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Barbell Deadlift form check

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All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello everyone,

I am new here. Can I get a DL form check please? My lower back seems to round a bit immediately right after I pull the weight off the floor. The rounding isn't as bad as it looks like on a cat, but it does make me feel like my back isn't tight enough. What should I do? Thanks for taking a look.

Work set: 1 x 5 r @ 255 lbs (BW=215 lbs)

Warm up set: 1 x 5 r @ 225 lbs

Goals/Information: I (BW = 215 lbs) started lifting weights in August 2020 to get strong for martial arts. I have been training Muay Thai and Boxing for a year and I realized I came to a point were skills were not cutting it; I needed to be strong. I also need strength for Judo/Wrestling and BJJ, which I plan to start once this Covid-19 situation gets resolved. In terms of powerlifting, I don't plan to compete. But I do want to get strong. Right now, I can't do a single pull up. My goal is to be able to 25 at a time. I am hoping my Squats will make me strong enough to lift a 200 lbs resisting opponent and throw them to the ground multiple times (Judo/Wrestling). Martial arts is on a pause for a year due to Covid-19. So I am just lifting weights.

My best so far: Squats = 215 lbs (3s x 5r); Bench = 120 lbs (3s x 5r); Deadlift = 255 (1s x 5r).

I know my numbers aren't great. I have been going to the gym like twice a week. Just haven't been able to make a proper schedule yet. I have been increasing the weight every so often. I think a program like SS would benefit me, but honestly diet is a big part of a program like that and I don't have a proper diet. Here is more information on my diet if needed: How can I out-train this bad diet? If I can't, what modifications can I make to my diet to push more weight?
 

Hardartery

Level 5 Valued Member
Fighting is not about physical strength. Deadlifting or squatting will not make you suddenly good at Boxing, BJJ, or any other fighting. It probably will not hurt those pursuits, but it will not do anything wonderful for you either. Stop "Unpacking" yourself at the end of each rep on DL. Stop worrying about back rounding that is probably negligible at best and totally invisible behind the folds of that hoodie. Fighting is about conditioning and reflexes. Leverage matters more in BJJ than strength. It's about learning to use what you have to best effect, not massive overpowering of the opponent. You cannot out train a bad diet, and the only way to be better conditioned is to do the work. Do cardio. A LOT of it. Do higher rep sets. Put in some work, and worry less about how perfect the form is or is not.
 

T_M

Level 5 Valued Member
I don’t personally see any significant deficiencies in your DL form. I suppose you could bend your knees more and drop your hips a little at the start of the lift, but those are minor issues. The weight you’re lifting doesn’t look particularly challenging, I would be curious how your technique holds up at weights that are 80+ % of your 1 rep max.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
I don’t personally see any significant deficiencies in your DL form. I suppose you could bend your knees more and drop your hips a little at the start of the lift, but those are minor issues. The weight you’re lifting doesn’t look particularly challenging, I would be curious how your technique holds up at weights that are 80+ % of your 1 rep max.
Hello T_M, thanks for taking a look. I am currently at 255 lbs (DL). I am increasing the weight by 5 pounds every week or so depending on my workout sessions. So based on 255 lbs (1s x 5r), my 1RM comes to 287 lbs. And 255 lbs is around 89% of that 1RM. I am not sure how my form will hold up as I continue to add more weight. I have not seen any changes to my back muscles to believe that they will be able to hold me tight as I increase the weight.
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Fighting is not about physical strength. Deadlifting or squatting will not make you suddenly good at Boxing, BJJ, or any other fighting. It probably will not hurt those pursuits, but it will not do anything wonderful for you either. Stop "Unpacking" yourself at the end of each rep on DL. Stop worrying about back rounding that is probably negligible at best and totally invisible behind the folds of that hoodie. Fighting is about conditioning and reflexes. Leverage matters more in BJJ than strength. It's about learning to use what you have to best effect, not massive overpowering of the opponent. You cannot out train a bad diet, and the only way to be better conditioned is to do the work. Do cardio. A LOT of it. Do higher rep sets. Put in some work, and worry less about how perfect the form is or is not.
Hello Hardartery, thanks for the comments. I understand fighting isn't all about strength and that technique and endurance plays a huge role. But strength is one component of it. And I want to be good at it. At the very least, I feel that my endurance has improved quite a lot since I started strength training. I don't really know how that works or why that is. And thanks for telling me to cut out that resetting. Also, I will put in more rep work. I really appreciate the advice. Thanks!
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
I think your form looks great, @All Pain No Gain. It looks like you are using the Starting Strength style of deadlifting so my feedback is in keeping with that style.

Your set-ups is good, you get tight before the lift, your pull is even, your lockout is strong. I think your back looks fine - just keep focusing on setting it prior to the lift keeping it tight as you lift.

I only see two things I'd have you change. One is to find a spot to look at about 12 feet in front of you; fix your gaze there when you take a breath and get tight, and keep your gaze on it through the lift and until the bar is back on the floor.

The other thing is to make sure the weight is balanced on your whole foot. Rep 3 of the 255 set you are a bit forward on your toes and you'll feel it when this happens because it makes the lift much harder. In the step when you get tight, rock your weight back just a tiny bit towards your heels so you're really wedged in prior to starting the pull. This makes it more likely that the bar will stay close to your legs instead of moving out in front of you.

Also, I'll add a third thing that's a preference or style thing... I tend to agree with @Hardartery that it's better to keep your back set rather than totally lose the set-up and re-set each time, however, I also know that Starting Strength is fine with the way you're doing it resetting for each rep, so I think that's up to you. My style is basically like yours but I tend to hold the back position a bit more between reps (video).
 

All Pain No Gain

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello Anna, thanks for the wonderful comments and the feedback. Yes, I have been using the SS five steps of DL. Thanks for the advice on the gaze and the balance; I will make sure to pay more attention to them. And I will definitely try to not reset as much. Thanks for the link to your video; you have excellent form!!
 
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