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Deadlift Mobility Problem?



I have a huge problem with rounded back on the deadlift off the floor only.
At the beginning I thought its technique problem, but today after 2hour session with lightest barbell (1 biggest plate per side) i found that its more likely to be mobility problem. I just cant reach the barbell without rounding my back.
I can deadlift heavy from about ~3inch boxes no problem with perfect straight back, but without boxes i cant reach the barbell i felt that my arms are too short, and i must round my back to reach the barbell.

I even put on the bar way too much weight and for like half an hour I tried to get good set up only, but i just cant, my back was rounded every single time.

Is it sounds like a mobility problem? If yes how to fix it?


Work on back, hips, ankles. Stay at the 3" box and move down over time? Unless your planning on competing, try using the trap bar for a little while.


Do RDLs to the floor for a cycle. Go as low as your mobility allows until you are pulling from the floor.


I just recommended Kelly Starrett on another thread, so I’m probably going to sound like an mwod cultist or something, but when I first started lifting I had terrible hip mobility (threw my back out deadlifting once), and his stuff made a difference. Google his name and hip mobility. You should find a few helpful videos.

The other thing that helped me was basically what tsantos recommended. Go as deep as you can with a deadlift/rdl with good form and hold it there for a few seconds then bring it back up. Repeat a few times. Keep the weight light enough that it doesn’t compromise your hold but heavy enough to make it challenging. You’d be amazed at how much you can fix with just a couple of weeks of doing that a few times.


Any chance of a video? Forty-five degree angle would be ideal.


If you have to improve your mobility Starrett is defenitely a good adress. I really like his stuff and it helps a lot of guys, including me.

Mobility is best done when you do it regularly. Means, find your restricted area (in first case maybe glutes / hamstring area?) and work on it daily in little sessions of 15 mins or so. Better than a 2 hour session only once a week.
Btw, Wendler recommends the regularly mobility sessions in his book too.

Video would really help like MarkKO said. We don’t even know where your back is rounding in.


Need to see video.

Without seeing a video, work in some RDL’s from the lockout position to just below the knee and pull back up and do them for reps.

Video your sets and check your body position. As you get better, try and drop the bar to mid shin and try to hold good form. Keep it up until you get to a good position pulling from the floor.

Sometimes limiting the range of motion and gradually working towards a full range may help especially if you’re a beginner.



I dont have video, but i have pictures of my starting position, from a little bad perspective but its better than nothing.

At the beginning

After about 2hours of trying different things, this is my best position, i just cant have more flat back than this right now.


Lower your hips two to three inches, pull your shoulders behind the bar and point the base of your ribcage at the ground. See what that does for you.


Do exactly what MarkKO says. If you find that you can’t maintain that posture when the bar is on the ground, then hold the bar above the ground with that posture for time. Keep the weight in the 65-95 lb range (more or less as needed) and hold it as low to the ground as you can without breaking form. You’ll find that your body will allow you sink a little deeper over the course of a workout, and moreso if you do it a few times through a couple of weeks. Keep at it. It may not fix itself in one workout.




Thanks to your advice i found the source of my problem with deadlift and the way to fix it.

I have super tight and WEAK hamstrings, what surprised me at first, because I can do 440lbs full squat(or 360lbsx10). So I did not think I could have that WEAK hamstrings! By the way I solved another mystery - why i can squat 440lbs but cant pull more than 390lbs.

Now I pull my main sets from 3inch blocks, but instead of increasing weight I had to drastically reduce it because with proper deadlift technique and bigger weights i felt tremendous load in my weak hamstrings (my legs shake like crazy)
For supplemental work i choose RDL
And besides this I’m trying to master hip hinge, and i do few mobility drills.
Over time i will remove blocks inch by inch.

Get rid of this imbalance will take some time but I’m not in a hurry, i want do it right :slight_smile: