T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


#1

I can’t seem to engage my hamstrings until by behind is quite high up. Sometimes it looks almost like a straight legged deadlift…

On a scale of 1 - stop and just work on technique, how bad does it look to you?

(I’m 6"5 @ 107kg, lift is 180kg)

Thanks for your time


#2

This is not a good angle to judge the lift by. But from what I can tell, your back stays pretty flat. I’m gonna take a guess and say that your squat is probably pretty weak in comparison to your deadlift. It doesn’t really look like you’re going to hurt yourself, it’s not “bad form.” Just looks like you have a strong back and weak legs, so you basically pull stiff legged.

If I’m right about the squat lagging behind the deadlift, than weak quads are probably the problem. Bring your squat up. Maybe add in some front squats too, to bring up dem wheels. In the end, developing those weaknesses will allow your deadlift to continue progressing. Because while your form doesn’t look especially dangerous to me, I think you’re going to hit a wall pretty soon where you can’t get stronger unless you get strong legs and hips to go along with your strong back.


#3

Hi N_K,
thanks for the feedback. I see why yours seems like a valid theory but I’m not sure it’s the case. If anything on me is big (and hopefully strong), it’s my quads. My squat has always been my strongest lift with 200kg max and DL max 230kg. I’m not actually a power lifter and have usually trained to improve my performance in rugby and rowing at various points in my life. I’m using that as an excuse for those numbers :smiley:

I’ve done a little bit of research and my current theory is that my hip flexors are tight and hamstrings not properly engaged and weak, making my hip move first.

Aren’t the quads what straightens the legs at the knees and once they are done the lower back has to do the work?

I’m glad it’s not considered horrendous and if anybody has more tips or ideas I’d love to hear them. Cheers.


#4

I have kind of a motto/saying, “If you hear hooves, look for horses before zebras”. The first thing I want to check for is proper depth. Many lifters think they’re going to a ‘parallel’ squat, but are a good half foot higher and this leads to inflated numbers.

‘Parallel’ according to PL rules is kind of a misnomer because it doesn’t mean anything’s parallel to anything else. It just means that the crease made where your leg meets your hip dips below the top of the knee. If you want to be absolutely sure, post a vid of your squat too. Even if that checks out, your squat style might reveal information relevant to your deadlift issue. Like if you have a back dominant squat too, that would suggest a quad strength deficit.

And a 60lb higher deadlift than squat is not at all unusually close together.


#5

That was an experiment with a higher bar position but should give you a fair idea of what my squat looks like. I have the box there to make sure the depth is ok. If I understand correctly the higher bar should put more load onto the quads compared to a lower position.

With squats I feel more like I know what to look for. My upper body could be tighter and the hips shoot up a little bit but it doesn’t seem to bad.

I’m interested to hear what you guys think.


#6

Its hard to judge depth from this angle but I think its in the ball park at least.

That is a pretty back dominant squat. Going down, the torso lean is somewhat moderate, but as you ascend out of the hole, your knees and hips shoot backwards and your hips shoot up.

You see this to some degree even in very high level PLers that rely relatively heavy on technique for making lifts like Mike T. This is your body automatically finding its strongest point. But whats happening to you for whats light weight, it is a bit much.

You keep your back arched/flat so I don’t think your going to hurt your self, but I think your leaving pounds on the table by not developing your quads more.

Also while you work on your quads, you’ll probably want to really hammer down the new form with lighter weights and try to keep moving on up in weight as you are able to while maintaining the new form.


#7

Thanks for the feedback. I’m quite surprised…

My quads are already out of proportion to the rest of my body (60+cm, 23.5") but I guess volume doesn’t necessarily equal strength. I guess I’ll throw in some extra frontsquats and spend more time on technique.