How To Deadlift Properly, Or Not

by Kilo on July 19, 2011

I think anyone who knows the thrill of pulling a heavy deadlift off the floor should find something to smile about in this video. Or at least something to groan about, or to slap your forehead and shout “What in the world!” about. Is this how to deadlift properly? Maybe not.

But deadlifting properly isn’t as simple as saying “Just do the opposite of the video.” Our bodies are all different. Consistency in the deadlift, across all shapes and leverages, seems to be a fitness Will O’ The Wisp, always beckoning, looking real, but receding with every step you take towards it.

It depends on where you’re sitting. If an ugly lift in competition isn’t textbook form, does it mean it was done “wrong?”

A lot of these just made me cringe, but I’m sure my own form looks wretched sometimes, especially when I’m going after a real max.

My best deadlift fail story is from when I was a judge at a local Tactical Strength Challenge. The TSC has three events:

The guy I was watching in the deadlift–full disclosure, a friend of mine–set up with about 275. I could never get him to deadlift, so he never made much progress. 275 would have been a new and big max for him.

I had no idea he had started pulling until his face started turning purple. He stood and said “Nope.”

He had literally not moved the bar at all, as far as I could tell. It might be my imagination, but it didn’t even seem like it made a noise when he let go and set it down.

That guy kicked my butt at everything else in the gym, but he would have been right at home in the deadlift video.


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