T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


I wanted to ask you more experienced lifters to check my deadlift form. I’m always analyzing it and studying proper form with the SS book and online pics/videos. I just don’t want to injure my back, especially as the weight is getting heavier. Sorry the lighting isn’t better. I welcome any feedback. Thanks!


If I’m going to do one deadlift form check I might as well do them all.

Your back looks slightly rounded. You can probably fix that easily by pushing your hips a little bit higher. A lot of people can’t set up for a conventional deadlift without rounding, or have to use a suboptimal hip position. For me to pull conventional without rounding my back it’s basically a stiff leg deadlift, the solution is to pull sumo. You mention SS, I know Rippetoe doesn’t like sumo but unless your going to compete in strengthlifting or he’s your coach it really doesn’t matter what he thinks.


Or just try arching your back more, I don’t know if that’s the limit of your ROM right there or not. Better to post a video.


Head position. That chin is out there. Pack that sucker in and stare where the floor meets the wall. If there is slack at the top, a lot of times it causes slack at the bottom.


Thanks for your feedback guys. I’ve been doing some research on the sumo deadlift online. Even though the SS book has been extremely helpful to me when it comes to learning good technique, it’s the not the end all be all to me and I’m open to trying the sumo style. Maybe it’ll feel better and be a safer way for me to lift. I don’t have very long arms, so maybe that style would be easier for me? I’ll give it a shot on my next deadlift session and report back. Sorry I didn’t upload a video…didn’t realize I deleted them all, but I’ll definitely do that in the future.

As far as my chin being up, I’ve found that I have an easier time keeping my back straight if it’s up more, but will try to keep it down while keeping a straight back.


Where do people get this idea that you should keep your head down?

From Sheiko’s article “Sheiko US Tour-2016. The most frequent technique mistakes I’ve noticed. Part 3. Deadlift”, can be found on his site
"Lowering of the head.
Holding the head in a lowered position often results in increased rounding of the back.
The head should always be raised. Select a point on a wall that you may comfortably fixate on with proper head position. Fixating your gaze will aid retaining your head in the correct position."




Sit back more. Andy Bolton has a youtube video on deadlifting - check it out.


Where did I say put his head down?


chin up/out = head up, as far as I’m aware. Maybe you are talking about something else but I don’t understand what that could be since the chin can’t move without the head moving too. Please explain.


The cue is head back. Kind of like you’re making a double chin. Where someone looks (with their eyes) is really irrelevant. He asked for a suggestion and from my experience and other lifters I see, people that crane their heads up and stick their chins out wind up over extending their lumbar spine. Slack at the top sometimes causes slack at the bottom. A neutral head position aids in creating body tension in the setup.

This is a suggestion. Maybe it won’t work for him. All that matters is the platform. So if you have to stare at your balls, or spin your head around like the chick in the exorcist to lift the most weight possible, do it. Everyone is different so do what is stronger and safer for you.


That’s exactly what I thought you were talking about, and exactly what Sheiko says not to do. Obviously eye position is irrelevant. Head down/chin tucked does work for some people but I don’t really understand how it became such a popular recommendation. I would put it in the same category as Rippetoe’s advice to look down when squatting, if it works for you and doesn’t result in a messed up bar path or spinal flexion then it’s not a problem, but definitely not something to recommend across the board.