T Nation

Deadlift Form Help


#1

I've always suffered from back and posture problems, I have some "S" curving in my spine (term?) for example.. anyway I decided to record my 290lbs x 6 deadlift and goddamnnit it looked awfull to say the least!

I really could use some constructive critiscm on whatever you guys might be able to cypher from this video.. imbalances and how to fix them that is.

Weight didnt feel heavy and speed was okay.. there was no hitching, but the belt was loose and kept rising up. Form felt fine and tight, there was no stretching sensation or pain.. but yeah just have a look.


#2

ok try this cause it kinda looks like you are going down and thinking that you have a belt that your posture will be fine

get next to a mirror

as you go down try to keep your lower back tight. personally if i simply try to push my belly out it seems to get tight. now go down. meanwhile keep your chest up. to do this try thinking that you want to hit the wall in front of you using your chin(doesnt make sense much but if you try it you’ll see that your chest stays up). look at the mirror that should be at your side and see if your posture is straight. if not, try to keep your head at the same position while pushing a bit with your feet into the ground, which will rise your butt up a bit. you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings

at this position your head is probably as forward as it can while your butt as back as it can, meanwhile your back being straight. this is what dan john (i think thats his name?) calls the bow .

now make sure your arms are a bit forward from the bar, the bar close to your legs (you already know that)

and you should be good to go. as you get more strength and flexibility im guessing you can lower your butt a bit. im not sure. i see some people deadlifting with head and butt in a horizontal line at start, others with their butt more down and their head more up. im not sure.

btw it seems that you arent keeping your arms out… when you pull it looks like your elbows are bended? is that true? cause that could really hurt your biceps or something. im not sure what but you should keep your arms, grips etc tight, not bended.

edited


#3

If you’re going to do the mirrow thing angle yourself towards a bit and just try to see with peripheal vision. You don’t want to ever turn your head to the side when dead lifting. Especially not 90 degrees to look at your form. It puts your neck just about as far out of alignment as it can be from the rest of your body in the lift. The traps are important stabilizer muscles in the deadlift and this puts them in a situation where the weight is distributed…not well for lack of a better way to say it.

You have a camera so really I’d just drop the weight down and just try some stuff till your form gets to where you want it. I’d really only point to the beginning of your lift as a problem area. The first few inches or so you’re rising with only your hips and your shoulders are staying pretty much in place. You want to start bringing your shoulders up and back so you dont end up in the middle of the lift with your legs almost straight and back still arched. Also, ya, dont bend your arms.


#4

I suppose most of the problem comes from my poor setup and the fact that I try to keep the bar from hitting my shins which means I dont really pull back or through my heels enough.

My arms were tight (alternate grip which I switch between sets), the video aspect got screwed a bit when I uploaded it and seems to skew some issues.

Yesterdays article has info on some of the problems I’m experiencing… I’ll film another dl in a few days to see if I can make improvements.

I think also that I still have some steep muscular and structural imbalances on my core especially and my tight hips dont help either…

Does anyone know good hip mobility drills? And before someone tells me to buy it… no, I cant afford the Magnificient Mobility DVD which I’d certainly love to have.

Edit: I often subconsciously try to avoid stressing my left knee which has been a pain in the ass for a long time, but that just tends to shift my weight forward and compromise tightness. I dont know could be tons of shit I’m doing wrong and anyone watching that video might not get accurate picture because of the aspect fuckery. Overthinking this now I am… :frowning:


#5

yes the mirror thing… i definitely meant it not while deadlifting. just try to see how your posture is. if you get down like i told you, your back will be tight. after that you just keep it tight as you go up.

and yes now that i notice it i agree with skrussian. when you go up and your legs are hyperextended you still are pulling back your with your back. its generally good that when at the same time your legs are extended that you dont have to go any further back.

anyway just like me you must have a weak back. take another video when you try again


#6

WOOOW, are you doing a romanian deadlift or a regular deadlift? you aren’t using your legs or hips at all, and if you were doing a romanian deadlift your back would be in position to POp a vertebra.

Flatten your back! and use your hips and legs to drive the weight up, especially when doing reps.

you will have better strength if you learn to use your hip, legs


#7

drop the weight if you have to as well.

work on mobility in the hips and ankles, and perhaps do rack pulls (instead of pulling off the floor) until you can keep your back straight. Then slowly lower the pins until you are pulling off the floor again.

But on the video - stick your ass out. Straighten the back. your bending over like you are tying your shoes, not like a deadlift. Chest up, keep your core tight.

And, let the bar scrape the shit out of your shins, that way you know the bar was close enough.


#8

Problem is… my back always rounds when I bend down (even when I really push my ass back).

I figure tight hips are a part of it as is my spine which has always given me trouble and having a weak lower back doesn’t help.

So for now I am looking for hip mobility drills and ways to strenghten my lower back… got some?


#9

[quote]R@NE wrote:
Problem is… my back always rounds when I bend down (even when I really push my ass back).

I figure tight hips are a part of it as is my spine which has always given me trouble and having a weak lower back doesn’t help.

So for now I am looking for hip mobility drills and ways to strenghten my lower back… got some?[/quote]

Take a look a the Third World Squat articleon this site. My hip mobility was terrible, but is getting better after doing this for 3-4 weeks.


#10

for me hip mobility stuff takes to long,
GET ART, MYOFASCIAL release in the PSOAS, hip flexor,adductors, hip rotators, get deep tissue in your lower back.

Learn how to stretch PNF, for hip rotators, adductors, psoas, etc.


#11

I looked at your vid again. I think your back isn’t the problem just sloppy mind muscle control. You need to hold your back straight, practice getting instance when your at home and watch how your chest falls forward. Its a matter of " KNOWING " how to hold your back in place as you go up and down like a piston not a slinky.


#12

[quote]MISCONCEPTION wrote:
I looked at your vid again. I think your back isn’t the problem just sloppy mind muscle control. You need to hold your back straight, practice getting instance when your at home and watch how your chest falls forward. Its a matter of " KNOWING " how to hold your back in place as you go up and down like a piston not a slinky.[/quote]

Could be… I sometimes “forget” it while squatting as well and kinda flop forward. But it is definately weak… yesterday just three sets of good mornings (135lbs x 10-12) killed the rest of my workout, hell I almost fell on my ass afterwards while holding a 70lb db overhead lol… I can barely walk upright today.

Note to myself: never start a session with good mornings.


#13

[quote]R@NE wrote:
I suppose most of the problem comes from my poor setup and the fact that I try to keep the bar from hitting my shins which means I dont really pull back or through my heels enough.
[/quote]

You answered your own question with this statement right here. I agree that it really looks more like a muscle control issue.

Go back and do some light dl’s (as in bar only or even a broomstick) and really concentrate on pulling back right from the floor. You don’t necessarily need to scrape your shins, but by the time the bar gets above your knees it should be dragging up your thighs. Then, read everything that Cressey, Robertson, and Tate have written about deadlifting. Lots of good stuff there.

Also, NEVER do good morning’s before deadlifting. I am not one to typically say things like never and always, but in this case I will. On days that you are going to do a traditional deadlift, it should always be the first thing you do. One of the biggest reasons for sloppy form is because your hamstrings get tired. This is also why I advise against high reps. Your hamstrings are primarily made of fast-twitch fibers, and thus they tire quickly, causing you to overcompensate with your back.


#14

Straighten that back!


#15

This should help with hip mobility: