T Nation

Teaching My Tall Friend to Deadlift


I'm 5'10". I've been teaching a buddy of mine how to lift for the past few months, and he's finally comfortable enough with his body to deadlift. He's probably 6'5".

His form on the initial lift is now pretty good. Started out abysmal. I mainly used visualization and focus exercises for him to use his body correctly (think: "drive your heels through the floor," "pick a spot on the wall to focus your gaze at," etc).

Thing is, though, he is terribly awkward with the down part of the movement. I think it just has to do with his leverages...it's hard for me to explain how to put the bar down to him because he's so much damn taller than me. I don't really have any ways for him to visualize the part of the movement or anything like that. Putting it down always felt so natural to me that I guess I just never really gave it much thought.

Any help on this? Any tall dudes on here have problems starting out with deadlifts and figured out a way to approach the lift that was helpful? I guess it's just a problem that I wasn't as able to creatively think around to explain how he should do it.


Im almost 6'6" and I just started doing dead lifts this week, anytime I had done it the past I ended up with a sore back, but I have determined that I'm going to nail it eventually..sounds like your giving him good advice (from the little I know) and I would agree that the downward motion is much harder then just getting the bar off the floor.

maybe try using the trap bar (hex bar) for dead lifts to build the core strength then move to a straight bar?
thats the approach I used and it seems to be working ok...also I would assume he's wearing a belt? If not that may help too


Putting the bar down is very simple. Drop it. And if you can't drop it, lower it to the knees and drop it.

If you try lowering heavy deadlifts, you will get pregnant, and you will die.


It wouldn't hurt to try lifting from foam blocks.


Just have him push his ass back and let it drop. Just make sure he's not bending over to set the weight down.