4 of The Worst Deadlift Mistakes You Could Ever Make

by Jordan Syatt April 17, 2015

Having pulled 4x my bodyweight (530lbs at BW of 132lbs) and coached numerous lifters to 2-3x bodyweight deadlifts, I like to think I know a little bit about deadlifting.

And while deadlift articles are now unfortunately a dime a dozen, this is not your standard deadlift article.

So rather than talk about why Deadlifting is awesome or tell you to maintain a neutral spine for 87,453rd time, I’m going to outline 4 deadlift mistakes you’ve probably never considered.

Some of the most commonly overlooked deadlift mistakes I see made on a daily basis, each of the brief videos below will show you exactly what you’re doing wrong and, more importantly, precisely how to fix it.

In no particular order of importance, here are 4 of The Worst Deadlift Mistakes You Could Ever Make.

 

Deadlift Mistake #1: Bouncing the Bar Off the Floor

Remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Specific to the deadlift, every time the bar hits the floor, the floor is returning the exact same amount of force directly into the bar. 

So if you aren’t letting the bar come to a complete stop in between reps and are initiating the lift from a bounce, you’re essentially lifting less weight off the floor and missing numerous benefits.

Your Takeaway: If you want to reap all the benefits of a full range of motion (ROM) deadlift, let the bar come to a complete stop in between repetitions. Notably, if you find you’re weakest off the floor and lockout is relatively easy, you need to let the bar come to a complete stop because bouncing the bar is never going to help you get stronger from the floor.

Deadlift Mistake #2: Gripping the Bar too High in Your Palms

Gripping the bar too high in the palm leads to a cascade of negative events that will drastically inhibit your deadlift performance. 

deadlift mistake
Bad grip. The bar is too high in my palm.

So rather than gripping it in the middle of your palm (shown above) place the bar at the juncture between the base of your fingers and the top of you palm (shown below). Placing the bar here will reduce the lifts ROM while simultaneously allowing you to use the most advantageous grip for a stronger deadlift.

deadlift mistake
Good grip. The bar is lower in my hand at the juncture between my fingers and palm.

Your Takeaway: Gripping the bar too high in your palm is one of the most common deadlift mistakes I see made on a daily basis. Lower the bar to the point where your palm meets the base of your fingers and your deadlift will dramatically improve.

Deadlift Mistake#3: Forcefully Retracting Your Scapulae

One of the most common deadlift tips I hear from inexperienced strength coaches, forcefully retracting your scapulae is actually one of the worst things you could do while attempting a heavy deadlift.

Considering your scapulae will inevitably protract as the weight increases, trying to forcefully retract your scapulae is not only an exercise in futility…it will actually keep you from lifting heavier weight.

Your Takeaway: Rather than forcefully retracting your scapulae, think about keeping your arms as long as possible while maintaining a neutral spine throughout the entire lift. This will keep you in the strongest position from the very beginning and set you up for a safe and effective pull.

Deadlift Mistake #4: Not Resetting Between Reps

Specifically for competitive powerlifters, not resetting between repetitions is a huge mistake.

Think about it from a competition perspective: in a powerlifting meet you get 3 attempts and for each attempt you only get 1 shot.

Not 3. Not 4. Not 5.

Just 1.

1 rep and 1 shot to deadlift as efficiently as you possibly can.

My point?

By resetting every time, you get to practice that 1 chance on every single rep  rather than just one time per set which, needless to say, will have a huge carryover to your performance on the platform.

Your Takeaway: If you’re a competitive powerlifter, resetting between every repetition is one of the easiest ways to improve your competition performance with the least amount of time investment.

Have You Read The Deadlift Bible? (It’s Free)

Deadlift-Bible-Cover-web

Downloaded and read by thousands of lifters, The Deadlift Bible is my own creation complete with 4 instructional video tutorials and an entire manual outlining optimal deadlift technique, progressions, programming, and more.

Plug in your info below and I’ll send your free copy directly to your e-mail in less than 60-seconds.

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.

-J






Master the Deadlift

Grab your FREE copy of The Deadlift Bible including 4 video tutorials and instructional manual written by World Record Deadlifter, Jordan Syatt.

We respect your email privacy

Want to Learn How to Lose Fat and Build Muscle?

Then take this free gift. Seriously, take it. HURRY.


THE SF INNER CIRCLE Members-Only Content

From Jordan Syatt, Every Month

JOIN NOW

Archives

Categories

Recent Posts

How To Do A Proper Deadlift

Have you ever thought that maybe you think deadlifting is bad for you because maybe you don’t know how to…

Read This

Deadlifts vs. Squats

I think it’s time we all get on the same page regarding deadlifts vs. squats. There are so many contradicting…

Read This

How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

“Jordan... PLEASE tell me how to lose weight without counting calories!” I hear this question all the time and yes…

Read This

How To Stop Binge Eating

You want to know how to stop binge eating? Ah, right. That’s probably why you clicked on this blog post.…

Read This

How to Do Your First One Arm Pushup (Or 10 in a Row)

Read This

7 Intense Travel WODS: 15min or Less and Minimal Equipment

Travel WODS Today I'll show you how to burn fat & build muscle while travelling without a gym. At the…

Read This

101 “Silver Strength Bullets” to Build Strength & Burn Fat Fast

"Silver Strength Bullets" are my weekly shortlist of quick, actionable bullets to get you stronger, leaner, and performing at a higher…

Read This

New Deadlift Drill for Advanced Lifters: Cable Lumbar Extensions

Before the internet shits itself because I'm rounding my back, this drill is not for beginner lifters or general fitness…

Read This

Rapid Fat Loss: It Actually Works Pretty Damn Well

They get a bad reputation -- especially among some of the fitness goo roos -- but rapid fat loss protocols actually…

Read This

The MOST Common Deadlift Mistake Women Make (And How to Fix It)

I chose this as the feature picture -- not because she has good technique -- but because she's making the same deadlift…

Read This

SO...CAN WE BE FRIENDS?