T Nation

Squat/Deadlift Form Critique

Hey T-nation,

Long time lurker of these forums. I really love the great info and community here!

I was wondering if any of you would be kind enough to critique my squat/deadlift form. I weight around 193-195 and have a long term goal of 2xBW squat/2.5BW deadlift. My sticking points for both lifts seem to be at about the middle of the lift. Are there any assistance and mobility exercises you recommend to get to the next level? I’ve been researching around to pick some good assistance movements that would accelerate my main lifts. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Your squat looks pretty good. I would just work on keeping your back tight the entire time you have the bar unracked. It looks like you kind of drop your head and get resituated after you unrack and before you squat. If its a breathing issue just do it between reps.

Your dead also looks fine but you might want to work on lowering your hips and “sitting back” a bit on your heels before the pull. Head up, chest up, sit back and pull. It looks like you’re more lower back than hamstrings which is fine but will probably becom an issue as the weights go up. Which leads me to …

Can’t pinpoint your weakness from these videos. Upload something close to your max so we can see where your form breaks down.

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I really wanna say lack of glute activation - you don’t use your ass, but I can’t be certain. A 95-100% lift would be nice to see.

Like @max13 said, sitting back a bit on your DL might help you

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@max13 thanks for your comments. The whole ‘lower back’ thing you’re pointing out makes sense as I rewatch the video. Also, I don’t know if this is something that “comes with the territory” but my lower back constantly feels fatigued/tired (perhaps b/c I’m pulling with my back). Either way, I plan on implementing these changes and eventually following up with another vid.

@rakshy appreciate your response. I’ll need to post a vid when I get closer to a 1 rm. But, I’ll keep the glutes in mind, while focusing on sitting back.

No problem, I also should add that you’re very deliberate. These look like weights you have no problem lifting and IMO should be moving faster if you have the ability to do so. I’d look into maybe doing some speed work once you get your technique situated

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Squat doesn’t look too bad - can tighten up the setup a bit. Too many steps back.

Deadlift - the bar is waaaay out in front which means that you’re not sitting back enough - IMO points to a hamstring/calf weakness.


Hey Guys,

I really appreciate the feedback. I’d take you all out for a beer if I could!

So, I’ve been implementing the suggestions made to my form (esp w/ deadlifts). I posted two videos below really emphasizing sitting back on heels/chest up/shoulders behind bar. The first vid is with a weigh 15 lbs heavier than before and the second vid is of a lighter weight (which my form slowly breaks down at the end). Two questions:

  1. If I’m not mistaken, I notice that my hips seem to rise slightly before the bar comes up. Also, my weight seems to naturally shift forward from starting position. Are my hips positioned too low and am I sitting two far back?

  2. I feel this is a stupid question. I’m assuming that the rationale for ‘sitting back’ is to decrease range of motion required of the lift and its probably safer. I do feel, however, that I could lift more weight shifted more forward “pulling with my lower back” (as max stated). So, does having good form come at the cost of lifting more weight? I’m asking this in hopes of avoiding the frustration/discouraged of not setting PRs as often as I’d like while getting new form situated.

Thanks a bunch dudes!