T Nation

Deadlift technique

Hey… same routine as before, like some help with DL technique. My DL is pretty awful.


DL is @ 160… my max is around 180-200 I think. Is that decent?


1)Narrow your grip and stance. Try alternating the grip, too.
2)Touch your shins to the bar before the lift.
3)Keep your head up and looking straight ahead.
4)Don’t allow the lower back to collapse.
5)Hold and pause at the top, leaning back through the lift.
6)When you can pull 3 reps at a given weight, move up another 10% until you hit a sticking point. This is your new “training weight.” Work up to it with 3x5 or 5x3 sets. They’re perfect for pulling.
7)Max out with single reps until you can’t pull the weight after you finish your sets. Work up incrementally, until you know what your max is. Don’t go for broke right away…build on successful pulls first.
8)Rest at least a couple of minutes between sets, unless you’re using some exotic training method.

A good way to measure progress in pulling is this: you’re “raw” grip should weaken before your large pulling muscles (back, abs, hams) do. If this is happening on your max pull, then you’re probably doing fine for your stength level.

For example, my raw grip starts to fail at around 335lbs if I’ve performed a full 5 sets of pulls…about 365lbs if not. However, If I use lifting hooks, I’m pulling 8 plates easy. Not bad for a 5’3" 31 year-old who isn’t a powerlifter, eh? All this after a few months of pulling deads. I never did them before T-Nation.

Good luck!

Alright. In that set, I was alternating grip, going from normal to wide. I had the bar on my shins till they got all cut up, after the first four sets or something, and I was like “To hell with this, I’m a wussy” or something to that effect. Deadlift always makes my shins hurt. :frowning:

“Precision Pulling”

Excellent article, All you need to know.


Read Dave Tate’s article, The Dead Zone. http://www.t-mag.com/articles/194dead2.html

hey man good work, dont give up the deadlift for too long its a definate essential movement for weighlifting. As far as strength dont worry about it with hard work comes strength. Keep it up.

anyone out there want to explain the difference in wide and close grip deads as far as benefits to me?

just some questions. as im not sure whats good.

the knees pointing inward… should they point more straight or even outward?

the movement going up, should the same as going down right?

you dont seem to start and stop at the same spot?

it seems like you lower with the back on the way down. lets see a side view, like your squat video

and also i always wonder… when you do deads for reps, at the bottom, do you keep it under tension? or let it sit for a second then rise back up? ive seen people at my gym do it both ways, but i usually dont let it sit. maybe the bumpers touch the ground lightly.

i wish i had a camera so i can see my own form.

wear pants to deadlift in. I hate to train with pants on, but I throw a pair of sweats on when I do deads. save your legs!

Keep up the good work and follow advice given you thus far.

Why are you using such heavy weights? You should not be doing anything under 10reps minimum. Your feet should be much closer together, heels maybe 8-10 inches apart with toes pointed outward. Your knees should trail over your toes when coming out of the bottom, much like a frog’s legs. In fact this position is called frog style deadlifting, many weightlifters use the frog style when lifting. Your grip is also a little too wide, unless you want to do snatch grip deadlifts, but then you would have to get your butt way lower at the start of the exercise. This is more advanced and should first master the clean-grip deadlift. In this position, your grip will be just slightly wider than your hips. Post video of your improved form as soon as possible for further critique.

Jay’s advice is good, but if by alternating grip he means one hand facing away form you and the other facing toward you (a technique used to help hold pretty heavy weight), I don’t think that’s necessary for you at this point. You’re pulling pretty light since you just started and you want your grip strength to improve with your pull.

Anyway good job so far. How long have you been lifting and what are your stats?


JMB…I meant to say that he should alternate the grip styles. I do so at least every set, if not every rep. My experience is that you get “married” to whichever grip you started with, and that can hurt as you get heavier with your pulls.

Thanks for helping me clear that up!

LL…I wouldn’t use hooks or straps unless the grip strength is a serious problem (i.e., medical), or to see how much grip strength is holding you back. I only used hooks a couple of times to motivate me, and I now work on improving my grip so I can pull more weight raw.

Also, do what the Maiden says and wear pants if you are getting cut or bruised with the bar. You can also try to tape your shins where they gets rubbed. Form is all-important on the deadlift.

As for the weight you pull…who cares? Just do it, and it will go up!

“You should not be doing anything under 10reps minimum.”

is this in general or just for Lonelobo.
if you’re refering to beginners then yeah fair enuf, otherwise med-advanced lifters should go heavy, i haven’t done more than 6 reps on deads in months, maybe years…
and frog stance, you mean sumo?
agreed tho the form has a fair room for improvement. biggest thing is definitely knee tracking, that looks pretty bad.

LL…I just re-read your post and I now realize you didn’t understand what meant by alternating grip. I mean that you should perform your DL’s with the following styles:

1)palms facing you
2)one palm facing, one facing away (opposing grip style)
3)palms facing away

Alternate these styles so you are comfortable with each at the heavier weights, when you get there.

Good luck!

A lot of important points of deadlift form can be seen only from the side view.

It looks like your hips move before the weight does. This is going to KILL your lower back eventually. It is also wasted effort, according to Dave Tate:

[quote]Mistake #10: Starting with the hips too low

This is the king of all mistakes I see. . . All I want you to do is look at your hip position at the start of the lift when you pull and watch how much your hips move up before the weight begins to break the floor. This is wasted movement and does nothing except wear you out before the pull. The closer you can keep your hips to the bar when you pull, the better the leverages are going to be. . .[/quote]

from “The Dead Zone”

I notice that one side of your body pulls harder than the other, too. This is another sign of imbalance that you want to correct BEFORE you try to lift more weight! BEFORE, BEFORE, BEFORE!

Don’t worry about your weights at all. Just worry about perfect technique.

Alright so you want a better deadlift eh?

Well, besides all of the techniques you need to learn and there are a lot of them, you need to build up your deadlifting muscles.

Everyone here has great advice. But your knees should be pointing outwards and you should be trying to push your knees out. What this does is activate your hips and glutes, the stronger muscles.

Now, you’ll have to experiment with sumo or conventional and decide which is better for you. If you have a strong back, conventional may be for you. If your hips are stronger, then you might want to try sumo. The closer the hands are, the shorter the distance you have to pull the bar. I usually have the edge of my index fingers bordering the smooth part of the inner part of the bar.

As for training protocols, you shouldn’t go over 10 reps, you shouldn’t even go over 3. I normally don’t pull more than 1 rep. When you pull too many reps, all this does is promote fatigue which affects your form. Why lift with bad form? This makes no goddamn sense. You never see top level deadlifters pull more than 3 reps. Shit they barely pull over 1! You can go speed pulls with bands, rack pulls, pulls from a raised mat, etc etc. Check out elitefts.

Anyways, a good way to build the deadlifting muscles is good mornings. The best good morning to do is the suspended gm. This builds starting strength like none other.

Hope this helps…

The controversy here where one says Minimum of 10 reps and others go -maximum of 6 reps can be broken down into this:

  1. In higher rep sets the form will break down at the end. Higher rep work is very difficult with compound movements, it’s almost impossible to keep the form perfect.

  2. You should be carefull when choosing the load. Don’t go to heavy work on: form form form.
    But lower reps and a higher number of sets is the way to go if you want to improve strength/form…

With regards to the form mistakes you make. I am not going to help you with that since the precision pulling article does a much better job.
Hope we see some new footage from you soon :slight_smile: