Most deadlift mistakes are made from the start, but you can avoid a lot of them if you get set in the right position.
The most common mistakes I see are over arching or setting up too far in your heels, with your hips too low.
Starting in either one of these positions will cause your form to break down and put you at risk of injury.
Below, I go over these two mistakes and how you can avoid them, so you can start lifting more weight safely.
1. Over Arching
Naturally, you have a slight curve in your lumbar spine, also known as the low back. With that, over arching in the bottom position, can put you in a position to get hurt, and keep you from being able to lift heavy weight.
When you over arch, you’re putting a lot of stress on your low back, you aren’t able to get maximal pressure, and the only way to get stability is through the low back.
Your core is your “safety blanket,” but when you over arch, it can’t do its job.
Starting in a neutral position, gives you the ability to get more air and get tighter.
I tell my clients to show me the top of their logo because this puts them in the strongest and safest position, and helps them stay neutral.
As you see, in the first picture, my client is over arched. When she goes to pull, her arch is going to get worse, or as the weight gets heavier, it’s going to pull her forward.
In the second one, she is neutral and in a better position to pull. Starting in this position is going to be much safer and help her lift more weight.
2. Starting Too Far Behind The Bar
It’s important to stay behind the bar when you deadlift, but getting too far behind is a big mistake.
When you get in this position, all your weight shifts to your heels and you are not in a good position to push.
Yes, push, because the start of the deadlift should be you pushing your feet through the floor, like you’re pushing yourself out of the bottom of a leg press.
Also, when you’re too far back, your hips start too low and when the weight gets heavy, it’s going to cause your hips to come up and throw you forward.
When you start, you want your weight distributed through your whole foot and your armpits over the bar, putting you in a stronger and safer position.
As you see in the first picture, I’m too far behind the bar, all my weight is in my heels, and I can’t keep my toes on the floor.
When I start to pull, I’m going to get thrown forward and be rounded over, putting a lot of unwanted force through my low back.
In the second one, I stay over the bar, my weight is in my whole foot, and I’m in a better position to lift the bar off the ground.
Go Start Pulling
Everything in the deadlift starts with the setup.
Fixing these two mistakes before you even pull, is going to put you in a better position to lift more weight, safely.
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