T Nation

Deadlifting Roadblock

So this is probably my count on fingers 3rd time deadlifting. I wasn’t aware of the problem until my friend who was watching me pointed it out. So the problem is, despite my conscious effort to keep my back in an anatomically arched/ in extension, I still have a tendency to have a slight rounding problem in my upper back when I am the lowering the weight (this doesn’t happen to the lifting portion thank God). The speed isn’t the problem, not too slow, since the descent usually takes like one second to complete. Any clue as to why the upper back would give in to rounding?

Are you per chance looking down/at the floor during the lowering phase…just a thought. Have you tried paying close attention to your head during DLing…keeping your head up can help with your form.

Well, i sure dont want to make this easy for you guys :P, but i check my form in a mirror on my left side, however, my head is not tilted downward in any way, shape or form.

[quote]prospa7 wrote:
Well, i sure dont want to make this easy for you guys :P, but i check my form in a mirror on my left side, however, my head is not tilted downward in any way, shape or form. [/quote]

So, wouldn’t you be looking to the left? Try this, have someone record your reps. I use post-it notes when I’m squatting, I’ll put them about two feet higher than eye level on the wall in front of the rack, then I concentrate on looking at it through my reps to keep my head in the right position. I have to keep it simple-stupid, but it’s something to try.

Doing rack pulls is the way to the dark side of the force. I stopped pulling from the floor a long, long time ago and never looked back. You can’t beat em! Pull, contract. Pull, contract. Form is almost automatic IMO.

[quote]JMAX wrote:
Are you per chance looking down/at the floor during the lowering phase…just a thought. Have you tried paying close attention to your head during DLing…keeping your head up can help with your form.[/quote]

Actually according to some of the articles on T-Nation, you want to keep your head in line with your body or else you put undo pressure on your neck. Just like when you do pullups, you want your head in line with your body, you don’t want to stretch you chin towards the bar.

To answe the OP’s question, try backing off on the weight a little and see if you’re able to keep your back straighter.

Lower the Deadlift as such:

  1. Breath out at the top, this is the end of you rep.
  2. Breath in before heading down
  3. Close your glottis and lower the weight as if you’re doing an RDL for the first third of the movement. Remember to keep your scapulata retracted.
  4. Once pass your knees breath out and return to the bottom normally.
  5. Breath in again and start your 2nd rep.

Keeping your scapula retracted throughout the movement will puff your chest out and keep you shoulders from rolling. This is also why this is great upper back developer.
Treat each rep of the deadlift as its own exercise. Breathing in and closing your glottis through the part of the movement in which you are having trouble keeping a neutral spine will aide you in keeping it.

Does your gym allow you to just “drop the weight” on your negative portion of the deadlift, rather than guiding it down? For example, does it have a platform for weightlifting so that dropping weights is not a problem. If yes, just drop it rather than risk injury (if you can’t remedy the form problem). Both my brother and I injured our lower backs from trying to control the negatives on deadlifts so I guess I have a bias against it.

Also, as Growing_Boy mentioned, rack pull are great.

I try to sit back when lowering the weight. Almost to the point where if I let go of the bar, I’d fall on my ass.

Try thinking about breaking at the hips and knees first on the decent. Sounds like you are breaking more at the waist first on your way back down. Also make sure your scapula is retracked and tight. Sometimes when I hit vertical I relax a little bit and get sloppy.

(That is really more of a cue than a cure.)

[quote]BantamRunner wrote:
3. Close your glottis and lower the weight as if you’re doing an RDL for the first third of the movement. Remember to keep your scapulata retracted.[/quote]

I had to laugh a little at this.

[quote]BantamRunner wrote:
Lower the Deadlift as such:

  1. Breath out at the top, this is the end of you rep.
  2. Breath in before heading down
  3. Close your glottis and lower the weight as if you’re doing an RDL for the first third of the movement. Remember to keep your scapulata retracted.
  4. Once pass your knees breath out and return to the bottom normally.
  5. Breath in again and start your 2nd rep.

Keeping your scapula retracted throughout the movement will puff your chest out and keep you shoulders from rolling. This is also why this is great upper back developer.
Treat each rep of the deadlift as its own exercise. Breathing in and closing your glottis through the part of the movement in which you are having trouble keeping a neutral spine will aide you in keeping it. [/quote]

Rippetoe specifically stated to NEVER retract/adduct the scapula at any point during the deadlift. I agree that at the top the lifter should stick/puff the chest out, but thats all that it is, nothing to do with the scapula at all.

Edit: This is the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ocCK4BSIMI&feature=PlayList&p=C2F0302FA5322D68&index=8