Deadlift Technique Analysis

The Deadlift is a foundation exercise to anyone interested in being strong and powerful.

But it’s also one that is challenging from a form perspective because you need good mobility as well as body awareness to perform the movement properly.

Maintaining a neutral spine and/or anterior pelvic tilt takes thinking and connection to your body.

FYI – posterior pelvic tilt is tucking your tail and anterior pelvic tilt is sticking your butt out, here’s a couple of pics of anterior tilt to help you visualize what I’m talking about:

On the left, we have an anterior pelvic tilt.

On the right, we have another anterior pelvic tilt.

A posterior tilt is the opposite of what we have above.

Got it now?

No?

OK, one more to help you learn:

Those hawks look like they’re homing in…

If you Deadlift with bad technique, your low back is at risk and you’re likely to have chronic back pain.

Check out the video where I break down MMA RIPPED grad (who lost 50 lbs!) Hugo’s form in the Deadlift and give you specific pointers that will save your back from exploding into a mess of broken vertebrae and cerebrospinal fluid:

I’m also curious – how much can you Deadlift and how much do you weigh?

I’m trying to get a gauge of where ya’ll are at right now.

Let me know below in the Comments.

And please Share/Like this, too – come on, I elegantly inserted 3 gratuitous pics for you – it’s worth a quick ‘Like’ isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

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AAA
AAA
5 years ago

Worst technique in the gym I’ve seen is dead left and squats. As you pointed out a lot of guys round their back and look up on the dead lift. There a lot of mistakes with squats but the most dangerous (IMHO) is guys placing the bar at the base of their neck.

I just turned 53 my personal best deadlift is 430 lbs for one rep, my best squat is around 340 lbs. for 5 reps, bench press 250 lbs x 5, and best overhead press 175 lbs. x 1.

Johns
Johns
6 years ago

Hey Eric , you have a really great page and do some great work. I have a question it seems I have a small butt area so when I dead lift it looks like I have a posterior pelvic tilt when I line up in positio. With the bar. But I can maintain a slight arch in the mid back. But it always seems no matter what that the lower back is rounded. Do you have any thoughts on this. I do have a video.

Nicolai
Nicolai
6 years ago

Hi Eric
Iยดm 200 punds and deadlifting 350 punds for 1 rep

Do you have an opinion about Sumo vs convetional deadlifts for MMA/BJJ?

I have completed 2 rounds of the Ultimate MMA S&C, and thanks for a great training program.

BR Nicolai (Denmark)

Eric
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicolai

Either is good, I typically recommend Semi-Sumo as it tends to save the low back and also trains the adductors a bit more which is important.

Annie
Annie
7 years ago

I weigh 145lbs right now and I am doing deadlifts at home to fail without weights…. soooooo, thank you for the tips on form. I began yesterday and my legs and back are crazy sore already.

Josemm
Josemm
7 years ago

Very interesting visual methodology to teach eric i like it i think we all enjoyed lol not just vid but pics haha hey what do you think of trap bars? As you already know im taking my work out lighter for a while but im doing dlifts with 83 kilos for sets of 6 or 7 reps just like 2 sets and im 80 kilos
Anyway nice thanks again.

Eric
7 years ago
Reply to  Josemm

Trap bars are good, just know that they change the movement a bit and make it more of a Squat than a Deadlift.

Stephen
Stephen
8 years ago

345 lbs and I’m 170 lbs

Cyclone
Cyclone
8 years ago

I have just recently got the Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Course and am really looking forward to starting it.

I have seen that this is one of the exercises and I’m a little nervous about it due to having had lower back surgery. I used to lift pretty good weights for it before the surgery and never had any issues but… as you can imagine, I’m a little protective of my lower back now. The tips you’ve highlighted here are awesome and coinside with what my old trainer used to say about this and squats, “Think Beyonce, tits and ass” . It’s been years since I trained with him but I’ve never forgotten lol

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Cyclone

Hahaha good tip – think of Beyonce. I’ll have to steal that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

gviera
gviera
8 years ago

I weigh 170lb and my 1RM for a conventional deadlift is 395lb. I just started doing sumo and I hit 365lb for 2 reps last week. I started seriously lifting about 6 months ago. I still have a long way to go and your program is helping.

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  gviera

Great #’s dude!

nick
nick
8 years ago

weight 62, deadlift with ~ 130kg for reps.

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  nick

That’s pretty solid for a flyweight Nick!

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

I weight 82 kg and I do conventional deadlifts with 82.5kg ๐Ÿ™‚ for three reps

Clint
Clint
8 years ago

I weight in at 230 and my PR is 675lbs but I usually rep around 500 for sets

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Clint

Clint the big boss back in the house… Huge #’s dude!

Alex
Alex
8 years ago

Good pointers man..
Im 175 and im pulling 300 for 5.
Keep it up !!

Riccardo
Riccardo
8 years ago

Great video Eric.

I weight 65KG and i am on the tapering phase of the UMMA, i am sumo deadlifting 75KG for 3reps, 4sets.

75KG is definitely not my max 3reps, i am being conservative as your program is really the first time i have being using weights, up to now i have always used bodyweigth or no more than 5KG dumbells.

I still have not tested my 1RM for any of the lifts.

oh, i am 42yo, so not really a kid.

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Riccardo

Keep it going Riccardo – no rush… Just make consistent gains and keep good form to stay injury free.

Brian Baertlein
8 years ago

My best deadlift is 595 lbs. Best Benchpress is 460lbs and squat 640lbs. I am a 3 time world champion powerlifter. I am now 49 years old and 181lb. weight class. I have been training 35 years. I am a personal trainer. You may ask what am I doing here. I am a strength and conditioning coach for some boxers. I am also training for boxing and MMA. Can you imagine what my body thinks of this?
Eric you are awesome! Keep up the good work!

Eric
8 years ago

Hehe that’s awesome Brian – over 1500 total that’s huge.

I bet your body is screaming for you to stop. Just make sure to listen to it once in a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

I weight 165 pounds an can dead lift 352 for 3 reps. I am aiming for 440 for a 1RM ๐Ÿ™‚

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Cho the monster… How are your Muscleups going?

Matt
Matt
8 years ago
Reply to  Eric

All good man, got about 5-6 in the bag per set:) been laying off those for abit as I’m getting back on the barbell lifts. Trying to get my power cleans up to 100kg (220lbs), will video some an let you know when I do. Cheers for all u do man, great stuff as always! Will be purchasing your Olympic lifting program soon too. If your ever in Thailand let me know and we can have a workout;)

Cambo
Cambo
8 years ago

Have never done weights more than a couple of days, but have done bodyweight stuff my whole life. Tried a deadlift and did 4 reps of 375. I weigh 195. Found when I wanted to do more (I felt like I could do at least 390-400) it was my grip that failed before anything else, even though I don’t feel as though my grip is especially weak. Any solutions?

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Cambo

If you’ve just “tried” a Deadlift and pulled 4×375 lbs, that’s INSANE.

Any solutions? Do more than just “try” the Deadlift and work at it.

BTW – what kinda bodyweight exercises have you done all your life?

Cork_boi
Cork_boi
8 years ago

Great vid Eric,
I weight 74kg. My sumo deadllift 1RM is at 137 kgs. I haven’t done the normal deadlift for a while but my 1 RM was at 150kgs a few months back, probably gone down since.
Pity my bench press is week (relatively) : 1RM is about 90kg.

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Cork_boi

All pretty solid for someone from Cork! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Carlos Fletes
8 years ago

I just finished 380 days of physical therapy for 3 knee surgeries that I had in the past two years. Although my legs feel strong I’m slowly developing my strength in the deadlift. I weigh 220lbs. in fairly good shape, running a mile in 7min. 28sec.

Anyhow I started deadlifting about 8 weeks ago doing 135 at 15 reps. for 3 sets. Now, I’m at 225lbs. at 12 reps for 3 sets. and always trying to concentrate on technique first.

What advice do you have for me Eric??

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Carlos Fletes

Hey Carlos,

Lower the reps on the Deadlifts there brother – don’t rush to increase the weights either. For Deadlifts, work under 8 reps for the most part. Not always, but the bulk of your program should be fewer reps.

Other exercises like Squats you can work higher reps. One tip – slow down the reps because of your knee surgeries. Really feel the “tension” in the muscles. You want to avoid hitting the ligaments and keep the muscles in control of the knee joint at all times.

I’d also be careful with running long distance and pushing yourself – if you push yourself your form can falter and that can put mucho stress on your knees. You’ve got to be really tight on your form when running.

Other than that, keep it going. ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt Solverson
Matt Solverson
8 years ago

The higher the resistance, the more he looks like he’s doing a stiff-leg deadlift.

P.S. Nice blunt, Eric.

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt Solverson

Exactly – good call.

Yeah it just happened to turn out that way, didn’t it lol.

Mark Edward Brown
8 years ago

Hi Eric,

This Deadlife critique helped me allot because I recently injured my lower back while doing deadlifts during a crossfit session. I weigh 153lbs. and I believe when I injured my back I dead lifted 270 lbs.

Thanks again,

Mark Edward Brown

Eric
8 years ago

Glad it helped Mark!

Josh
Josh
8 years ago

Great video and analysis Eric! Keep the tips coming!!!

Please ask the models who posed for your APT pics to submit DL videos ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  Josh

I’ll see what I can do. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sam
Sam
8 years ago

Oops – I forgot to mention, I am doing Sumo Deadlifts.

Angelo
Angelo
8 years ago

I weigh 195. 135 lbs, 3 sets of 10. Not doing max anything yet. Gonna wait.

Stephen Mckinstry
Stephen Mckinstry
8 years ago

I am 6’4″ and weigh 215. 1RM on Deadlift in 405 straight bar and 431 with the hex bar.

Eric
8 years ago

Nice, especially with your height – Deadlifting (and Squats) tend to be even more challenging.

Andrew
Andrew
8 years ago

Hi Eric,

I weigh 70kg and currently deadlift 130kg for 5 reps.

Hoping to get to double body weight soon and then go back to your mma program with sumo deadlifts.

Vladimir Kelman
8 years ago

No women examples for posterior pelvic tilt? I suppose they are inherently inclined to show us anterior tilt only ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eric
8 years ago

And GOD BLESS them for it!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

julien
julien
8 years ago

I weigh 72kg and i deadlift 105kg (4 sets of 3 reps). However, i usually walk like a zombie the day after…

Eric
8 years ago
Reply to  julien

Hamstrings sore?

Sam
Sam
8 years ago

I weigh 76kg and I am deadlifting 80kgs at the moment (5 reps, 4 sets).