plus deadlifts with bands, chains, or reverse bands to overload the lockout. Snatch grip SLDL’s are another good one.


#6

Thank you for the input, I appreciate it!

I do use a hook grip, in my current training cycle I’ve been hitting the SLDL hard for assistance, I’ll start doing so with a snatch grip as you recommended.
Also as you mentioned I pull with a rounded back, my max deadlift with an arched back is about 30 lbs less, does this mean that my hamstrings and glutes are a weak point?


#7

[quote]Pantera93 wrote:
Thank you for the input, I appreciate it!

I do use a hook grip, in my current training cycle I’ve been hitting the SLDL hard for assistance, I’ll start doing so with a snatch grip as you recommended.
Also as you mentioned I pull with a rounded back, my max deadlift with an arched back is about 30 lbs less, does this mean that my hamstrings and glutes are a weak point?[/quote]

Its hard to single out specific muscles, but just understand that frequent round back pulling will reinforce that technique and exacerbate any weaknesses/imbalances that lead to that being your strongest pull. On the other hand, flat back, good tech pulling will reinforce better form and work on the muscles that are weak. Work on bringing our flat back technique up, and your overall pulling strength will improve and form should get better. Your absolute true 1RM (regardless of form) might still incur some rounding but I’d avoid making this the majority of your training unless your trying to be a specialist like KK. Which you probably shouldn’t unless your on his level.

Chad Wesley Smith really nails it here:


#8

[quote]Pantera93 wrote:
Thank you for the input, I appreciate it!

I do use a hook grip, in my current training cycle I’ve been hitting the SLDL hard for assistance, I’ll start doing so with a snatch grip as you recommended.
Also as you mentioned I pull with a rounded back, my max deadlift with an arched back is about 30 lbs less, does this mean that my hamstrings and glutes are a weak point?[/quote]
I’m pretty sure just about anyone can get more weight off the floor with a rounded back, but they also might not be able to lock it out. I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions about muscle weaknesses, but actually with a straight back you would need more leg drive (ie. quads) to get the bar moving unless it’s a SLDL.

One piece of advice: don’t get caught up in the glutes & hams thing unless you are a multi ply lifter. I was listening to Dave Tate and Louie Simmons for a while even though I lift raw, my squat was starting to look like a good morning. SLDL’s (and especially snatch grip) will help with the lockout because they force you to engage your lats and push your hips forward, it’s about building the movement and not just the muscles.


#9

[quote]BCpowder wrote:

[quote]Pantera93 wrote:
Thank you for the input, I appreciate it!

I do use a hook grip, in my current training cycle I’ve been hitting the SLDL hard for assistance, I’ll start doing so with a snatch grip as you recommended.
Also as you mentioned I pull with a rounded back, my max deadlift with an arched back is about 30 lbs less, does this mean that my hamstrings and glutes are a weak point?[/quote]

Its hard to single out specific muscles, but just understand that frequent round back pulling will reinforce that technique and exacerbate any weaknesses/imbalances that lead to that being your strongest pull. On the other hand, flat back, good tech pulling will reinforce better form and work on the muscles that are weak. Work on bringing our flat back technique up, and your overall pulling strength will improve and form should get better. Your absolute true 1RM (regardless of form) might still incur some rounding but I’d avoid making this the majority of your training unless your trying to be a specialist like KK. Which you probably shouldn’t unless your on his level.

Chad Wesley Smith really nails it here:

[quote]
Why do people always say things like “of course his technique broke down, its a max lift” or “nobody’s technique looks perfect on a 1rm”?
‘Good’ technique is good not because it looks nice but because that is the technique which produces the best result. So with keeping that in mind, a max lift with a technical breakdown is not truly a maximal lift, because if more efficient aka better technique was used you would have lifted more. Now of course, these technical breakdowns will occur but don’t excuse them as just what happens when you do a 1rm, but rather understand that whatever broke down is a weakness that needs to be addressed through strategically selected exercise variations and assistance work.
Practicing in the ranges where these technical breakdowns occur will not correct them, rather it will just further ingrain them. To correct them, you need to find the weights that breakdown your technique (and I’m talking about a true breakdown, not 'oh my knee caved in 1/8" of an inch) and then do volumes of work at 65-85% of that weight with ‘your perfect’ technique (I say ‘your perfect’ because we are built differently, etc and there isn’t a universal best technique, if there was, we would all do it) and build up the strength to express your perfect technique on heavier and heavier weights. Then compliment that training with accessory work that is right for you.
The best technique is the best because it allows you to most efficiently express your strength, don’t become complacent in allowing technical flaws to limit your potential.
[/quote][/quote]

You make some good points, but even if your not Konstantinovs, pulling with a round back isn’t necessarily a sign of technical breakdown, a lot of people pull much more that way. It’s technical breakdown if you unintentionally round over during the lift. I’m not going to tell anybody what the best technique is for them, but here’s an article that will give you some information to decide for yourself.
http://forum.reactivetrainingsystems.com/content.php?159-Thoughts-for-Round-Back-Deadlifters-PDF


#10

Regardless of your of choice of rounded back or not, I see something else by kind of freeze framing the lift. I noticed that after you break the bar off the floor and get it to about mid-shin, your hips rise faster than your shoulders. It’s hard to tell how much from the angle, it’s a very poor angle to tell from. I do the same thing when it gets heavy, but I have made improvements.

This is how:

  1. Sub-maximal practice like what’s already been mentioned
  2. Cues that have really helped is setting the lats very firmly, pulling the slack out of the bar and getting uncomfortably tight through my whole body, and keeping hard knees and shins before the hip hinge part of the movement.
  3. Developing my quads both muscle and strength.

YMMV