T Nation

Deadlift - Form Check

As I’ve never had anyone teach me how to deadlift properly (at least not in person), I thought it would behoove me to ask for a critique here. Thanks in advance.

First set:

Last set:

This vid is set to private, can’t see it.

your back doesnt have to be 100% straight, but this is a bit much.

Drop your hips a bit lower so you use more legs. Also, tighten your triceps, lats, and abs before you lift.
What weight is this? (its hard to tell with bouncer plates) and is this ‘heavy’ to you?

Sorry, it is visible now.

Yeah, I noticed the back as well. Almost didn’t share the video because of that, but I need the critique, clearly. This lift was 275lbs. Heavier for my grip than my legs/back.

Dont be afraid of chalk/straps - either of them costs around $10 and will last you a long time. OR just use a mixed grip, but dont be a dummy - switch hands for over/under grip. you need to utilize your legs more - there’s a reason most seasoned deadlifters have bar marks on both shins… because the bar is nearly scraping them on the way up.

Nothing wrong with asking for a spot check - better to ask outright than keep it going and wind up with a back looking like thisimage

Deadlift form 101:
approach and grip the bar
fix your feet
tense muscles from the feet up
deep breath, push belly out (valsalva)


It’s funny, I “felt” like I had good form. I know the cues and have watched/read a lot on it. Video doesn’t lie though!


When I help someone improve their deadlift I closely watch the negative. That bar path and body position, in most all people, is the most efficient bar path and body position for the positive. Your bar path and body position closely aligns in both positive and negative movement. All that is pretty good.

On a couple reps it looks like the bar gets a little too far out in front of you. Not much, but enough to prevent optimal pull.

Your back is bent over a little too much, but you can work on that, especially on the negative. And if you do so on the negative, your back will be in a better position when you begin to pull the next rep. You will soon know the correct “feel”.

I don’t believe you need to drop your hips any. You seem better at a hinge pull.

I looks like you are using a double overhand grip. That will accommodate a tendency for the bar to roll out of your hands. I always used an opposing grip (one overhand and the other underhand) where the bar cannot roll. This does put your bicep in danger on the underhand arm. It must remain straight at all times.


Do you feel tension in your hamstrings before pulling? My guess is not. Sit back a little and once you feel your hamstrings get tight like a good stretch would have them feeling, that is probably a good position to start in.

It also looks like you have a long torso. That makes your start position pretty bent over (even if you do that cue about feeling tightness in your hamstrings). I am also have a long torso, and have found sumo deadlifts to be a lot more comfortable. I am able to start with a much more upright torso than with conventional. Conventional is fine too. I would just give sumo a try, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other. I do both at different periods.

Thanks, @RT_Nomad, this is all really good advice/knowledge. I sometimes use an alternating grip (pronated/supinated), but I didn’t today because my hands felt strong enough to hold the weight for the most part. Perhaps I should have though.

I think I do need to work on using my arms more as “poles” to hold the weight straight up and down rather than feeling like they are part of the lift as well.

I don’t think I have a long torso honestly, I think I’m “average” or “normal” or whatever you want to say there. I don’t feel the tightness in my hamstrings until I try to push my hips back further, which I think is when my lumbar curve and the rest of my back rounds.

I’ll try to get some technique work in this week and over the next couple of weeks, then post back and hopefully see some improvements.

The big thing with a round back is changing position. If you start flat and round that is more of an issue than starting round and doing the lift in that round position. Lots of great deadlifters pull with a round back.

I would work on trying to position your hips so that you have that tension in your hamstrings. Make sure to pull the slack out of the bar before you pull though. Otherwise what is likely to happen is that your hips will shoot up, and you will basically start where you are starting now.

This is one thing I know I definitely do (pull the slack out of the bar), before pulling. Definitely all good feedback though, thank you!

Deadlift day today. I took another video and it looks like my form has improved, but still needs some work. It isn’t just going to be fixed over might and I knew that, so I’m decently I actually felt stronger on the weights during the loft too, which was a nice surprise.

I’ll continue my technique work and maybe even drop the weights next week so I can focus on really nailing the proper form down. That, or maybe just add some sets post-workout. Sound reasonable?