Zenith Performance Physical Therapy


Common Deadlift Mistakes: Avoid These Pitfalls for a Stronger Lift

August 22, 2023

Deadlifts are undoubtedly one of the most effective exercises for building strength and power in your posterior chain – those essential muscles along the backside of your body. But, like any complex movement, they require a proper technique to avoid injury. Here are some common deadlift mistakes and how to steer clear of them for a more substantial, safer lift.

1. Not Taking the Slack out of the Bar

Ever heard that jolting clank of weights as the bar leaves the ground? That’s a sure sign of not taking the slack out of the bar before lifting. Skipping this crucial step could lead to unnecessary strain on your lower back. Before you initiate the lift, pull the bar tight against the weights, creating tension that will help you lift with better form and control.

2. Rising Hips Too Quickly

One common misstep is allowing your hips to shoot up before your knees start moving. To avoid this, focus on initiating the lift by simultaneously moving your hips and knees. Keeping your butt down during this initial movement phase will set the foundation for a solid lift.

3. Hyperextending at the Top

While achieving a strong, upright position at the top of the deadlift is essential, hyperextending your lower back isn’t the way to go. Instead of arching your back excessively, concentrate on squeezing your glutes. This not only ensures a controlled finish but also reduces the risk of unnecessary strain on your lower back.

4. Bar Positioning

Keep the bar close! You want to engage your lats by imagining you’re pinching your shoulder blades together or holding an orange between your armpits. This engagement will help keep the bar close to your body throughout the lift, optimizing your biomechanics for a successful deadlift.

Final Thoughts

Deadlifts offer unparalleled benefits for building strength and enhancing your physique, but mastering the proper technique is necessary. By avoiding these common deadlift mistakes, you’ll not only experience a more efficient and effective lift but also reduce the risk of injury.

If you find yourself struggling with your deadlift form or experiencing pain during or after the movement, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Remember, a well-executed deadlift can be a game-changer in your fitness journey, so take the time to perfect your technique and enjoy the rewards of a stronger, healthier you.

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