The deadlift is one of the BEST compound lifts out there, however, if done improperly can cause major issues. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to form.
First is the set up.
- A common verbal cue for both deadlifts and squats is “eyes up” which tends to put most people in extreme cervical extension. SLIGHT curvature is fine but to look at the ceiling is too much, it will put excessive strain on the cervical spine. Pick a spot in the corner of the wall in front of you, allow your head and eyes to travel up and down with the rest of your body.
- Another mistake is allowing the spine to round excessively toward the ceiling either during the set up, or when the weight is too heavy to lift while maintaining your neutral posture. People will often use this in competition because it allows them to move more weight, but keep in mind that this is a HIGH RISK maneuver so unless you think that potential chronic injury is worth the title, rethink your positioning.
- Finally, the ending position of the lift should be straight up and down into neutral with possibly a slight posterior pelvic tilt for glute engagement. Excessive lean back or hyperextension puts unnecessary and extreme compressive load on the lumbar vertebrae, so think top of the head to the ceiling, not to the back wall, eyes forward.
WORD OF ADVICE
IF YOU ARE EVER IN QUESTION OF YOUR FORM, DECREASE THE WEIGHT.