T Nation

My Deadlift Form



Can somebody check my deadlifts and help me to improve them?


On most of those reps, your chin was nearly level with your hips before starting the pull. That’s screwing up your leverage and throwing most of the stress on your low back instead of your glutes and hamstrings.

You want your spine at more of an angle and less horizontal to maximize power and minimize risk. Before starting the pull, drop your hips lower and/or get your chin up. “Chest up” is a simple, effective, and common cue to remind yourself before each rep, and it’ll also serve to undo your upper back rounding, which was preventing your upper back, shoulder, and traps from contributing optimally.

I’d also steer away from deadlifting for 8-10 reps. There’s too much chance for technique to get loose. Try sticking with 6 reps or less (not necessarily going heavier than now), and use more sets if necessary.


I’d suggest more tightness in your upperback

Like glue your arms to you armpits as if somebodys trying to tickle you


Thank you, guys. I will try to set my hips lower and make my back straight next time, so we will se how it looks…


I agree with Chris and Soul’s posts above; Dropping your hips a bit more will help you keep your torso more erect and reduce the stress on your lower back and make it easier to keep your upper back less rounded.
@MarkKO uses a similar cue to what Soul mentioned to “squeeze oranges in his armpits”. This helps engage the lats and lock the whole backside together for the pull.

For me, I like to sit back a little and visualize a leg press (pressing the floor away from me, rather than lifting the weight up) to initiate the pull. Make sure you aren’t letting the bar drift away from your body at any point during the lift. You should basically be scraping the bar up your body throughout the lift. Then once I get the bar to mid shin - knee level, I start the full hip hinge movement.


Yup, also seconded with the leg drive. I kinda visualize a leg press till its around my knee, then I hinge up.

Wear some soccer or deadlift socks to scrape your shins. I know a lot of big deadlifters who don’t wear long socks to deadlift, but I’ve personally noticed that I subconsciously end up keeping the bar away from my shins (and thus away from my body) if I’m not wearing long socks.


Watch this. At 4 minutes he links a video on bracing. Watch it if you don’t know what that is. Technique cues start at 4:40.

Notice how he talks about getting tight into the bar first. I can hear the bar “click” on every one of your reps, which means you’re not tight enough in the first place (also addressed in this video). You don’t have to use the exact setup Chris teaches, but you definitely need to get the slack out of the bar before you pull. This will help with upper back tension as well as the other guys are saying.


My new deadlift video.
What are you think about my new form and what can I do to improve my deadlifts?


@pumpit I guess you completed missed this part?

I’ll start by saying these look MUCH better than your first video. But honestly, they weight isn’t remotely challenging for you, so I have absolutely no idea where your form breakdown would be.

My instinct is to say that you need to pull more back towards you, rather than straight up. I would suggest making a video with a heavier weight, something you can’t easily complete for a set of 10. Maybe something like your 6-8 rep max, something where you start to push yourself closer to failure in the first 5-6 reps.


Yeah, there is just 50KG. Does I need belt for heavier lifts? I’m not strong at all, my BW is around 58 KG…


Stand in the middle of the platform. If you get your weight back and take half a step back you’re in trouble.

You need to get your chest up at the start of the lift. Point it at the wall.


you’re not pulling the slack out the bar.


No. You won’t need a belt for a while. I weigh 72 KG and do work sets using up to 136 KG without one, and I’m not strong either! Just keep practicing your bracing.


My hips are going up before my back. Is it bad for me?
75KG X3


You start with your hips too low but you still stiff leg it, so yes. Lower the weight and practice pushing the floor away and bracing hard so your hips and shoulders raise at the same time.


I would advice finding a coach whom can address form issues as you lift. If that is possible that is


I’m not saying you need a belt to perform the lifts at this weight or that you should use one for a while with any tightness, but one use you could benefit from is just learning how to properly brace. If you have one available, you can wear it loose and push out against it. The belt won’t be doing much at this point, but you can focus on filling the belt with your abs and it might help.

I’ve gotten to where I put my belt on loose somewhere around 50% or so when I’m working up just to cue myself on engaging my core properly to brace. The belt isn’t giving support, but it’s helping me to cue the lift. My own opinion.

As far as your lifts, it doesn’t look like you’re driving your hips forward. I could be wrong, but the lift looks like you’re going leg press to stiff leg RDL without a lot of hip contribution. I’m not a great deadlifter by any stretch of the imagination, but here’s a couple things I would recommend:

  1. Read some articles on deadlifting. I like the elitefts manual on squat and deadlift and it’s free.
  2. Spend a lot of time at lower weights to get your flow right. There’s a coordination issue stringing it together.
  3. I like this sequence… maybe it works for you, maybe it doesn’t. Leg press off the floor. Get your hips moving forward early and pull back.
  4. Still sounds like you’re not taking all the slack out of the bar. If the weight is 75 kg, you need to pull 74.5 kg out of it before you initiate the lift.
  5. I (and this is just me… there are many people on here who dl more than me and don’t necessarily agree with me on this, but I’m offering it up as something I’d tell you) recommend doing these as singles. This gives you three chances to practice your setup and cues on a 3 rep set. It also gives you a chance to get any funk out when you stand up… not a technical thing… more mental.

Best of luck to you. Keep working man.


I had awful deadlift form for a while, my set up now is:

  1. Feet narrow, typically right were the smooth part of the bar starts.

  2. Bar directly over center of feet.

  3. Keep legs locked, bend down and grab the bar WITHOUT moving it. Wherever your arms naturally drop is perfect.

  4. Bend at the knees until your shins touch the bar. Yet again DO NOT move the bar.

  5. Squeze your lats and actively pull on the bar until it clicks.

  6. Brace, (look up “Valsalva Maneuver”)

  7. Squeeze that bar like it owes you lunch money, seriously, your knuckles should be white

  8. Pull that weight. Think “feet through the floor, and hips forward”

It seems like a lot, because it is, but all that takes place for me in about 5 seconds now. Dial it in, take it slow, it’ll all come together.