T Nation

Is This Bad Form?

210kg rack pull for a double.

ive been told a few times that my upper back rounds when hitting it heavy. i have never felt any sort of pain in this area and was wondering if this is actually bad for my back??

if so how do i fix it?


Your spine is staying neutral and that’s good. The shoulders almost always roll forward at the start of very heavy deads and rack pulls so I wouldn’t worry. I would suggest you try to slow down your decent rather than letting the bar crash down. Focus on keeping your form very strict as you perform the eccentric phase for a 3 or 4 count. That will help you build up your static strength which will go a long way toward injury prevention.

cheers for the reply.

i thought my back was folding over and rounding?? thats what people have been telling me in the gym, apparently i make them wince when i dead?

this was my last set… i usually try to control it on the way down but i was gassed! 12 sets of deads before hand :smiley:


If your shoulders get pulled forward you can’t help but round your upper back somewhat. It’s the middle spine (thoracic) that needs to remain neutral, or with a slight concave curve.

Check out this recent Mike Robertson article. There are many other you could search for that cover the rack pull and DLs more specifically.

i let a few mates watch it and they all said that i was extremely rounding my upper back and a bit of my lower back. :frowning:


I would do the rack pulls at lower height if i were you, seems liek you have long arms and looks like you are getting 3-4 inches of ROM…

Another suggestion is to drive forward, you let your legs get straight and then you lift it, start the lift and drive with the hips…

As between rounding your upper back and rounding your lower, it is much safer to round the upper.

If that was your lower back rounding like that, you’d have to lower the weight.

so just drop the weight bit?

ill need to get a video of me lifing of the floor up soon.


also… what can i do to lessen the upper rounding apart from dropping the weight?

more upper back weights?


in your setup it looks like you are rolling your shoulders forward before the weight even kicks in…lock in with youe lats…pull the shoulder blades together and down towards the butt