T Nation

Deadlift Form Check

My deadlift has been feeling sort of off lately, and I was wondering if anyone could possibly contribute any constructive advice as to why…

This is a couple of singles at 305 from yesterday. I’ve gotten a 1x365lb before without much of an issue, although it did grind a little bit off the floor which seems to be my weak point.

It feels like I have almost no power off the floor and it doesn’t feel explosive at all. On the initial pull, no matter what weight I use, I feel like I’m going to have a rough time getting the weight up. Once it’s at/past my shins I have no issues. Maybe I’m just being a pussy?

Sorry for the mess in the background, and thanks in advance.

Have you tired deficits to your improve speed off the floor?

I haven’t in a while, basically since I invested in new plates which was a year ago I think? I have been doing fsl after my 531 sets, so I guess I could drop weight back a bit and do 5x5 @ ~70ish% after the main stuff?

Worth a shot!

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Form looks good. You could try dropping your hips a tad to get your quads in it more, but ultimately it’s just going to be a consistency and time issue more than anything.

I think sumo might be with a try with your leverages.

That is kind of what I figured. Just not strong enough for it to actually feel right. This weight was fairly easy so I may take another video in a couple weeks when I get to the 345/week 3 on this cycle and see what you guys think. Right around 325-335 has been where I just feel worthless off the floor.

I’ve never tried sumo and would have no idea where to start to try it. It seems like my mobility may be a limiting factor though… I’m not very flexible but if it would be worth it in the long run maybe I should start aiming to get sumo going.

Do conventional and sumo work the same muscles, but just in a different stance?

The mobility for sumo is going to be different. They work roughly the same muscles. I do both in training. My main lift is sumo, but I do snatch grip conventional for back development.

It might not be better for you. Just worth trying for a while. I could pull my max conventional pull my first time with sumo, so that was a good indicator that it would probably be my better stance. Conventional has a lot of carryover for me though.

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I’m going to stick with conventional for the next few cycles and see where I end up… I just got back on 531 so I’m going to give it a fair chance and see where my numbers start to stall out. If at that point I make zero progress or my deadlift still feels weak I may start tinkering with sumo form… It seems daunting to have to start from ground zero again and work my way back up, but if it’ll help in the long run I’m all for it.

I’m really hoping to be able to hit 405 by spring time. I’ve been aiming for it since I started and it’s taken me a lot longer than I had anticipated. Such is life.

Kinda, yea. It looks fine.

what, specifically, did you see in this video to indicate that ‘his leverages’ would work well with sumo lifting?

Ha! Well I guess I’ll just nut up and keep going with the program- thanks, I think I needed to hear that.

Obviously I lift at home by myself so self motivation plays a big part. The only feedback I get really is from people on here. The last time someone watched me deadlift was about a year and a half ago so to hear there aren’t any major issues is good. I still don’t understand why it doesn’t feel like a “good” lift though.

So sumo may not be a viable option for me? Or are you saying it’s impossible to tell through a 30 second video.

That his lockout is high up on his thighs. My conventional deadlift lockout is also high up past my balls (looks like op racks himself in the balls at lockout too). For me sumo is better. Op may not have the hip mobility for it.

Additionally, the higher the lock out, the more bent over you will be at the start. Some people just don’t generate nearly as much force when they start at close to a 90 degree angle (like op starting position). Sumo allows for a more upright position and many can pull more with a more favorable torso position.

I more said it as something to try, not this is what you need to do.


Form looks good.
Some accommodating resistance might help with the initial drive off the floor.
Chains are one option.
Lifting at home bands might be an easier option. Lots of ways to set them up. I like spanning them across the bar, but short bands looped through the bar ,then standing on the other end works. If you span, you can use DBs and put some plates on top. YouTube will have a bunch.
Don’t go too heavy with the bands. You will need to pull harder to gain speed through the band resistance.
Good luck


Thanks- I will look into that. Not sure what you mean with “spanning across the bar” but I’m sure a few YouTube videos will help as you suggested.

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That may be why I feel so weak at the bottom. It feels like I’m at a disadvantage. I kind of had my mind set on conventional, and I’m not saying never to trying sumo, but I think my main issue is I’m just still too weak.

I was hoping it was a form issue though to be honest.

YouTube will have it all.
For me, my deadlift improved with most of the work in the 75-85% of what I thought was my max. Doing multiple singles.
Also good mornings 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps, that were moderately strenuous. Stiff leg DL helped.
BB rows and RDL never helped me.
Good luck, patience is a virtue


I still do conventional pulls in training, and sometimes only train conventional. For me, if I get stronger on conventional, my sumo goes up. Not so much the other way around though.

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This is a little off topic, but somewhat relates to the OP so I’ll tell it anyway. I was talking to one of my buddies the other day about this exact same thing. He ran a couple of blocks of training using pretty much only sumo only to find out his conventional hasn’t moved much. He was pretty upset about it and was telling me how much of a waste of time he felt it was.

After talking to him further though, his squat numbers had gone up quite a bit in this time probably due to a weakness in his glutes or Ab/adductors that the sumo pulls addressed.

The moral of this is that just because your conventional may suffer right now from pulling sumo, but if you have an underlying weakness in your squat that sumo can build your squat will get better, leading to a better conventional (in most cases) once you adapt to the work again.

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Same, It seems for me the sumo helps the squat, but not the conventional deadlift. Also, my back feels much better (less low back pump) during squatting when pulling sumo.

Once my main deadlift stalls for a while this is probably something I will come back to. I was hitting 335 for 5x5 on nuttys in a very fatigued state so I’m hoping 531 will be enough “downtime” to let me progress my conventional much further than that. I have zero qualms with sumo and I’m thinking maybe incorporating it in my 531 program now might be beneficial? I’m doing 5’s pro on all lifts with fsl on deadlift day, so maybe

5’s pro main
5x5 “fsl” sumo

Obviously after getting form/mobility up to par. We’ll see. I deadlift this coming Monday so I have a little bit of time to research/learn the movement. Might just throw a few sets on today to screw around with it and see what it feels like.