T Nation

Deadlift Form Check


#1

I apologize in advance, there are 2 clips where people walked in front of the camera.

The only cues that I am aware of are locking the elbows/squeezing the orange, and wedging. Please help. My deadlift is horribly out of proportion compared to my squat.

I failed a 405lb deadlift after this if that counts for anything. I think I rested too long and got cold; this was also after back squats and front squats, if that counts for anything, thanks in advance!

Edit: Order of the weights: 135, 185, 225, 275, 315, 355, 385


#2

Looks alright, that first set was weird though. Couldn’t see your heaviest set.


#3

By how much? Your deadlift gets more “squatty” as you progress in weight. Do you have a quad dominant squatting style?


#4

If this helps, my deadlift improved a lot after making sure my knees and hips both straightened out at the same time. Not sure if the top guys do this, but I felt I was able to get my hams/glutes working a lot harder when everything “opened” up concurrently, compared to just using my lower back to straighten my hips after my knees had already straightened out.


#5

Was trying to emphasize pulling the hips through at the end. In hindsight I probably should’ve just left that first set out. Same with the last one, although I was hoping someone would be able to see something, somehow, although that’s a total longshot lol

My conventional deadlift max is 445, my squat max is 425. I’ve pulled 475 sumo, but sumo is pretty easy compared to conventional IMO. I want to get good at deadlifting conventionally.

I usually squat high bar, because squatting low bar generally beats up my lower back. If that’s what you’re referring to, then yeah, I think technically I have a quad-dominant squatting style.

Thanks man, I’ll check out the video


#6

I thought your form looked quite good. It’s interesting that you failed 385, none of these reps looked like a struggle. Where did you fail?


#7

So, there’s really no such thing as being out of proportion on deadlift. Everyone is different. Leverages will more or less determine which one you’re better at. I know plenty of guys who can squat more than they deadlift, and vice versa. Reed, from this site, is one of them. I don’t think he’s ever deadlifted more than 650ish, and he’s squatted 800.


#8

Thanks man. 385 was the last video, and it felt and looked better than I expected it to.

I couldn’t even get 405 off the ground. I have two theories, although I’m not sure how solid they are. I was resting 3 minutes between sets, and at about 2min30sec, a dude asked me to spot him for negatives on the bench. He took a while to get set up and then took about 3 seconds between each rep. So overall, that added a lot of time and I think perhaps I got cold from that/lost my mojo/whatever. My other theory is that my legs were just tired from squatting, although the way 385 moved I don’t believe that’s the case. I’m not sure.

TL;DR I couldn’t get 405 off the ground


#9

sounds mental/effort based to me. I’ve seen it plenty of times in the gym. A guy tries to pull a weight he should be able to pull, it doesn’t budge and he gives up on it too quickly. Gets his head back in the game, and then he pulls the weight no problem. I bet if you psyched yourself up a bit you could’ve gotten it done. That 385 moved way too fast for you not to be strong enough to get 405 off the floor.


#10

I believe this is 100% correct. I deleted the video of my 405x0 immediately, but I recovered it and have uploaded it.

It’s definitely the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever posted, lol. It felt like a battle in my head while it was happening but in the video it just looks like I barely even tried. I don’t know wtf this was, but here:

So far @JMaier31 and @mortdk have suggested that I start with my hips higher which I think is fantastic advice.


#11

Definitely true, with knee wraps my squat and deadlift are just about equal.

@lava2007 - Your DL technique looks OK once you actually have some weight on the bar, for future reference I wouldn’t post anything under 70-80% or so for a form check because there isn’t anything to see. The only issue that I notice is you don’t lock your knees at the top but that’s an easy fix, simply concentrate on locking your knees and squeeze your glutes at the same time. Don’t get in the habit of not fully locking out because it can cost you in a meet.

A few things here: first of all, if you want to get good at deadlifting then don’t do your heavy deadlifts in a fatigued state. If you are going to squat first then you have two options: either heavy, low volume squats (like 1-2 work sets) or light and easy squats for a warmup/technique practice, which is what I do these days. Usually it’s about 60-65% for 6 doubles, 45 sec. rest between sets, then move onto deadlifts. The last thing you want to do is a whole bunch of volume on squats before you deadlift, unless you are putting DLs on maintenance and focusing on the squat you are just shooting yourself in the foot.

Next, make sure you are mentally and physically prepared before attempting any heavy (as in a high % of your 1rm) lifts. I would personally rest more than 3 minutes, more like 5-8, and during that time get yourself mentally ready for what you are about to do. Josh Bryant has some videos on his youtube channel about visualization and mental strategies, I suggest you take a look.

You didn’t get cold from resting a couple minutes extra, you just weren’t mentally prepared and spotting a guy for negatives wasted more of your energy. Personally, I wouldn’t spot anyone for negatives unless they were paying me.


#12

hahahahahaha. yea you totally gave up on that one.

Regarding your hips, I actually like how you start out. Starting with your hips low and then rising up to the point where the bar begins to break the ground is a really good way to make sure you don’t start too high. It’s almost impossible to break the bar off the ground if you start too low, so to me there’s no downside to it. Your hips will rise until you hit the correct point of leverage, and then the bar will move. There are a lot of really excellent deadlifters, particularly in strongman, who deadlift the way you’re doing it.

lol. agree with all of this.


#13

That’s true. I don’t think I was in the mental zone that I need to be in to lift 90%+.

Hahaha! Well, the first time I did it, I was just happy to have met a new face in the gym. The second time, I just hoped it wouldn’t become a trend. The third time, I realized it had become a trend. Yesterday was the fourth time. Maybe I need to go to the gym a little later than normal to avoid this guy.

But in all seriousness, thank you for the advice and wise words, Chris. I’ll check out the Josh Bryant videos.

I learned in part by watching Eddie Hall. I saw him go into that big time wedge and I was like “what the hell is he doing??” and eventually I found out what the hell he was doing and decided to emulate it.

Next time I deadlift I’ll just keep working on that. I guess I shouldn’t expect the weight to move until my hips reach a certain point, huh? Because on that 405x0, I didn’t even realize it had come off the ground. I honestly thought I didn’t move it at all, which might be a good sign? Maybe I’m stronger than I think I am? Or maybe I’m just too out of touch with my body at this point. Maybe both. Lol, thanks man