The deadlift is a basic strength exercise that works muscles in the back, legs, and hips, among other places. But it’s also a complicated lift that needs the right form, technique, and planning to do safely and well. Even a small mistake in how the deadlift is done can hurt you or stop it from doing what it’s supposed to. In this article, we will discuss several common deadlift mistakes and errors that lifters make, including wearing the wrong shoes, not warming up, choosing the wrong stance and grip, jerking the bar, not having adequate mobility, rounding the back, not pressing the floor away, and other form errors.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes:
One common mistake that lifters make when deadlifting is wearing the wrong shoes. Shoes with cushioned soles, running shoes, or shoes with high heels can affect your balance and stability, leading to poor deadlift form and potential injuries. Instead, it is recommended to wear flat, stable shoes, such as weightlifting shoes, Converse, or barefoot shoes, that provide a solid base for the feet and allow for better ground contact during the lift.
Not warming up:
Another mistake that many lifters make is not warming up properly before the deadlift. The deadlift is a demanding exercise that puts significant stress on the lower back and other muscle groups. Failing to warm up can increase the risk of injury, reduce performance, and limit your range of motion. A proper warm-up should include some light cardiovascular exercise, dynamic stretches, and mobility drills that target the hips, glutes, and lower back.
Not keeping the bar over midfoot:
Keeping the bar over the middle of the foot is one of the most important parts of the deadlift. When the barbell drifts away from the body, it can cause unnecessary stress on the lower back and make the lift more challenging to complete. To keep the bar over the midfoot, you should start the lift with the bar over the midfoot, maintain a straight bar path throughout the lift, and avoid leaning back or forward excessively.
Choosing the Wrong Stance and Grip:
How you stand and how you hold the bar when you deadlift can have a big effect on how well you do and how safe you are. A narrow stance can limit your range of motion and reduce your power output, while a wide stance can lead to excessive strain on the hips and lower back. Similarly, using a grip that is too wide or too narrow can affect your grip strength and limit your ability to lift heavier weights. To determine the best stance and grip for your deadlift, experiment with different variations and find the one that feels most comfortable and allows you to lift with proper form.
Jerking the bar:
Another common mistake that lifters make when performing the deadlift. Jerking occurs when you pull the bar off the floor too quickly, causing the bar to bounce or jerk around during the lift. This can lead to poor form, reduced power output, and potential injuries. To avoid jerking the bar, pull out the slack before initiating the lift, and lift the bar with a smooth and controlled motion.
Not having adequate mobility:
Mobility is critical for proper deadlift form and performance. If you lack the mobility to perform the lift correctly, you may compensate by rounding your back, leaning forward, or using poor form. To improve your mobility, incorporate mobility exercises that target the hips, glutes, and lower back into your training routine.
Rounding your back or arching your back:
A common mistake when deadlifting is to round or arch your back. This can hurt you and make you less effective. Rounding your back places unnecessary stress on the lower Rounding your back during deadlifts is one of the most common deadlift mistakes that people make. It is important to keep your back straight and rigid throughout the entire movement in order to protect your spine and prevent injury.
Unnecessary stress on the lower back:
When you round your back, you place unnecessary stress on your lower back. This can lead to a number of injuries, including herniated discs, muscle strains, and spinal fractures. The weight of the barbell is meant to be lifted with your legs and glutes, not your lower back.
How to prevent rounding your back?
To prevent rounding your back, make sure you engage your core and keep your back straight throughout the entire movement. This means keeping your shoulders back and down, your chest up, and your hips in line with your shoulders. Before starting your deadlift, take a deep breath and brace your core to maintain proper form.
Choosing the right weight:
Deadlift mistakes, Another reason why people tend to round their backs during deadlifts is because they choose a weight that is too heavy for them. Make sure you choose a weight that you can lift with proper form. If you feel yourself starting to round your back during the lift, it is better to decrease the weight rather than risk injury.
Seek help from a personal trainer or physical therapist if you aren’t sure about your deadlift form or if the exercise hurts. They can help you figure out if your form has any weaknesses or imbalances and give you exercises to fix them.
In the end, rounding your back when you deadlift can put extra stress on your lower back and make you more likely to get hurt. To avoid this, make sure you use your core, pick the right weight, and, if you need to, ask for help from a professional.
Arching your back during deadlifts is another common mistake that can lead to injury. While it may seem like arching your back can help you lift more weight, it actually puts a lot of pressure on your spine and can lead to back pain or injury.
How to prevent arching your back?
To prevent arching your back during deadlifts, make sure you keep your core engaged and your back straight. Avoid hyperextending your back or leaning too far back at the top of the lift. Instead, concentrate on tightening your glutes and fully extending your hips to finish the move.
Choosing the right shoes:
Wearing the wrong shoes during deadlifts can also contribute to poor form and an increased risk of injury. Choose shoes with a flat sole, such as Converse or weightlifting shoes, to provide a stable base for your lift. Avoid shoes with cushioned soles, as they can make it more difficult to maintain proper form.
Using chalk can also help you maintain proper form during deadlifts. Chalk can improve your grip on the barbell, preventing it from slipping or rotating during the lift. This can help you maintain a neutral spine and avoid rounding or arching your back.
Rolling the barbell:
Rolling the barbell during deadlifts is another mistake that can lead to injury. This occurs when you allow the bar to drift away from your body during the lift, which can cause your form to break down and increase your risk of injury.
How to prevent rolling the barbell?
To prevent rolling the barbell, make sure you keep the barbell close to your body throughout the entire movement. This means keeping it over midfoot and maintaining a straight bar path. Focus on pulling the bar straight up rather than allowing it to drift away from your body.
You can lift safely and well if you avoid common deadlift mistakes like rounding or arching your back, not wearing the right shoes, using chalk, and keeping the bar on a straight path. Remember to pay attention to your form, and if you aren’t sure about your deadlift technique, ask a professional for help.
Deadlifts are a great way to build strength and muscle, but it’s important to do them right so you don’t hurt yourself. By avoiding common mistakes like rounding or arching your back, choosing the right shoes, using chalk, and keeping the right form throughout the lift, you can lower your risk of injury and get better results. Remember to warm up properly, engage your core and lats, and breathe and brace properly throughout the lift. With proper technique and attention to form, deadlifts can be a safe and effective way to improve your strength and overall fitness.
FAQs (Deadlift Mistakes)
Q: What muscles do deadlifts work?
A: Deadlifts primarily work the muscles in your lower body, including your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. They also work your back, specifically your erector spinae muscles, as well as your core and grip strength.
Q: How heavy should I be lifting during deadlifts?
A: The amount of weight you lift during deadlifts depends on your individual fitness level and goals. It’s important to start with a weight that you can lift with proper form and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.
Q: How often should I perform deadlifts?
A: The frequency of deadlifts depends on your overall fitness routine and goals. It’s important to allow for adequate rest and recovery between sessions, so you may want to start with 1-2 sessions per week and gradually increase as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.
Q: What are some common deadlift mistakes to avoid during deadlifts?
A: Common mistakes to avoid during deadlifts include rounding or arching your back, wearing the wrong shoes, not warming up properly, using improper form or technique, lifting too heavy, and failing to engage your core and lats properly.
Q: Can deadlifts lead to injury?
A: Yes, deadlifts can lead to injury if performed incorrectly or with poor form. It’s important to start with a weight that you can lift with proper form and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise. Seeking professional guidance and focusing on proper form and technique can also help minimize the risk of injury.