T Nation

Form Check Deadlift


This is the form i was talking about in my.other posts,which allows me to brace a lot and really push with the quads.

Looks clean enough. It’d be more useful to up the intensity and see how/if form breaks down.

Rounded upper back deadlifting isn’t exactly right/wrong but more like give/take or pros/cons that you need to consider e.g. injury risk/longevity, ease of lock out or off the ground etc.

If that’s the style that works for you and there’s no indications that you poorly tolerate it e.g. chronic injuries or history of injury go ahead. Just work to minimize the cons/risks.

Here’s some food for thought vids

1 Like

@T3hPwnisher @Frank_C

Your lumbar spine still looks neutral like we discussed previously. Bracing is probably the most important aspect of lifting safely, so if you’re doing that correctly and able to maintain it then you should be fine.

There are others who have a more rounded thoracic spine during their pulls and it’s from their anatomy/posture. It might be better to pull a little differently than most if it’s a position that you can get into and maintain instead of forcing yourself into a position that isn’t comfortable/natural. That being said, if you need to work on mobility to get into a better position then I recommend you do that as well.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. As I said before, if you’re maintaining your spinal position throughout the movement then I think you’re safe. But, if you’re slightly rounded in any position then it’s compressing your discs on the anterior side more than the posterior. Is it bad? Maybe, maybe not. But it is putting unbalanced pressure on them. Over 10 or 20 years of deadlifting it could cause a disc injury.

As @khangles said, you have to evaluate the risks and determine what’s best for you. It’s not sexy to break down your form, drop the weights, and rebuild a lift. But at your age it might be worth it if you feel that you might be risking your spinal health.

I’m not saying that you need to change anything; I just want you to understand that you have to determine what’s best for you and your long term health (which also means your ability to lift the way you want for decades). We can all benefit from the occasional self evaluation.

1 Like

This just occurred to me. Is the slight rounding of your shoulders and thoracic spine due to comfort or upper back weakness? Perhaps working on that could allow you to pull in the same manner but with a better upper back position.

Id say comfort. I can maintain a good level of thoraic tightness even in heavy weights. This specific form is what feels the most natural and comfortable to me. Also thnx for all the advice,i appreciate it

1 Like

I can understand that. Staying super tight in the upper back takes energy. You only have so much to give so slacking off a bit there might be freeing up some important resources to use elsewhere—like your legs.

I try to stay tight in my upper back but I don’t force myself to retract my shoulder blades and hold that position. I just try to keep tension and stay stable during my pull.

I was taught to view your energy resources like a garden hose that branches out into more hoses. Every task you add to the mix sends energy to another “branch”. The end result is that less of your energy and focus get to the end of line which is where your goal task lies.

The easiest example I can give is bench press. Flat barbell bench is easiest in terms of lifting heavy weights. DB flat bench is slightly harder because of the stabilization. Now try benching on a phys ball where you have to balance your whole body and the weight has to drop even more. Do that and lift one leg off the ground and it gets even harder. You get the idea.

1 Like

Yeah thats a very good analogy.

Heres the 4th set amrap 375lbsx8
-I pull with a slight rounded back intentionally,i dont try to round it,but i just leave it like it naturally goes,which is what you see here at the starting position

  • Using straps cuz i hookgrip in comp and not gonna do 8s witu hook grip. Did my first set hook just to not forget how to use it

Your form sucks but you won’t listen to advice. What do you want us to tell you?

1 Like

Was that popping sound your spine?

Ive listened to more than enough people on here,just because youre not one of them doesnt mean i dont.


Weighed in at around 175lbs right now. Wanna reach 6 plates before i turn 19 in november
This is my 4th set amrap in a personalized version of kizen infinite off season im doing. Did 3x5 with 405 before this.

Idk why i turned it into a gif i couldve just paste the youtube link but whatever now lol.

You’re leaking power, most probably because you’re not tight. Hips shoot up and back rounds because those are the easiest ways for your body to direct the force you’re exerting.

Work on your technique, upper and middle back strength, hamstring strength and ab strength. TBH, you need to add mass all of those to do that but until your technique is fixed that won’t help as much.

Your pull looks almost identical to a guy at my gym, who’s built very similar to you. He’s been stuck around the mid 500s for four years or more now because he refuses to fix his technique and add muscle where he needs it. He hit mid 500s at 175ish. He’s gone to to low/mid 190s since then but his technique hasn’t changed and most of that extra weight is around his chest and shoulders with a little around his upper back.


I feel like those are already my strongest and biggest muscles. Are you sure its that and not the quads for example?

Thats why im doing very high rep deadlifts.

I will work on my technique however i feel as if i leak more power when i try to tighten my back and push my hips backwards to straighten the lumbar. Hips shoot way more up.

  1. Deads won’t add mass to the areas you need on their own. Rack pulls, pull-ups, rows, GHR, back raises, etc will.
  2. Weak quads don’t make your hips shoot up. Weak hamstrings often do.
  3. I’m not sure what makes you think you leak power when you tighten your back and keep your hips where they should be. Being in a better position and tightly braced will never cause a power a leak. However, it will tell you where you are weak. In this case, hamstrings, upper and middle back and abs.

I always thought it was because the quads cant push enough so the butt shoots up so you can use more hamstrings because in this case theyd be stronger. Idk tho you might be right

Thats the thing,i feel more tightly braced in this position than in a conventional position.

You feel more tightly braced in a poor position because you’ve gotten used to it. Try setting up like this:

  • grip the bar and squeeze oranges in your armpits. Hold that squeeze
  • straighten your legs, take your air and squeeze hard into your lower back. Hold that squeeze.
  • bend your knees, with your weight on the front of your foot. Jump into the pull, shifting your weight quickly into your heels.
1 Like


Form update: 315x3 with a straight back
Honestly this caused me more low back nerve pain than any of the rounded DLs ever did. I think im gonna stick with rounded.