I just started practicing the deadlift, upon the recommendation of a well known fitness expert, to help with back pain. It seems to be a tremendous lift for back and overall strength. I'm wondering if any of you deadlift on a regular basis, and if you have any tips/tricks or advice for a beginner, or any general observations.


Just pretend you are pulling on a board that has been nailed to the floor. Make sure to use your whole body, not just your back.

Thanks for the tips bodybuilder and inf0(?). I'm really just working on my form right now, trying to make sure I'm doing the lift right technically before I start adding significant weight.

I'm just working out at home right now, using instruction from Pavel Tsatsouline's book Power to the People, and short deadlift videos by "The Diesel Crew" and "EFS." I'm thinking it'd be a good idea to have an expert coach me once a week or so - I'm sure there are flaws in my form which another person could see and help me fix.

"I just started practicing the deadlift, upon the recommendation of a well known fitness expert, to help with back pain." help with BACK PAIN?


feet a little further than shoulder width.
start with ass low. bar close to your shins.
back straight. look straight ahead. shoulders back.
stand up like you are just coming up from the bottom of a squat.

here's me deadlifting

"shoulders back."

I have read that the shoulders should be over the bar. I know westside recomends them back but Mark Rippetoe (spelling) recomends them in front of the bar.

I have tried deadlifts both ways and the shoulders in front of the bar feels so much better than shoulders back. Shoulders back really wrecked my back while Mark Rippetoes suggestions have made my back strong.

" help with BACK PAIN?


It seems to be working so far! I haven't started lifting significant weight yet, but so far it has helped considerably. I got into it after I stumbled upon the following excerpt from Pavel Tsatsouline's book Relax Into Stretch:

"Keep in mind that stretching is not a panacea, especially for the back. Those of you with bad backs, and if statistics do not lie, it is every other American, note on your forehead: stretching will relieve the pain, but will not fix you up.

Spasms and pain are only symptoms. The real problem is usually weakness. A weak back muscle has to contract hard just to keep you from walking on all fours - spinal erectors are 'anti-gravity muscles'. This tension is difficult to maintain, so the muscle just locks up. Movement and circulation become limited, so it gets even weaker, so it cramps even more to get even weaker to cramp even more... It's a vicious cycle.

CONCLUSION: Trying to fix a bad back with stretching is about as useful as an oil change on the Titanic. You'd better get on the first name basis with deadlifts."


Keep us updated.

molsonman, I don't mean behind or in front of the bar. rather, back as in, like if they were in position of standing at attention and not rolled forward.

i think above or slightly in front of the bar like you mention sounds right as well. i think getting up as close to the bar as possible, up against your shins should help put them there.

many articles on this site in regards to deadlifting and other exercises.

If any of you know of any cool deadlift online resources (webpages/audio/video) post em!

Thanks Dupre, you were reading my mind!

No, I don't squat. Interesting piece of an interview with powerlifter Chuck Vogelpohl I found:

EFS: You talk about technique in the video. Having lifted with you, I know you are a big believer in mastering technique.

Chuck V: You've got to master technique. You've got to be dead on; especially with heavy weights. If you can't lift correctly than you are going to get hurt.

EFS: What are your tips for mastering technique?

Chuck V: I think people believe that they will be perfect after one year. Me and Louie, we've been lifting for so long and we're still working on mastering technique. It takes a lot of time. Probably more than people are willing to invest. The number one thing that people don't seem to do is keep their head up and their knees always come in. These things will kill your bar path when you get to heavier weights; this will screw your lift.

jackbquick it sounds like that guy doesn't know what he's talking about; he could be right in some cases....

Both stretching and deadlifts CAN be ideal depending on the application but there is no one-size-fits-all approach as he claims. If misapplied (let alone performed incorrectly) any technique can also make problems worse. I'd love to be more help but I'd have to take you through some assessments to determine what your issues might be...

So, if you're going to do deadlifts regardless, be sure to avoid doing weight you can't lift correctly. Swamprocker's guidelines for form are solid -- definitely keep your back in a neutral position (i.e. not arched) and when coming up try to use your glutes as much as possible. More specifically, when coming up, use/squeeze your glutes to trust your hips ALL THE WAY forward so you come to an upright position, fully-extended at the hip.

Thanks a lot RuleDogg! Thanks guys for the info and links, keep em coming!

My favourite lift, without a doubt.

Does anyone feel that working with a trainer/expert in the beginning is of paramount importance, or is practicing at home using books/vids for instruction sufficient to develop the proper form and technique?

Deadlift is and always been my strongest lift.I honed my technique using conventional methods but using lesser known techniques also. I would take about 55% of my 1rep max and do 3 sets of 25 on week 1, striving for perfect controlledifts and a controlled descent. I would then add 5 lbs to a side each week, while lowering the reps per set each week. The first 10 or so reps of each set will really work whatever muscles are strongest in your form(legs or back, depends your stance, form, shape other variables), but after 10 reps these muscle start to get tired and the other muscles you use are forced to help accordingly. I would do this every year over a 2 month period.

i started doing deadlifts recently as well. does anyone know what would be concidered good and or shitty lift is (8-10 reps) for a 180 dude.