T Nation

Deadlift Form


Just getting started with DL's would love some suggestions on improving my form. Thanks
Hopefully the video will work.


first of all change your shoes, use something with a flat and hard sole or dont wear anything at all. Sit back more.By doing this, you should feel a stretch in your hams. Pull in 2 ways, both back and up. The more experinced lifters might add something more


Oh boy, alright, where to begin?

First off, read all 3 parts of Eric Cressey's "Mastering the Deadlift" series. It will be in the article archives; should be easy to find.

Next, ditch the cross trainers and pull barefoot (or in a flatter shoes such as Converse Chuck Taylors).

Also, when you put plates on the bar, the smooth side of the plates should be facing out.

Learn how to maintain a "neutral" spine position. Your low back should not have that weird hump; push that in and then pop your chest out a bit more.

Ditch the belt for now. You are a beginner and should not need it with such light weights. I'm sure your low back hurts while deadlifting, but fix your form and that will go away.

There really is no point in me listing anything else, because you need to fix just about everything. If you really want to get better at deadlifting, start reading up on it and watching videos of good deadlifters, and then practice with fairly light weights.

Here is another article and a few videos to get you started:


Sorry if this seems harsh; hope it helps.


Im curious - why smooth side of plates facing out? I have always done it the other way...


It's just how it works. I don't know why either, but any time I'm in the weightroom, I get anal about how the plates are facing.



lol, I get anal too... but ... with having the smooth side facing inwards.


Im curious - why smooth side of plates facing out? I have always done it the other way...

I was told - and it makes sense - that it's so you can more readily identify what's on the bar. You can read the number on the inside since it's not covered up by the smaller plates. We have always done the first plate in and all the rest facing out. That's also how I've seen it at any competition I've ever been to.


It makes it easier to get the plates on and off the bar and ensures that the plates are not rattling around while you are lifting. Do it the other way if you want, but other serious lifters will think you don't know what you are doing.




Haha, I agree. If you care that much about which way the plates are facing, I feel bad for you. I really don't think that is getting in the way of a big DL.


Long as its consistent on both sides of the bar, I'd say. And even then it's probably inconsequential. Like if a 45# plate is cupping around a 35# plate, that means if the weights are tight to eachother, it's going to be a few millimeters closer to the center of the bar.

Seems to me like a pointless thing to argue/worry about


Get flat shoes with thin soles or pull barefoot.
Get rid of the flexion in your lower back and develop a tight arch.
Hips need to be a bit lower and need to start in the same position on every rep.
Drive your heels down hard, pushing the floor away from you at the start.
Drive your hips forward hard once you get to the knee.
Pull back a little more and make sure your hips are fully extended at the top.
Don't look in the mirror while lifting.
It will also help to wear compression shorts or something else that won't get in the way of the bar.


Definitely not. In fact, a guy that could pick up 750 pounds of shit all jumbled up and cock-eyed is definitely stronger than a guy that can go pick up 750 pounds of perfectly aligned plates attached to a perfectly grip-able bar.

So.... worry about picking up the weight, not how the weights look.


Alright, I made some changes here is an updated video. Thanks for all the feedback. I implemented the suggestions and watched even more videos. Got my plates facing the right way which made a huge difference.ha. My critiques after watching, I need to pull "back" more, and slow down, but I made those improvements on later lifts today. Afterward I felt this between my shoulder blades and my lower back felt great no strain...

Do your worst I wont quit. :slight_smile:


I guess it takes a minute for the video to show up. Awesome duplicate upload though. Great.


Way better, good job. Here's another good tutorial that will help. If the link doesn't work, search YouTube or the EliteFTS site for Tate's "Teaching the Deadlift" video.

Practice setup and technique a lot with a very light bar or even a broomstick. Practice it on warmups, every lift you do. Get as much as possible to be automatic, so you are not overthinking and doing the "paralysis by analysis" thing during your working sets.