3 Deadlift Mistakes You Might Be Making

There’s no lift that satisfies the soul quite like the deadlift. Something about picking up some heavy ass weight off the floor brings on a physical high, but also a mental high as well. It causes a primal rush that makes you feel like a fucking badass.

Deadlifting bros probably want to deadlift more weight. It’s not like we’re all trying to catch up to Eddie Hall and deadlift 1,000lbs, but hitting certain thresholds like 400, 500, or 600lbs are milestones that most lifting bros shoot for. There’s a certain level of pride that comes with breaking into new realms of poundage. It’s like a rite of passage in the weight room.

Here are 3 deadlift mistakes you might be making, and how to solve them.

  • Finding The Right Stance

This is painfully obvious, but one of the most fucked up things I see in the gym. There are two deadlift stances that can be used, conventional or sumo.

Conventional stance involves having the feet close together right up under the shoulders and the hips. Sumo involves having the feet way out wide. Each stance has it’s own pros and cons.

It’s up to you to play around and figure out what works best for you. Some people’s hip structure dictates that they’re better suited for a sumo stance deadlift. These same people probably do better with a low bar type squatting position.

Others are better suited for a conventional deadlift. Like I said, it’s up to you to figure out which one works best for you.

God forbid though, don’t you dare go right in between the two. This is an easy way to ensure you’re not in a good position to pull as much weight as you can. It seems like a given, but I can’t explain how many people I’ve seen deadlift who look like they can’t make up their mind about which stance they want to use. Don’t let that be you.

  • Not enough tension before the pull.

In lifting, tension is the name of the game. If you plan to lift big, you need tension. Why? Bad shit tends to happen when you’re loose and trying to move around a few hundred pounds.

This is especially true in the deadlift. Far too many don’t “pull the slack out of the bar” before the initiate the pull. Basically this just means you need to squeeze the shit out of the bar, and pull hard on the bar before you start pulling.

Another way to think about this is “activating your lats”, and you can do it by trying to tuck your shoulder blades into your back pockets.

However one thing you should keep in mind is that all of this tension should only take place right before the lift. If you sit there squeezing the shit out of the bar and tucking your shoulder blades for 20 seconds before lifting, you’re wasting time and energy.

  • Pulling up, not back.

One of the most common mistakes that I see people make with the deadlift is an innocent one. The aim is to pull the bar up off the floor, and people subconsciously think about pulling up to complete the lift.

This causes things to go wrongly because whether they realize it or not, this can lead to the bar drifting further away from the body. Thinking about pulling back at the start of the pull is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Pulling back keeps the bar close to the body, which puts you at a mechanical advantage to pull more weight. It’s pretty hard to complete a lift when you’ve got 400lbs 6 inches out in front of your body compared to up against your body.