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DL Form Check. Low Back Rounding


Hey all. I have been filming myself recently lifting. This is new for me. I know my back rounds a bit whilst lifting, so I figured I would get some footage and see how it was going. This video if it attaches is my work set of 4 plates for triples, second set.

I don't get lower back pain. Which I KNOW isn't the go to guide. I want some advice. I am willing to go one step back, sort any issues out, in order to go two steps forward.

Feel free to pick it to bits, and ask any questions


140x2 third set. Working down.

Looking at this I feel that I set up with my shoulder too far forward and head looking too high up - not in a neutral position.


Hopefully attaches this time…


You and I seem to be in the same boat: I have very similar deadlift form and am also trying to work out some minor lower back issues, even if I don’t experience any pain in this area. I’ve tried to address this using snatch-grip deadlifts and by warming up from a deficit. This seems to have helped a bit, but there’s still room to improve.

At any rate, I didn’t want to chip in my advice so much as mention that I’m eager to see the tips you get.


Alrighty bud,

nice pulling, your back rounding isn’t actually all that bad and what’s happening is totally natural when the weight gets heavy. All you need to do is make a few small changes, and do some tecnhique work for a month and you’ll be laughing.

A few things:

first, you try to arch your back as you set up, then as soon as you start pulling on the bar you lose it. This tells me a few things, first, you’re leading the lift with your back which isn’t optimal, and your stomach isn’t tight enough.

To start, you need to start doing all your rep work in the 80% range, and 3-4 rep range. This is just heavy enough to be challenging, and light enough that you can keep tight form. That’s the key, all you need is repitions and you’ll learn how to keep that back flat.

The next thing is you need to learn to use your legs to get the bar past your knees. I’d strongly advise you to start your deadlift workouts with dead lifts to the knees, with 75-80% for 5 sets of 3, then deadliest for 3x3 @ 80%, you should notice a big change in your form just off of that alone.

Now, your low back: This may sound weird, but stop trying to arch, it’s too damn hard anyways. Instead, learn how to keep a neutral spine. This is a great series of videos on how to do that, as well as how to train a hollow body, which is almost the same thing, you just don’t round over. Everything else is good though.

Lastly, after you get past your knee, you’re pulling BACK… Instead i need you to think of standing tall, and bringing your hips forward, this activates the glutes and your lockout will be greatly improved.

Take care bud


Cheers Matt. I’ve been watching quite a few deadlift videos - mostly Mark Bell ones - and thats what has brought me to film mine and critique them.

You nailed the lock out part. That is where I fail my 1RM lifts. I’ll work on all those points and see how I go.


[quote]sexyxe wrote:
Cheers Matt. I’ve been watching quite a few deadlift videos - mostly Mark Bell ones - and thats what has brought me to film mine and critique them.

You nailed the lock out part. That is where I fail my 1RM lifts. I’ll work on all those points and see how I go.


I’ve filmed the majority of my workouts for the last 4 years, it really helps


Doesn’t look too bad man. I would spend some time doing Goodmornings from the bottom up in a rack or suspended if possible. You might also try taking a few weeks to work some heavy RDLs. I added a day of heavy RDLs into my rotation and it’s taken care of all my rounding problems. What works for me may not work for you though. Just some ideas for you to play with.


I’m not sure if you’re doing any of the breathing techniques but I always fill my lungs/belly with air at the bottom. This forces more pressure into my belt. I then focus on chest up and head up at the very bottom. This should eliminate any rounding. I think too many people think of pulling with their back on the deadlift and that can cause the rounding. I view my arms as nothing more than something hanging onto the bar. From here I look at the bottom portion of the deadlift like the bottom portion of the leg press. With arms hanging onto the bar like ropes I let my leg drive break inertia from the floor, keep the bar as close to my body as possible, and allow my hips to meet the bar. I don’t think of “pulling” it up as much as I think of driving it up and pushing my hips to the bar.

I know many argue that the deadlift is a dominant ham/glute exercise and they focus so much on the hips. I agree…but also value the quads in the movement. I believe that quad strength is the thing that breaks inertia. The hips just finish the movement.

I definitely agree that learning to use your glutes and strengthening them should help with eliminating the low back stuff. I suffer from the same problem.

Another exercise that has helped my glute activation and strength is a zercher squat performed from a deadstop from the pins in a power rack. I’ll take somewhat of a sumo stance with it. Be sure to keep your chest up or you can risk a bicep injury.

Hope that helps as well.


Cheers fellas. I really focused on keeping a ‘big belly’ and had my belt a smidge lower yesterday and along with a slightly more neutral head position, from filming the lifts, and even during the lift, everything felt a heap better. Still not what I want, but was better.

Did a few drop off sets of 160x3x3 to knee with a 1-2sec pause, and the reps got better with each set. Filming those, even when I was more tired, the reps were nice. I felt tighter and back was more neutral.

Cheers again.