T Nation

Rounding Your Upper Back on Deads?

I had just happened to watch a few youtube tutorials from Dave Tate on the deadlift before I head over to the gym for my deadlifting session yesterday. In it, he talks about dropping your shoulders forward as you ascend to the bar which naturally puts a little rounding in your upper back.

I was sure to have someone watch my lumbar spine for any signs of lumbar flexion and managed to keep my lower back arched. I was quite pleased with the feel of dropping my shoulders forward as it let me set up with my head a good 3 inches higher and I had a much more powerful drive on the motion, taking alot of the feeling off my lower back and into my quads, hammies, and glutes.

Any way, I thought I’d share, and I’m happy to discuss what you guys are doing.

That’s something I’ve been working on. Rolling your shoulders forward/down allows for a bit of a higher set up by adding length to your arms (If that makes sense) and a more advantageous position.

Pretty much what Andy Bolton recommends

And what I’ve started doing

Andy Bolton:
10 Deadlift Technique Tips For A Mighty Pull

  1. Wear flat soled shoes or Deadlift bare-foot

  2. Start your pull with your arms locked straight and
    keep them this way throughout your set.

  3. Arch your lower back

  4. Brace your abs as hard as possible (push out against
    your power belt if you are wearing one)

  5. Breath into your belly; not your chest

  6. RELAX your upper back and shoulders

  7. Keep your head in a neutral position or look straight

  8. Keep the weight close to your body at all times (many
    great pullers sport scars on their shins because they do
    exactly this)

  9. Wear long socks

  10. Be AGGRESSIVE (more than any other lift… the Deadlift
    requires the right mental state to lift to your potential)

Check out #6

Most big pullers round their upper back. It lets you grab the bar without having to bend down too much to get there, shortening the pull. It is also the most natural and safest position for your spine to be in (but don’t confuse this kyphosis, the last thing you want is to over flex your thoracic spine). Just remember to keep your lats flexed when you pull so it keeps the bar pulled close to you. Not flexing my lats was one of the major things that I never did until I had my form corrected.

If youre flexible enough, which you seem to be, then its great. Helps your use your glutes more, too. It also works your thoracic erectors in a better way. All good things.


i think pulling your shoulders back kinda gives you no leverage. to me everything kinda gets offset and out of balance.

[quote]BRINK429 wrote:
i think pulling your shoulders back kinda gives you no leverage. to me everything kinda gets offset and out of balance.[/quote]
Same here. Retracting them never really felt right.