T Nation

Deadlift with Style...


This article brings up and gives an educated opinion on a lot of the style issues we discuss here regarding the deadlift. Since I know not everyone here checks efs religiously, here it is...



This is my article. I am glad you like it. It is also posted on Diesel Crew's website and ironsport.com

Would love to hear anyone's feed back.

Also, (as I have already posted here) There will be a seminar at my facility with some of the best names in the biz. Here is that link:

Hope you can make it. It is already more than 1/2 full in less than 3 days of promotion. If you can get there be sure to sign up!


The article really hit home with me because I've been trying to work figure out how low to get going in (Style Issue #1) and then how close to have the bar to my shins (Style Issue #5).

I seem to naturally prefer the straighter leg approach and I was always wondering how people were scrapping the bar up their shins, because that groove didn't feel natural.

Question for you. How close to the bar are you for set-up? For example 2-3 inches or would it be more? I tend to favour about 3 inches away and I've been trying to figure out if I should work on getting closer or not.

I hope to see more of your work in the future. Keep it up.


I start with the bar about 2 inches from my shins - any closer and I am too far over the bar. If you sit deep into your start stance you can start with the bar on your shins. I pull VERY fast, so (as i described in the article) you have to know your strengths and weaknesses in the style you pull and use them to your advantage. In your training - focus on making your weaknesses stronger. Hope that helps.


OK, then here's a quick question...

I know that rounding the shoulders forward is a fairly common technique. However, do you feel that doing so increases the chances of lumbar rounding? Feel free to go into detail.


Yes - it takes practice. Keeping the low back arched while rounding the upper back is awkward for some lifters. However, for others it seems almost natural due to the structure of their body (shoulders more rounded forward for example).

You are correct though - in general it is more difficult to keep the lumbar arch; especially when the weight is heavy. That is why at the end of the article I state that some of these techniques can be dangerous for novices and these techniques are for competition lifters for the sake of (lifting more weight). Hope that answers your question.


Yea, I had read this article on Elitefts and thought it was great. Really shows that there is no (almost) no "wrong way" to do an exercise. Thanks man!



Yea, pretty much what I was looking for. I train most individuals to avoid this when DLing and doing oly lifts, so I was just making sure I wasn't off base with this.


Certainly for your clients keep doing what you are doing - I do the same for my clients. Don't even tell them the other variations unless their body type fits it and you are comfortable teaching it. Thanks for all the input.


No, I feel that rounding the upper back actually tightens the lower back arch. Think about it this way. You pull your shoulders down using the interconstal muscles. These would be pulling up on the mid spine, which would stabilize the arch.


That would be fine, except that you're intercostals won't help you keep your lower back arched. It's a great idea, but is kinesiologically incorrect IMO.