T Nation

Deadlift Form Check

Hey Everyone,

New to the forum here. I’m was casual powerlifter (newbie) and in 2014 while doing a 1RM max of 455 pounds at 170 pounds body weight, I messed up my back. Went and got an MRI and it turned out that I slipped a disc (L5-S1). Ever since then, my back still hurts until this day (can’t deadlift or squat without feeling pain in my back). Ever since then I stopped lifting pretty much (would do it casually here and there for light weights) but for the past month or so I’ve been itching to lift weights again and finally today I decided to deadlift for the first time in three years. I did 5x5 of 225 and felt minor pain in the first 4 sets then in the last set I felt a lot of pain in my lower back. After that, I decided to do a 1RM max of 300 (stupid I know). Felt minor pain during the 1RM but was okay overall. About an hour later after I finished, I started feeling a lot of pain in my back. Luckily I recorded myself doing 225 pounds x 5 and 300 pounds x 1. I currently weigh 200 pounds and in horrible shape. I feel like I’m rounding my back but I’m not sure, can you please watch the videos and give me your feedback?

225 x 5:


300 x 1:

So as a newbie you maxed in the gym and slipped a disc.

You took a long time off from lifting.

The first day back AFTER doing 5 x 5 you decided to pull a big single.


  1. Get another MRI
  2. Find a good powerlifting coach and have him/her work with you


Vids are dead btw. Try youtube

See a physical therapist or physiotherapist to get something done. While short of surgery the disc isn’t gonna unherniate itself symptoms can be managed or prevented if current asymptomatic and strengthening or motor control training of lumbopelvic stabilisers can be done. They may tell you to not deadlift. As fun as deadlifting is so is sitting pain free or not having surgery so best to listen if you get that advice.

To perfect learn technique/neutral posture at all times to minimize stress of your disks and program something less risky than hitting 1RMs all the time.

Build up very slow. Give detrained structures time to catch up. If something is gonna explode better to have it at light weight then maxing out.

Sort the above out first for long term health and lifting sustainability.

Then you can worry about other stuff e.g. how much volume to do. Repeated/Sustained flexion is more stressful to the disk and will increase protrusion more than a single instance.

Good Luck

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Can see videos now on my phone. Tbh form looks a whole lot better than was expecting. Back is close to neutral and maintained through the lift.

What nobody can see from the video might be more important. Whether your local and global stabilisers (I know it sounds like Broscience but it’s not) muscles, such as Transversus abdominis, Multifidus and the pelvic floor muscles, are coming on or not is very relevant due to your history of back issues.

Often in these populations the activation and timing of these are often messed up.

When they are working right they stabilise your spinal segments spreading/sharing load evenly across appropriate structures, away from/protecting other structures and allow your big torque generating global movers to do their work most efficiently.

See a physio/physical therapist for more.