Why Your Deadlift Sucks: Common Mistakes And How To Fix Them

The deadlift is one of the all-time best exercises for building total body muscle and strength...it’s also one of the most bastardized exercises in all of physical culture.


Here are some of the most common deadlift mistakes to avoid if you want to build slabs of muscle while at the same time not snapping your s***.

#1 Rounded Back

Quite possibly the gravest sin of the deadlift is rounding the back -- aka snap city.


To prevent your back from rounding, you must learn to brace properly by taking a deep “belly breath” and pushing out against your flexed abdominal muscles. This increases intra-abdominal pressure which protects your back and helps maintain a neutral spine during the exercise.

#2 Hips Shooting Up

This happens when the hips rise up too quickly and the knees lockout before the torso has risen. This invariably leads to excessive strain being placed on the back and increasing the potential for injury while simultaneously reducing your strength and power output (i.e. you can’t lift as much as you want).


The fix here is to ensure that your shoulders and hips lift at the same rate. Instead of focusing on pulling the bar up with your back, focus on driving your heels through the floor, maintaining whole-body tension, and pressing the ground down!

#3 Setting Up Too Far from the Bar

To move the maximum amount of weight possible, your execution needs to be as efficient as possible which means the bar path needs to be as short as possible from start to finish. In other words, the bar should travel in a perfect vertical line.


Far too many gym bros (and bro-ettes) set up too far away from the bar, and they’re not pulling in a straight vertical line. This leads to performing a quasi-front delt raise + deadlift combo instead of an actual deadlift.


With every rep of the deadlift (even your warm up sets), make sure to begin with the bar directly over the middle of the feet.

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