Deadlifting with a round back is just wrong.
It looks bad, your gains suffer, and you’re prone to injury.
Not too long ago, my back rounded waaay too much when deadlifting; especially when lifting heavy weight.
Although I could deadlift 455 pounds with no assistance or gear, my form was atrocious.
When I finally video recorded myself deadlifting I could see clearly that I had to make a change.
In this article, I’ll show you how to fix your round back with a little practice.
Deadlift Set Up Is Key to Prevent Back Rounding
My back rounding started because I didn’t set up my deadlift properly. This could be due to the fact I am quad-dominant, so naturally my set up favored lifting with my quads.
I had a slight forward lean and my shoulders were too far forward from the bar.
My bad deadlift form meant that my posterior chain development suffered.
My glutes and hamstrings where not engaged while deadlifting. Imagine that – my strongest muscles where not fully engaged during my lifts.
Sure, my back was strong, but my glutes and hamstrings where not getting their share of the weight.
Which meant I wouldn’t reach my strength and muscle development potential since my strongest muscles were not being used 100%.
If I want to deadlift 500 pounds (I do), I need to use perfect from and train my largest muscles groups to help me achieve the feat.
How to Fix Rounded Back When Deadlifting
The single best thing you can do to fix a rounded back while deadlifting is to REACH BACK WITH YOUR HIPS.
Set up on deadlift like normal, and make extra effort to reach your hips back and down.
You’ll feel tension build in your hamstrings. This is how you generate power while maintaining strong form.
I kept my shoulders in the same position as always, directly above the bar, but push my butt back as far as I could. Reaching your glutes back creates more distance between the hips and shoulders allowing you straighten your back completely.
I like to then press my heels into the ground and also press down my big toe and foot bone just above my pinky toe into the platform. It’s almost like I’m trying to plant my feet into the Earth – I literally imaging and feel my feet grappling the ground.
My back no longer rounds while deadlifting. I’ll be honest though, my deadlift was a lot weaker for the first few weeks doing this.
That’s because my posterior chain was weak and now I was relying on my posterior chain more to move the weight. after about a month I’m back over 400 pounds
Reaching with the hips has increased my lower body strength significantly.
My improved leg ‘push’ power is evident in my squat. I’m now able to squat 375 pounds whereas I used to top out at 325-335 pounds.
Reach with your hips to keep tension on your hammies and keep you back straight. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Brace your torso by flexing your lats and abs hard. Take a big breath and puff your chest out before you pull. This should ensure proper alignment.