T Nation

Deadlift Form Issues

First post - hope its in the appropriate section.

Having some issues with deadlift form - I can hit a decent starting position (at least I think it is) but as you can see as soon as I initiate the lift, my pelvis posteriorly tilts pulling my lower back into a round, and I pitch fowards.

I’m thinking this is because of weak quads/tight hip flexors. Any advice? I don’t think my glutes are especially weak, I feel a pump in them when doing squats/deads, they always feel very sore after squats especially and I can glute bridge with 100kg/220lbs comfortably. And I definitely feel my hammies working, so I think my posterior chain is fairly active.

This is 190kg/420lbs so almost double bodyweight, >95% 1rm.

Also, I feel a good pull in my hammies in the starting position, is this right or is this a sign that they could do with some mobility work?

That looks pretty good for a near max attempt. If your hip flexors feel tight then it might be a good idea to stretch them out with dynamic or static stretches before lifting so you can get in a good starting position to pull. If you want to work on better bar/body control you can do paused deadlifts during training. Next time can you get a video directly from the side?

First off, form is always going to suffer a little on a near max attempt, so this isn’t a terrible amount of rounding. That said, I do think it’s good of you to notice this, and at least try to do something about it. My suggestion is to strengthen your upper back. Various forms of rows, and the one that had the most direct carryover for my dead was bent barbell rows, setting the bar on the platform between each rep and pulling from a dead stop. This made a meaningful difference in my pull.

yeh - ive been very mobility conscious recently so ive been foam rolling/stretching before and after training and on off days as well. not really seeing any benefit from it as of yet, thinking of getting myself a few deep tissue massage sessions sorted so someone can get a bit brutal on those glued up tissues lol

with regards to upper back - i had pretty major surgery last year (open thoracotomy) which basically required the whole right lat to be cut into two pieces. my rehab has been more volume based with lots of pulldowns/cable rows but its probably time i stopped being a pussy and did some harder stuff. ill give the bent overs a try, never got on with them in the past but will have another crack.

im still curious as to why my pelvis seems to be so keen to ‘tuck under’? what mechanical advantage would this provide? and what do I need to do to sort it out? i always assumed that because im a short torso/long femured guy, my lower back would be strong, maybe i need to think again :confused: im guessing this will be the same reason why i get a buttwink in my squat?

cheers for the replies guys.


I can’t look at the video atm, but the problem you described is the bodies way of getting the hips closer to the bar often to make up for a deficit in glute/hip strength.

The most obvious way to stop doing that is to dial the weight back and be conscious of it and to not let it happen then work back up. It helps me if I squeeze my glutes really hard and try to make my lower back rigid when breaking the weight off the floor and then try to force my hips forward really hard once the bar gets close to my knees.

For me, this wasn’t enough. But when I started doing westside style box squats it really sank in. I had some luck with beltless sumos too but not as much. Either could easily be squeezed into a lot of programming templates.

The first place the bar goes is forward and the weight shifts to your toes. Try starting with the bar an inch or two further away.

Heres a better angle, 200kg/441lbs (double bodyweight) this is pretty much 100% at the moment. I think my issues is getting better, some rounding but its not concentrated in any one area.

Ive been doing deadlift iso holds - loading up about 200lbs and holding it an inch above the ground for 10 seconds concentrating on extending my lower back hard. Is this something that could help?

Thinking of getting into powerlifting any suggestions ?

…and that’s relevant to this thread how??

I have a tendency to do this too when the weight gets heavy (for me). When you rotate your pelvis forward and sort of roll it under, it shortens the lever that your torso acts as during the lift. Your hips are basically the hinge point here, so moving them forward means the lever shortens, and the force your posterior chain needs to pull your torso up is less. I read a cue somewhere of putting your shoulder blades in your back pocket, or something like that, seems helpful to keep everything tucked and stationary. The weight is impressive, but it really might be worth dialing back some until you’re confident you can protect your back.
*disclaimer: i suck at deadlifts but i’m an engineer.

[quote]Richieavella721 wrote:
Thinking of getting into powerlifting any suggestions ? [/quote]

for starters, don’t hijack other peoples’ threads.

From the video, I would consider trying to start the pull with your hips lower, your foot position isnt the issue as it should be about mid foot which is where it appears to be. With you hips lower this will straighten up your lower leg angle more to stop the bar hitting your shins so much. At the moment your pulling with back and not your whole posterior chain, try to do some exercises to focus on explosive hip drive such as kettle bell swings.

Hope this helps

IMO, you have a strong lower back and hams. If you want to force your hips closer to the bar instead of passively letting it get pulled closer at a higher hip position, you need to strengthen your lower quads, hip flexors, glutes, abs and upper back. Keeping the upper back flat isn’t absolutely necessary if you like pulling conventional with a rounded upper back and have no problem locking out. The lower quads provide strength to start at a lower hip position while the hip flexors and gluteus medius helps to stabilize your hip angle throughout the pull (basically keeping your hip position fixed relative to your mid section). Tight hip flexors doesn’t mean strong hip flexors. You need to gain mobility in them first. The easiest way to build them besides utilizing them correctly in squatting and deadlifting is to do lunges or step ups with slow/controlled eccentrics and braced abs to create the necessary stabilization.