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I Can't Do Deadlifts, Help.

I have been attempting to get deadlifts right for months now, I can't seem to do it right. I am one of the least flexible people I know of, I can't even touch my shins, I reach to about two inches past my knees standing straight. This makes it damn near impossible to even attempt a deadlift, please I need help, what should I do?


bend your knees


Don't do deadlifts!

Do you have a NEED or a WANT to do deadlifts? If its a want and you suck at doing them, then don't risk injuring yourself and your lowerback.

Deadlifts are a horrible exercise when done improperly ...cause you more harm then good. Done correctly they can be beneficial but still dangerous. If you must do them ...use a very light weight until you have perfected the form. They are an unecessary exercise. Do you want to be a powerlifter? There are better ways to train your legs and back and do not require deadlifts.

My final advice: If you can't do them properly for whatever reason ...then NEVER do them!


What would you recommend as a replacement on my routine? And thanks for the response.

Robo: I do... I have studied the form and had my bodybuilder brother try to show me but I can't bend correctly, I end up going tip-toed some times, or rounding my back to reach the bar.

I'm not trying to be a powerlifter no, I want to be muscular and fit, if I had to give an example of muscularity, Brad Pitt in Troy is around what I hope for (I'm seventeen years old so I have a lot of time to train.)


LOL You don't need to do deadlifts to get Mr. Pitt's muscularity. Hell ...all you need to do is smoke cigs all day, eat like never, then do a few ab rollers and arnold presses and you'll have as close to Mr. Pitts build as you can get without having Mr. Pitt's parents.

I would replace that exercise with bodyweight movements with added resistance. Barbell squats should take care of the legs(do the form right on this one as well) & pullups or chest supported rows for a non bodyweight exercise.

If you need to woork the lowerback, try supermans or even hyperextensions(both exercises require no weight and will avoid injury much sooner than doing rounded back deadlifts.

Don't ever do a rounded back deadlift what-so-ever. Your lowerback can thank me later for that little peice of advice there.



Watch this video - try this with a dumbell if your gym doesn't have kettbells. Maybe this will get your strength and flexibility up.

Also try rack pulls until you get more flexible.

Don't give up. If you're seventeen and can't learn to do light, but proper deadlifts in a few months, something's really wrong with your body. Go see a sports medicine doc in that case.


Deadlifts are awesome. Learn them. Start here: (there are other articles in the series)


Do not be afraid of the deadlift. If flexibility is an issue, you may need to work on stretching before you commit to any lifting program. If you can barely reach past your knees, you have serious mobility issues.


end thread.


Try doing sumo-deadlifts. I couldn't get regular deadlifts either, so I gave up, and a couple days ago I tried sumo-deadlifts and got them right away.


You can cut out the elitist attitude man, if you want to be a powerlifter that's cool. I don't, I plan on being physically healthy, and capable of doing manual labor around the house. I do not plan on a body related career, I'm just a young man who wants to be healthy/strong. I realize this site is more geared towards serious powerlifters, but reading around I thought it seemed a veritable wellspring of information regarding strength building, so I was compelled to ask.


My post was mostly sarcasm. basically that sort of body could be built on any begginers routine with time and patience until you reach the bodyweight desired and then find out how much fat you need to cut and then how much you need to eat to maintain.



Oh yeah as far as deadlifts go... To help me learn the form I started out using one of those hex bars or whatever. And eventually moved onto barbells once I could move sufficient ammount of weight with good form with a barbell. Watcfh a lot of videos and NEVER ARCH YOUR BACK. Try sitting low and locking out your arms when first starting a set.


help! I can't do bench press. I can take the weight off the rack, but can't lower it to my chest without bending my elbows. I'm the most inflexible person in the world.

my ideal physique is like in Fight club, I wanna look like Ed Norton. I currently look like meatloaf. from fight club. I figure I need to take a max 500 cals a day through tofu skin patches


See where I get this brad pitts body is nothing remotely special. Hell once you get there I think you'll realize you're still small and there are a lot of other guys who'll blow you out of the water. I'm a scrawny kid myself so I shant speak more of it.


Hilarious. 99.999% of people could train their hardest to look like Ronnie and still never end up looking like Pitt in Troy.

Which is another point entirely... If you want to look like Pitt, train to look like Ronnie.


I second sumo-deadlift suggestion. I first started out doing 1-legged deadlifts (SL and "King" versions) and then tried regular deadlifts. My lower back wasn't ready for it and I wasn't flexible enough. I started doing sumo, progressed a lot and now can do conventional DL pretty well.

Give 1-leg and sumo variations a try. Trap bar is also a good choice, but it probably won't teach you "real" deadlift.


Good one, Kettlebell/Dumbell swings can you started in the movement with good form.

Also Rack Pulls will help in the meantime.

Sumo Deadlifts are also good, but they also require flexibility in you hips. Still, try them out.

All this along with stretching, overtime, will give you the needed flexibility.

A good idea (if u can afford it) would be to see an ART clinic. Go here to find one near u

Good luck and don't give.

Oh and BTW, EXPECT to be made fun off when u mention wanting a "Brat Pitt Body".


Firstly, deadlifts are an unreal exercise done correctly. As per above, flexibility should be your main focus for now. Particularly around your hips and hams.

You want to be able to put your hands on the ground whilst standing, or at least on your ankles.

I suggest you get a copy of Scrawny to Brawny, it has an excellent run down of flexibility work as well as the specifics of performing compounds such as Deadlifts.

Failing that, the links provided are also excellent.

If you want to look like Pitt, that's fine and up to you, but focus on what your working through and don't get discouraged, it takes time - try to ignore the jests!


This is exactly why you should learn and do deadlifts! Is there a more functional lift than picking something up from the floor? We do it all the time and it's a natural motion for our bodies. You just need to learn to do it correctly and you'll be golden.

Don't be afraid of deadlifts, but be cautious. Watch some videos and read some articles on them if you don't have an experienced person to show you how. If you have a mirror to practice in front of (side mirror is best) that will help a ton.


I don't want to look like Pitt, I want to have that level of muscularity, I don't know, maybe when I get there I'll change my mind and keep going. Its just a goal of mine right now, I don't want to come off as some retarded pretty boy who watches too many action films.

I understand bodybuilding, I understand what real muscularity looks like, its just not a life goal of mine right now to be super super strong. I used to be so weak for my height and weight, now after about a year of training I've finally caught up to average, now I want to go further.

I realize this must be endlessly funny to some of you guys who can dead hundreds of pounds, that's ok I'm sure I'd find it funny if I was a pro too. I appreciate the serious answers though, the mirror is a good idea, and I'm going to start a flexibility training routine. Unfortunately I do not have access to kettlebells, however I will look into the ART clinic. Thanks.