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Deadlift Form Help


Okay so about a year ago I deadlifted a single 267.5 (2x bodyweight). My Squat at that time was bellow 135. I took a break from deadlifting and now my squat is at 170x5 but my deadlift is at 195x5 and that might be a stretch. In my work outs I deadlift 1 set for 5 reps either once or twice a week. I have been using starting strength for the past 4 months now and it has been great for my squat but not much for my deadlift. I also am really paranoid about my back bending and whether I am using too much weight.

So first question.

Did I develop and imbalance from squating? If so what is the best way to fix it?

Second is my deadlift as ugly as i think it is and if so do I need to drop weight or should i just keep working on it? I have also started to move to 2x5. I was hoping more volume might help.

The video has just my first 3 reps.

Anyway, thanks for your input in advance.


You look ok on the deadlift, ok but not great. Your flexibility is barely and I mean barely sufficient, which really means that it is deficient. Your problem is that from the floor, your hamstrings and/or glutes dont allow you to get to an optimal starting position.

Thus, you are left in a place where your hamstrings or glutes have almost pulled your back out of neutral by the time your in the starting blocks. What this means is that you can be pulled (by the weight) out of your flat back position easier, since your flat back position is barely there.

Also, just taking time off deadlift will make you weaker at the deadlift. Your spinal erectors, though they work in a squat, dont work near as much as they doing during deads. It is also much easier to tell when you are doing something wrong when deadlifting because you are starting at the hardest position which is standard from the floor, where as with a squat your just dropping to some arbitrary place that may feel deep enough for you.

Starting Strength is a great read, but I dont think it emphasizes stretching enough. I've said this before to dozens of people. If you arent going to spend time everyday stretching, you might as well not even lift legs. You look like you really know what your supposed to be able to do, but just cant do it because of inflexibility. I can see you pushing back into the posterior chain but there isnt much ROM back there.


Also, stop standing on the wall.


Your flexibility is fine.

The problem is there is barely any glute activation. Your hamstrings are basically doing all the work.

I bet you can get heavier weights off the floor, but you are perhaps just shy of locking out...
It could even be you have trouble right as the bar approaches the knees.


Your dead wrong about his flexibility. Usually if someone is having trouble with glute activation, he will be able to start in the correct position, but the hips will shoot up because the glutes arent able to squeeze the individual out of the hole. In this case, he's never in the hole to begin with. Big difference. Sure there is a problem with the glutes working, but I say it is because they or the hamstrings are tight, after improving mobility, you can see whether they need activation work or not.


Good lifts imo and I would agree about including stretching in your routine.

WRT to plateuing, the deadlift is a psychological lift requiring some mind-over-matter with the grip. I have experienced big jumps in weight when breaking through something mental rather than physical. If that was your 5 rep max then I'm confident you could lift more but at cost to your form. Most people hurt themselves with dead-lifts (myself included) so safe and conservative will give better gains than 6-months not lifting due to injury. Micro-load, review form of max efforts and follow Shadow's advice in or to be able to lift with purple faced, snarling intensity safely in future.


Yup - if I wasn't using a net book, I wouldn't have watched it.