Bodybuilding 4 MIN READ 254 VIEWS February 7, 2017

Top 7 Unspoken Mistakes Made While Deadlifting

Written By Archana

So, you deadlift? Great, but is your technique right? Check if you are guilty of committing the top 7 unspoken mistakes while deadlifting.

There is more to deadlift than pulling weight off the floor. The most performed workout in any gym is one of the most effective functional exercises that forms an integral part of every bodybuilder’s arsenal, be it a novice or an expert, Crossfitter or a professional powerlifter. Lifting a dead weight of the ground involves the display of explosive strength, which makes the right form all the more necessary.

Keep reading to learn the top 7 unspoken mistakes made while deadlifting, which include checking out your form in the mirror, rounding the back, hunching while lifting and other such errors. 

Along with squat and bench press, deadlift forms a part of the powerlifting trio and it engages your core muscles, corresponding to lower back, abdominals and glute region, thereby making them stronger in return. This has a positive effect on your muscle size and corrects your posture. This means that it involves explosive strength and cuts out the momentum. Research has shown that an individual trained in the deadlift can lift a greater amount of weight, than with any other free exercises

(Swinton et al., 2011)

While squat continues to rule among exercises, deadlift exercise is regarded as the king of mass builders, as it enables you to build your core strength. Unlike squat where weight lands on your shoulders either in the front or back, in deadlift the weight is in your hands.


An exercise with so many advantages finds its way into every person’s lifting regime; and rightly so. But the problem arises when they start making mistakes. Many mistakes on the form are pointed out and many articles list them. But there are a few unspoken ones, which people either forget to mention, or literally do not recognise them as a mistake at all, resulting in common deadlift injuries due to poor deadlift form

Rounding the back in the lifting phase

If you see, most people who deadlift, focus on moving the weight from point A to point B without focussing on the form. So, as the weight (when it is very heavy and unmanageable) comes off the floor, the chest goes in and the back/spine starts getting rounded, especially the thoracic and the upper lumbar region. It loses the normal extended spinal position into a rather unusually curved-hunched position. This is a very risky manoeuvre and puts the lifter in a risk of a slipped disk and other forms spinal injury. However, the lifter tends to sacrifice form to create a personal record of sorts or in a bid to do one more rep.

Deadlifting from “Top-to-Bottom”

Deadlift is usually ‘lifting the weight from the floor to the top’. Many people, especially beginners, do it the other way round. They lift it from the rack, move away from the rack, and bring it down. This is absolutely fine if we are doing Romanian or the stiff-legged deadlifts, but that is not what we are doing here, is it?

Doing this way would result in more rep and lifting lesser weight than you actually can.

  • End up targeting the hamstrings.
  • Losing the form.
  • Losing balance while moving away from the rack especially with heavier weights.

Over/Hyper extending your back on the topmost position

People lean back too much at the topmost position and they learn this from the competitive Powerlifters who do the same during competitions. This puts the lower spine in the extreme risk of herniated discs.

Squatting while deadlifts

Many people, including experienced lifters, tend to squat while deadlifting. You can observe this when the person does this with an unusually erect torso. If you observe even more closely, you can find that the form represents a squat more closely than a deadlift. This is wrong.

Such a posture would result in rounding of your spine especially during heavier lifts, your shins would be hurt on the way up as the knee extends way too much over the bar in a ‘squatting’ deadlift and this is practically wrong. Do you usually squat that much in lifting an unusually shaped object that is in front of you off the floor?

         Shrugging at the top of a deadlift

Unnecessary shrugging at the top of the movement makes the deadlift ineffective. Avoid this.

  Checking out your form in the mirror during the lift

Checking out your form us good, but not when you are having 100kgs in your hands. It hurts your neck and spoils your form. The effects are even worse when the mirror is at your sides. Your deadlift becomes a squat, you lose the back neutrality which is very important, and the side facing the mirror takes over as the dominant one, and so on. Not Good!!

Setting up the bar too far from the body

For an efficient deadlift, the barbell should travel in a perfect vertical line and in the final position it should be exactly above the position it was on the floor. Therefore, you need to stand close to the bar, but far too many people, however, tend to stand too far away from the bar. When they pull the bar in a vertical line, it ends up being some distance from the body.

Deadlift is one of the best exercises there is and can be manipulated to achieve any goal – be it fat loss or mass gain. And doing it the right way ensures that more strength, ability to lift more, and the confidence to lift immense weights.

So lift away, the right way!

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