29 most common Deadlift mistakes that you should not make

Many mistakes when practicing Deadlift are very common and you should avoid making these mistakes after reading this article.

29 most common Deadlift mistakes that you should not make

Deadlift is one of the most comprehensive exercises, allowing you to work on many different muscle groups simultaneously. This is also a must-do exercise when it comes to bodybuilding to build whole-body strength

Although the deadlift can strengthen the lower back, legs, and trunk, it also has many other benefits, including:

  • Improve body posture;
  • Develop strength;
  • With just one movement, you can work many muscle groups: legs, thighs, core, arms, back and shoulders;
  • Prevention of injuries, due to muscle strengthening;
  • Helps reduce – in some cases, even eliminate – lower back pain;
  • It requires little equipment and can be easily adapted to a variety of situations;
  • Increases body stability.

However, there are very common mistakes that can even cause some serious injuries.

Below is a list of 29 mistakes when practicing Deadlift that you need to avoid

1. Improper start-up

A very common mistake, even before performing a deadlift, is not warming up properly. Walking or running for a few minutes on the treadmill is not enough to get ready to deadlift.

You should perform mobility movements and activate the muscles that will be working during the deadlift.

This mistake is one of the most common and one of the main reasons for deadlift injuries.

See more: Instructions for properly warming up before Deadlift

2. Poor foot placement

Many deadlifters may have never thought about this detail, but foot position is extremely important for a successful deadlift.

Many people lean back too far, leading to overload on the lower back when you try to lift the bar to the ground, causing pain in the lower back.

Therefore, the feet must be positioned so that half of the foot – the front part – is under the bar and the legs are in the center of the bar.

Regarding width: You should place your feet hip-width apart.

3. Arch your back

We often hear the saying “don’t arch your back”, which means that during the deadlift process, many people bend their spine the wrong way.

Arch your back when DeadliftingArch your back when Deadlifting

While some back arching may be acceptable, especially for weightlifters, excessive back arching, especially in the lower back, is a problem that needs to be addressed.

When placing your hands on the barbell, you should keep your chest high and straight. It may seem like an unnatural and even difficult move to perform, especially for beginners, but this is the right way to position yourself.

Arching your back often stems from not tightening your abs well by inhaling through your belly, pushing your ribs down and creating pressure around your torso. Doing this will lock your torso in place and will prevent back arching from occurring.

Others may see a curved back as a result of poor hip mobility, where you can’t reach the bar without arching your back.

Therefore, to prevent your back from arching, take the time to learn how to brace well, create tension throughout your body, and ensure you have enough mobility to get into the correct position.

Additionally, you need to focus on lifting the bar using your leg strength, not your back. Pretend that your feet are pushing down on the floor as a mental cue to help you use your feet more.

4. Move the barbell

You already know how to position yourself relative to the barbell – read that phrase again: the way you position yourself, meaning it’s you who moves to the correct position, not the barbell.

You should only hold weights when preparing to deadlift. All other movements of the bar are unnecessary and may even be harmful.

5. Holding the bar incorrectly

When you are ready to grab the bar, where should you grab it?

Holding the bar incorrectlyHolding the bar incorrectly

Place your feet in the correct position and grasp the bar about 2-3cm apart from hip-width apart.

This is the correct grip width to properly perform the deadlift.

See more: 5 ways to grip the bar when Deadlift that you should know

6. Wrong hip position

This deadlift mistake can happen in one of two ways: By placing your hips too high or by placing them too low.

So how should you position your hips to perform a deadlift properly?

Hip position when DeadliftHip position when Deadlift

When starting the exercise, your knees should be slightly bent and your legs should never be completely straight.

Then, put yourself in the right position, push with your feet.

On the other hand, you shouldn’t set your hips too low, because after all, you’re not doing squats.

See more: Common mistakes when placing your hips in the Deadlift you need to avoid

7. Shoulder contraction

This Deadlift mistake is done almost unconsciously, but be aware that it is ineffective and can be quite dangerous.

Maximum force to perform a deadlift should be in the leg muscles, not the shoulders.

8. Your lower leg leans too far forward

As you get into position with the bar on the floor, keep your shins as vertical as possible. Avoid tilting your shins forward, like in a squat.

When your shins are too far forward, you can’t effectively engage your glutes and hamstrings, which are the main focus of the deadlift. Additionally, due to your incorrect setup, the barbell will also be too far forward—at some point, you’ll have to pull the bar back to bring the barbell back to your legs. That wastes strength, uses more quadriceps, and puts stress on your lower back.

See also  Instructions for training six-pack abs with Dumbbell Wood Chops

9. Your body is too straight

Deadlift is not Squat. It’s a completely different movement pattern. The basic movement of the deadlift is at the hips. This allows you to work your hamstrings and glutes through high-load hip extension.

From the starting position, bend your torso over the bar while keeping your back straight.

10. Your hips are rising too fast compared to the rest

A mistake when Deadlifting is very common in beginners, they often raise their hips too quickly compared to the rest of the body.

Instead, lift your shoulders and hips at the same speed. At the beginning of the lift, apply tension to your hamstrings and glutes. Focus on pushing your heels through the floor and pulling with your upper back.

11. Do not pull the bar along your body

This mistake when practicing Dealdift can cause you to waste more effort. The farther the bar drifts from your body, the more stress you place on your lower back. So, pull the bar along your shins and thighs as close as possible.

The position of the bar should be as close to the lower legs as possibleThe position of the bar should be as close to the lower legs as possible
The position of the bar should be as close to the lower legs as possible

Look at world-record weightlifters—you’ll often see abrasions on their shins from dragging the barbell along their skin.

12. Look up

Never look up (tilt your neck). That injures your cervical spine and strains your neck muscles. Although some lifters believe they can maintain a flat back better by looking up, you can still keep a neutral spine no matter what.

Keep your neck in a safe position throughout the deadlift. To keep your neck straight, find a spot a few feet away from you and focus on it throughout the lift.

13. Arch your back forward

At the top of the movement, avoid leaning back or arching your lower back to complete the movement.

Do not arch your back forward before DeadliftDo not arch your back forward before Deadlift

Take a deep breath and hold it in your belly before lifting and pushing your hips into the bar at the top of the lift to lock out. At the top of the movement, you should stand with the bar straight and squeeze your core and glutes.

14. Emphasizing the heels too much

The focus of the deadlift is the hip hinge movement, but some athletes place too much emphasis on their heels to perform the hinge movement better.

You’ll feel your heels firm, but feeling your entire foot on the ground will be more effective. Using too much force through your heels can lead to loss of balance during the pull-up.

15. Your feet rotate while pulling the weight

If your feet rotate outward during the pull, you can usually correct this deadlift mistake during the setup process.

This foot rotation can occur as your body tries to ‘find space’ while putting force into the ground. It can increase stress on your ankle and knee joints while reducing power output.

The fix: Take time to find the best position for you, whether it’s regular (feet shoulder-width apart), sumo (feet wider than shoulders), or somewhere in between. Positioning your feet slightly outward, rather than straight forward, can help your knees rest somewhere during the pull and works well for most lifters.

16. Let the bar rotate when pulling the weight

If you use a mixed grip but your hands are positioned poorly, the bar can twist and turn while you’re pulling the weight.

This has the potential to twist your spine and end your deadlift quickly. It is important to have your hands and shoulders in the correct position before pulling, especially when using a mixed grip or over/under grip.

17. Pulling weights too slowly

When you pull the weight too slowly off the floor, you expend too much energy on the pull, which reduces your overall strength and makes a successful lockout less likely.

Additionally, it puts your lower back at greater risk of injury because it is one of the most vulnerable areas when lifting.

You can add additional exercises like deficit deadlifts to help improve your lifting speed or simply because the weight is too heavy for you, reduce it a bit.

18. Perform a high-rep Deadlift

This can be a mistake when practicing Deadlift that most people do not pay attention to. Performing higher Deadlift reps of 10 or more reps per set, with a barbell to build muscle or strength is not the best idea because once your muscles fatigue, your chances of injury will increase. increase higher.

If you want to build strength and perform heavier weights for “higher reps,” achieve that training volume by using every minute of your sets.

At 85 to 90% of your 1RM, perform one or two repetitions, rest the rest that minute, and do it again at the beginning of the next minute. Start with 10 minutes total and gradually increase to 20 minutes. You will never need to do “high rep” deadlifts again.

See also  Instructions on 4 steps to warm up properly when performing Deadlift

19. Wearing the wrong type of shoes

Most people who are new to the gym when practicing Deadlift will make the mistake of wearing any shoe without knowing that this is an exercise. If you wear the wrong type of shoes, it will greatly affect your workout and even cause injury. love

Deadlift training shoesDeadlift training shoes

When practicing Deadlifts, it is important to choose shoes with flat, stiff soles for deadlifts. A good deadlift starts with the feet, and this is especially true with the deadlift.

It’s not uncommon to see newbies using their running shoes or other athletic shoes to perform weight lifting simply because they don’t know it well. Running shoes are often unstable because they are used for running shoes, which will affect your stability, bar path, and overall strength.

For deadlifts, it’s important to choose shoes with stiff, flat soles that are as close to the bare foot as possible because it will provide proper support, improve your posture, and protect you from injury. It’s best to go barefoot when deadlifting.

You can find a good pair of gym shoes for Deadlifting here

20. Not creating enough tension before lifting weights

A common deadlift mistake that you will see even experienced people make is not creating enough tension before starting to pull the weight.

Your muscles must be fully engaged and ready to pull the weight off the ground before you actively begin lifting. This tension should especially be felt through your legs, glutes, core, and upper back and will cause the bar to feel like it is “floating” off the ground as soon as you begin to pull.

Part of what creates this tension is that every barbell has a certain amount of “relaxation,” so if this resistance is not eliminated, the barbell will pull you down and cause you to jerk the deadlift and move. Move your body out of position.

With the slack eliminated and your entire body tense and activated for the deadlift, you’ll be amazed at how weights that normally feel heavy suddenly move more easily.

See more: How to practice Deadlift safely for optimal results

21. Performing a Deadlift when you are not physically able to move

If you can’t do a hip hinge, you shouldn’t be doing deadlifts yet.

Not having enough mobility in your hips, knees and back can be the underlying cause of your difficulty establishing and harnessing the power to pull heavy objects off the ground.

Being able to perform a hip hinge movement is the minimum condition to prepare to safely perform weight lifting movements. To test the hip hinge, try holding a broom or pole straight down your back and practice moving your hips back until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.

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22. Do not use chalk

Losing strength on the table because of sweaty hands is a mistake when practicing Deadlift that is often seen by beginners who have never tried using chalk.

As a newbie, I sometimes feel like I don’t have the “strength” to justify using chalk, as if there’s a threshold of strength to not lift with wet hands.

However, regardless of your experience level, to ensure you don’t slip when lifting weights use exercise chalk when lifting weights.

23. Hitching the Bar

This is a term where you use your thighs to support the weight, keeping it from sliding down. This is a very common mistake when practicing deadlifts and in competition this is a mistake that can get you disqualified.

This is often a sign that you’ve hit a weakness and can’t lift the weight, set the deadlift incorrectly, or simply lack the discipline of good technique.

The best way to avoid Hitching is to practice a flat back and perfect your starting position. Additionally, adding additional exercises like Romanian deadlifts or paused deadlifts can also be helpful if that is an unresolved weakness of yours.

Ultimately, just awareness is enough to make it stop happening and if you feel the urge to use your thighs to support the weight then put the bar on the ground and try again in a few minutes or after you have adjusted your position .

YouTube videosYouTube videos

24. Relax during the Eccentric phase

In competitive powerlifting, as long as you do not drop the weight when deadlifting, you will not be eliminated from the competition; however, relaxing your muscles and turning into a limp noodle after lifting weights is not a good habit.

First, if you are lifting very heavy and difficult weights, one wrong release of a muscle or joint can leave it susceptible to injury, and the last thing you want is to successfully finish the lift by pulling a muscle.

Additionally, if you are performing deadlifts for more than one repetition, returning to the starting position as you return the bar to the ground will help you maintain tension and prepare you for the repetition. next. This increase in overall efficiency will translate into better endurance and muscle strength, especially during high repetition sets.

Doing this usually just requires conscious awareness and less thought about placing the barbell on the ground, more like it’s an opportunity to prepare for another deadlift.

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25. Breathing and flexing your abdominal muscles the wrong way

One mistake when practicing Deadlift is not tightening the core, this can only be achieved by bracing the muscles and breathing properly.

Breathing and bracing go hand in hand, and often new lifters and beginners haven’t been taught proper technique before trying the deadlift or are under the impression that you have to breathe during the exercise for it to be effective.

Proper bracing begins with taking a deep breath into your abdomen along with pushing your ribcage down; You will feel your body expand 360 degrees around you. It feels like you’re preparing yourself to get punched in the stomach.

Also, during the deadlift, you don’t want to actively inhale and exhale because this will release the pressure you’ve created.

If you are lifting for multiple repetitions, exhale at the end of the repetition and be sure to brace before starting again. Do not exhale at the top of the deadlift because you need to maintain tension to keep the weight lifted.

See more: Instructions on how to brace your abdominal muscles when lifting weights

26. Pull the weight as it bounces

Deadlifts are meant to be pull-ups initiated from a stop on the ground and should mostly avoid letting the bar bounce between repetitions.

Resetting your deadlift between each repetition will ensure you harness the most power with the best technique, and it will be more specific to powerlifting competitions if that’s what you’re aiming for.

YouTube videosYouTube videos

Doing reps or performing “touch-and-go” deadlifts forces you to rely on the rebound of the bar to lift the weight off the floor, rather than trying to create tension to pull the weight off the floor itself.

Additionally, accelerating the lift based on the bounce of your reps can cause you injury because the bar is not under your control.

Therefore, make sure to always rest the bar on the ground for at least one second before performing the next rep.

27. Not locking out properly

Joint lockout is an important part of weight lifting because it signals that the weight has been lifted successfully; however, not all locks are created equal.

A bad lockout is when your lower back is arched, your body leans back, and your knees are a little soft.

Not locking out properlyNot locking out properly

Hyperextension often occurs because the lifter does not maintain adequate flexion and does not tighten their glutes and push themselves into the bar. Instead of bringing their hips into the bar, people who make this mistake are bringing the bar into their hips.

This is a very dangerous and injury-prone position, especially when the weights are heavier, and it needs to be corrected as soon as possible.

Some ways to minimize this are to practice good lockout by using your glutes with lighter weights, strengthening your glutes with Deadlift Pause or resistance band exercises, as well as Make sure you have good muscle tension throughout the exercise so you don’t want to lean back and hitch the bar.

28. Use gloves when Deadlifting

While the effectiveness of wearing gloves is debatable, you definitely shouldn’t wear them while lifting weights.

You see, one of the biggest limiting factors when deadlifting is grip strength.

This is why you will often see people using chalk or straps to improve their grip on the bar

However, when you wear gloves, you immediately limit your ability to grip the bar properly – thus reducing the amount of weight you can lift.

This is because the gloves make the bar significantly thicker, making it much harder to hold.

29. Relying too much on straps for support

Some people advocate straps for deadlifts, arguing that the most important thing during deadlifts is to lift as much weight as possible, and straps will definitely help you do that.

Of course, you can strengthen your grip in other ways – but it’s easy to develop a disproportionately weak grip if you use bands for all of your sets.

Relying too much on straps for supportRelying too much on straps for support

So instead of using straps, we recommend using chalk or a chalk substitute.

This will reduce moisture and help you grip the bar tighter, while still allowing your grip to get proportionately stronger as you progress.

What if you still really want to use the straps?

We recommend that you don’t use them for all of your sets and instead only reserve them for your heaviest sets.

This way, you will be able to maximize your deadlift while increasing your grip strength.


This list of deadlift mistakes is not only a list of deadlift mistakes you might make, but also a collection of mistakes that I and those around me have made over the years.

Unfortunately, sometimes we have to learn by doing things wrong, but it’s important that we keep looking for answers and ways to improve.

The deadlift is an extremely powerful movement when performed correctly and is worth the time and effort spent to achieve the goal of not only being strong but also safe.

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