T Nation

Deadlift Form Check

Hello, I wanted to ask you for an opinion about my technique.
In this video are 150kg x2(90%ish) easy, which came out last week.

And this one that records today, my back is quite rounded, I think it’s because it does not warm up the t spine and the width of the feet was very closed. 137.5kg x8 (80%ish)


You’re going to need to sort out that back rounding.


Weak core Is my guess. The way 150 went up, you should be able to basically goodmorning 137.5 with a perfectly flat back at least for a few reps. I think that might also be an issue, you do not appear to use much of your legs. Cannot see from the angle, but perhaps try to get the bar closer to you. I.e. widen your stance a tick, toes pointing outwards a tick to engage glutes and slide that bar up your shin. You could try it first with knee sleeves over your shins to get comfortable. Try to sit back a bit more to coil some pressure into your torso and hips.

You weren’t resetting tightness between reps like you did with the 150 and you didn’t start the 137.5 tight at all.

Lats are loose, chest is down.

Keep working on your technique. I think you’ll be surprised how strong a consistent setup will allow you to become.

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I definitely have to work on it. I’m going to start using some cue

Can be weak core, but I always work the “farmer walk” not too heavy because in my gym the heavier kettlebells are 32kg. I weigh 78kg.
Definitely after the deadlift I do not feel much fatigue in the hammies, only in the glutes and back. My position is feet very close and pointed out (like a duck).I think the problem is that I have a small torso and I am almost perpendicular to the floor.
I’m going to try to widen my feet and lower my hips more to see if I can feel tension in the posterior chain.

It is a reality I did not get tight in the 137.
I’m going to start using the cue, “stick out your chest” and also “bend the bar”.
If I definitely have to work the technique, that’s why I lower all the percentages of my program.
I’m glad to read that, I think that if I trained with a coach specialized in strength, I would have progressed much more, but good in my country is not something that is in excess.
thanks for always answering my posts

try bracing without the belt. abs should work hard to protect the spine. reduce load in the beginning.

That set was only with a belt, the previous ones without.
And I think I made warm up the core. Maybe i need more warm up , some planks or dog bird. Normally i do some farmers walk or pallof press with bands

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there are many people out there with funky dead lift form, and yet they lift heavy for years. my belief, based on mechanics, is that they are good at bracing. good bracing unloads the spine, with the consequence that a small deviation from neutral spinal alignment doesn’t cause harm because the spine is essentially unloaded. however, bad bracing even with the spine in perfect neutral alignment could cause serious injury due to so called Euler buckling from compressive and shear forces, in layman terms, a visit to snap city.

i wish i knew the best way to quickly learn how to brace well. would prolly have saved my back years ago. my best guess is to dead lift a lot and do it without a belt and really try to make the abs take the compressive load, the shear load will follow suit. alternatively, could be to try and take the shear load with the oblique abs, then the compressive loads will follow suit. my sensory feedback from the oblique abs is not very good. i go with the compressive force in the front abs.

i guess the take home message that i want to convey to you is, it’s good to try and keep the back flat but it is even better to brace.

actually, imo your back stiffens (good thing) after the initial rounding, maybe then you have found your bracing. if you experience discomfort you should definitely do something about the rounding but otherwise i’m not sure it’s necessary. what makes me worried though is that you don’t report that you feel it in your abs after.

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I totally agree that the important thing is to have a steel core, a powerful bracing.

And for the moment I never had a pain in the back, only small sorennes, which I suppose are the product of the effort nothing to worry about.
I feel something about the abs but not too much. Where I feel it more is in the traps and lats.

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Two Types of Conventional Deadlifts

There are two types of Conventional Deadlifts.

  1. Olympic Pull Conventional Deadlifts; With this method you want to maintain a flat back. The weight is driven off the floor with the legs.

This is an Auxiliary Exercise used by Olympic Lifters. The objective to emulate the First Pull; positioning the bar for the Second Pull at the knees, where the greatest power output is produced.

  1. Powerlifting Conventional Deadlift; The lower back breaks the weight off the ground with assistance from the legs. Some upper back rounding is going to occur, which is fine and actually increases how much you can pull.

Upper Back Rounding positions the bar closer to your body’s COG, Center of Gravity. The closer you keep the bar to your body Center of Gravity, the more weight you pull.


As per Dr Tom McLaughlin’s (PhD Exercise Biomechanics/Former Powerlifter), " Contrary to popular opinion, Contrary to popular opinion, the initial drive is done primarily by the back (erector spinae) and not the legs.

A Case For the Round Back Deadlift

Dr Bret Contreras’ does a nice job of breaking down how Upper Back Rounding is fine and allows you to pull more weight.

The Take Away Message

If your objective is to increase your Conventional Deadlift, you technique is spot on.

You have a natural Conventional Powerlifting Deadlift. Your technique is really good. You have enormous potential.

If you change to an Olympic Pull Conventional Deadlift, it will elicit a different training effect, which if fine.

However, your Deadlift poundage is going to decrease.

Kenny Croxdale

I just saw something the other day that Dr. McGill posted, he was commenting on (I think) KKs deadlift form, which was always quite rounded, possible moreso than the OP. He did say that although his first preference is a neutral spine, a rounded spine with adequate brace is an acceptable second. As some of you know, I had a pretty unpleasant back injury I just recently recovered from, so I’ve done quite a bit of reading on how to keep that from happening again. Basically, this is what I learned…

Much moreso than just rounding in general, spine (specifically, disc) injuries come from times when both CHANGES in flexion/extension AND compressive loading are present. For example… butt wink at the bottom of the squat. I highlight “changes” because that’s what McGill is referring to… KK rounds his back, locks it in place and then keeps it in that position throughout the entire pull. Keep in mind that this requires an enormously strong and muscular back, but maybe that’s just more motivation for all of us to do more direct back work.

Something related to this that is also a factor is the mobility of your vertebrae. If you have shit mobility, but one disc is slightly less shitty than the rest, and when you pull a max deadlift your back starts to round mid lift, the rounding will first occur in the most mobile disc and that is where the majority of the increased stress will be located. Our spines are designed to be mobile because when they are, it more evenly distributes stresses rather than having them all concentrate in one location.

Take home points for @tomas_221 :
-Make an effort for a more neutral spine D
-Don’t consider it the end of the world if your back has some rounding as long as it doesn’t change during the lift
-Don’t slack on mobility/maintenance work. This is like changing the oil in your car… it’s not going to add 100 horsepower, but if you skip it you probably won’t really notice anything bad till it’s much too late.
-Do more upper body pulling and posterior chain work. There are guys that can bench big with small arms, squat big with skinny legs, but no high level powerlifter has a small back. There’s a reasone they all look like refrigerators.


Yeah, I know exactly what you are talking about. Flexion in terms of multiple vertebrae being simultaneously flexed to a similar degree is one thing, but spinal hinging (where there is significantly more flexion at one vertebra) is the absolute worst thing.

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So many deadlifters lift with their head up by looking straight ahead. That’s bad. It’s better to keep the head neutral. Keeping the head neutral helps keep the spine safe and you can lift bigger weight too.