By Kris Sachanandani

We all deadlift in one way or another every day.  Picking up groceries, kids, dropped keys, news paper, trash bags, etc…

Here are some common mistakes that can easily be fixed to keep you safe and help you move more weight.

Mistake 1 

Bar is too far away in the set up.  You can see that it is out over my toes.


Fix:  Keep the bar over where you tie your shoe laces.  This allows the bar to stay close as it leaves the ground.


Mistake 2

Squatting the bar.  The bar will be in front of the shoulder and you will not be able to use the big, strong posterior chain as well to move the bar.


Fix:  Pull the knees “back” so that the bar should be behind the shoulder and directly under the scap.  Your shins should as vertical as possible with the hips higher than the knees.

Mistake 3 

Neglecting to take the slack out the bar.  This can be seen when people “yank” the bar off the floor instead of “squeezing” it off the floor.  Your body will have no tension in it to full tension which can be dangerous and not efficient when lifting heavy loads such as a heavy deadlift.

Fix: Once you set up correctly you should pull the chest up before you lift and at the same time pull the bar up against the weight with long arms.  When you feel the weight pull back, the slack will be out of the bar.  Your whole body will be loaded and ready to lift if you do this correctly.

Mistake 4

Losing the back angle prior to the lift.  This will look like a stiff leg deadlift or the “Jersey Turnpike” deadlift.

Fix:  Keep the back and core tight during the initial lift off.   The chest should rise as the knees extend.

Here we see an example of this happening.


Mistake 5 

Hyper extending the low back.  Some of us confuse squeezing your butt at the top of the deadlift with leaning back at the finish.


Fix:  At the top of the lift, keep your butt, quads and abs engaged to keep a vertical torso.  Keeping your quads and abs engaged will keep you from leaning back.  Too many of us relax at the top.  Remember that the lift is not finished when you stand, it is finished when the bar returns to the ground.


CrossFit SOAR is a CrossFit Affiliate serving Bergen and Passaic Counties, including the towns of Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Hawthorne, Paramus, Ridgewood and Wyckoff. At SOAR, you will find an inclusive community offering more that a workout; we’ll provide you with a CrossFit Family. We provide a range of programs, including traditional CrossFit and Kid/Teen fitness programs. Want to try CrossFit?  The first class is always free.


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