Deadlift Form Check

So I already know I use a lot of lower back in my deadlift. I can see that I start with my ass and hips very high, but I do this because if I start lower my hips naturally shoot up anyway, so I figure I might as well start higher and get tight while in that position? I never have any lower back pain other than soreness and have yet to see signs of injury yet, so I guess I’m wondering if there’s anything I could change to make my form more efficient?

Get your quads stronger and get more leg drive so your hips aren’t so high (Front Squats). You are only going to be able to lift so much with sub par form. Get it dialed in and fixed now and it will save you big time in the long run.


Not bouncing the weight off the floor would be a start. If you are determined to pull touch and go reps then control the weight all the way down to the floor, you go down slowly at first and then accelerate as you get closer to the floor which causes you to loose tightness and get thrown forward when you start the next rep. The first rep doesn’t look too bad aside from the back rounding, you could try to fix that and get more leg drive or just keep going until you blow your back out.

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My quick advices or insights:

  1. No bouncing.
  2. The start of the deadlift should be from a deep squat.
  3. Slightly you lean forward, it may signal weak trapezius muscles.
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Like you and the others say I need to get more leg drive and that means starting from a more “squatting” position, but when I do that my hips just shoot up and I end up in the same starting position anyway.

The Bounce is Fine

There’s nothing wrong or right in bouncing the Conventional Deadlift.

The bounce elicits a different training effect…

  1. Increasing the loading for the Conventional Deadlifter in the mid to upper range of the movement; overloading the traditional sticking point area.

  2. The bounce elicits a minor Stretch Reflex. There is some minor carryover from developing the Stretch Reflex, dependent on how a 1 Repetition Max Deadlift is initiated at the start of the movement. Another topic for another time.

  3. Bouncing a Sumo Deadlift only elicits a minor training effect, it should be limited in training.

Get your quads stronger and get more leg drive so your hips aren’t so high (Front Squats)[/quote]


The dogma regarding the Conventional Deadlift, “Push the weight away from the floor in the Deadlift”: “Leg Press the Deadlift” that has been echoed for decades.

No ask, “How much you can “Leg Press” off the floor”? They ask, “How much can you Pull”? That because the Deadlift is a PULLING Movement.

Deadlift Research

Dr Tom McLaughlin’s (PhD Exercise Biomechanics/former Powerlifter) 1980’s research demonstrated the following…

  1. Conventional Deadlift: The back breaks the weight off the floor at the beginning of the Deadlift, NOT the legs.

The muscle firing sequence of a Conventional Deadlifter is: Back > Legs > Back. The back initiates the pull, followed by the legs. It is a “Bang-Bang” sequence.

With that said, Quad Drive play a secondary role that contribute to “The Pull”.

Good Quad Exercises are: Front Squat (as recommended), Quarter Squats, Leg Press, Quarter Single Leg Step Ups, etc.

  1. Sumo Deadlift: The Quad break the weight off the floor with some assistance from the back.

The muscle firing sequence is: Legs (Quads) > Back.

Poor Advice

Think about like this, Can you Half Squat or Quarter Squat more weight?

The Quarter Squat Position in the Conventional or Sumo Deadllift is a much stronger position.

Individual who start the Deadlift from a Deep Squat position, do NOT drive the weight up from that position. They do NOT engage the weight until they are in the Quarter Squat position.

Kenny Croxdale

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Dooming Your Deadlift

Starting from a “Squatting” Position ensures you are going to Deadlift less.

With that said, I highly recommend you do just that; start “Squatting/Leg Pressing the weight off the floor.” Practical experience is a great but often painful way of learning.

However, it definitely makes an impression that you won’t ever forget.

High Hip Position

You are stronger from a High Hip Position that a Low Hip Position. You body naturally gravitates the the High Hip Position. It is a survival mechanism, ensuring your "Survive’ you Deadlift attempt.

To reiterate, “Do you Quarter Squat more than you Half Squat or do you Half Squat more than you Quarter Squat?”

Kenny Croxdale

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Do you really think that bouncing the weight is a good idea for someone whose form is not solid? It’s something that can work for more advanced lifters who are able to maintain tension while doing it, but this guy is getting thrown out of place.

In what relevant study or in what article did you read such a shit? The bouncing may injure the lifter.

Sheiko says it quite clearly: “All of my athletes are forbidden to bounce the bar off the platform while deadlifting. Irrespective of whether they use sumo or conventional techniques. Why? Because during the moment when the bar is bouncing off the platform, the athlete momentarily looses control of the bar. And as mentioned earlier, the bar can bounce a few centimetres away from the athlete. This can shift the entire centre of balance towards the athletes toes. It is the purpose of every coach and athlete to train perfect form in a competitive movement to the point of automation. Because when the weight of the bar reaches 95% or greater, the athlete does not think about form but is solely focused on lifting the weight. How can you automate perfect form if the bar keeps bouncing of the platform, if you do not assume the starting position with every repetition? I can not imagine my athletes performing deadlifts with 80% for 4 sets of 8 repetitions. Bouncing of the bar must be completely excluded from the training process. But, this is only my professional opinion. This opinion may not necessarily be shared by other athletes and powerlifting specialists.

I’m not wrong, I’m writing the truth. Check out the technical execution of the deadlift Kirill Sarychev or Eric Lillebridge. Then speak. :slight_smile:

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I’m not going to cite 37 year old research but I can tell you from personal experience that Front Squats, Saftey Squat Bar, and Goodmornings are PERSONALLY my best deadlift builders.

I deadlift mid 600s at about 210 and I also only deadlift “heavy” once a month. I very rarely go over 500. And I don’t label myself a powerlifter/strongman or anything. I just train to big and strong. My first priorities are always surfing. So take this with a grain of salt.

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You guys all have 1 piece of what’s up. Now we must put it together like Voltron.

That’s a heavy set, so your body will go to what’s strongest. High hips, shoulders over the bar, lots of back.

If you try to squat up the deadlift, it will not be great. You don’t have the right muscles for that.

If you get stronger quads, stronger abs/anterior core and much stronger lats, your technique will shift, because different muscles will be stronger. With your shoulders back and down, your position will turn more upright. With more abs, you’ll be able to use less lower back and more leg drive, which will make you get closer to the bar. If you’re closer to the bar, your hips will have to drop, so you’ll have to be more upright. And this will require more hamstring strength.

So if you want to get efficient, Get Much Stronger.

For clues, look at your 2nd Deadlift. You start from the top, then lower, so back strength(to keep bar close ) isn’t a factor. You get the benefit of lowering the bar, to figure out how to use your legs. Look how much more upright the 2nd rep is. Shins straight up and down, you don’t have to go around your knees, and you can use more legs, with your back.

So the touch and go style is Useful and cool.

But then the bounce on the 3rd rep pulls you out of position. It looks like the bar is getting away. Don’t do that.

Anyway, Great Deadlifting! You are a strong dude.

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I wouldn’t confuse a cue with the mechanics of what the body is doing. “Push the floor away” (or whatever) is used when the lifter isn’t extending the knees at the right time resulting in being pulled forward or hitching (or both).


My thoughts on that exactly. Thinking about pushing the floor away has helped my deadlift form and numbers. That doesn’t mean it makes me use my quads more. Actually, it seems to really help me bring my glutes and lats into play.


Your Right

The most I pulled at 208 lbs is 280 kg/617 lbs. That record has stood since 2001 and can be found on line.

Unofficially I pulled 620 lbs at a meet at 208 lbs. Due to the fact that the meet was in pounds rather than kilo, the 620 pull was not recognized.

My best pull at 181 lbs was 575 lbs.

Kenny Croxdale

Well I genuinely apologize then. As I stated before I don’t powerlift, I’ve always lifted for performance and until recently didn’t realize what “strong” actually was in terms of actual numbers. I’m genuinely sorry if I offended you in any way.

That being said I think this guy is being force fed a shit ton of information.

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Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, I really appreciate everyone’s replies but all the advice is a little conflicting. I didn’t mean to start a flame war. I’m gonna try to take everything into consideration and make small adjustments to my deadlift and see how it feels.


Evidently don’t do much research. It available online.

Secondly, the body nor the physicals have really changed in 37 years. Add to that that there is additional research from the National Strength and Conditioning Association that reinforce McLaughlin’s research.

Add to that there is empirical data.

Your Personal Experince

I totally agree. As I stated in a previous post, increasing Quad Strength for Conventional Deadlifte is important. Exercise like I mentioned above and the Safety Bar Squat that you recommended build Quad Strength; Quad strength is especially for Sumo Dealifters.

Infrequent Heavy Deadlifts

The Deadlift quickly and easily overtrains your lower back. Thus, your program makes sense.

Kenny Croxdale

Not Quite

To reiterate, you are stronger from a Quarter Squat Position that a Half Squat Position.

Secondly, individual who try to Squatting the weight off the floor/Leg Pressing it, traditional don’t engage the bar weight until in a Quarter Squat Position.

It is easy to ascertain by reviewing individual who attempt this method.

Hamstring Involvement

A more upright position does NOT engage the hamstring as much as pulling from a forward lean.

Research has demonstrated that upright “Squatting Movement” activate around 50% of the Hamstrings, Lombard’s Paradox.

Research (Book like Muscle Meet Magnet, EMG Studies) demonstrate that the Stiff Leg Deadlift (with a more forward lean) is a dominate Hamstring Exercise.

A Practical Method

To gain first hand knowledge, follow Vince Gironda’s Method

  1. Perform an exercise that you haven’t in a long time.

  2. Perform 10 Sets of High Reps to Failure.

  3. Then go home.

  4. In 24 to 48 hours DOMS will tell you precisely which muscles were engaged.

Three Is The Magic Number

How did you come up with that?

Form in ANY movement deteriorates when fatigue set in. There is no magic number.

Kenny Croxdale

You are correct I don’t do hardly any research, as I don’t put much stock into my total. Lifting weights is my GPP. 10/10 times I’ll go surf until my arms fall off if its firing rather than go try to set a PR.

Not trying to argue and retracted my inflammatory statement. Of which again I am sorry.

For the OP

I wouldn’t worry so much about the details. The best take away you can get from this is be consistent; as the guys here who are putting up respectable numbers have been doing this stuff for quite some time now. If you squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, row, do pull-ups and do things requiring athleticism for 10 years consistently, you are also going to get big and strong.


Bad technique lead to bad technique; be it with Touch and Go Bounces or Dead Stops with inappropriate loads.

It something that can work for advances lifter and lower level lifters, providing it is…

  1. Executed correctly

  2. It meet a specific objective.

Just bouncing the weight to move more weight is senseless.


Ironically, his initial pull from the Dead Stop didn’t look good. The bounce one overall were pretty good.

Kenny Croxdale