Getting Your Weight Back on the Deadlift: A Simple Trick

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I woke up this morning struggling to come up with something to write about. Whenever that happens I tend to default to my wheelhouse…..



Well, it’s either that or I start breaking down plot points of some my favorite 90’s television shows like Melrose Place, Party of Five, or 90210.

For instance:

  • I’ll tell you right now, Billy and Allison were doomed to fail. Once you break the roommate-to-lovers barrier it’s all over and stuff starts getting weird. Plus when you throw Amanda (Heather Locklear) into the mix…well, shits bound to go down. (Melrose Place).
  • Sarah Merrin (Jennifer Love Hewitt): the greatest high-school girlfriend ever? (Party of Five).
  • Is this a scene from 90210 or an actual video from one of my high school dances?


These are all IMPORTANT QUESTIONS people.

Joking aside (but not really joking), one of the more prevalent snafus with regards to people’s deadlift technique is their inability to get their weight back. This can lead to a few issues:

  1. One’s weight shifting forward (anteriorly) resulting in pulling through the toes rather than the heels.
  2. The barbell, in this case, will often “get away” from the lifter.
  3. Both scenarios resulting in a poor line of pull where the axis of rotation is further away from the barbell oftentimes compromising low back (spinal) integrity.
  4. More to the point: the barbell feels like a goddamn magnet is attached to it.

One trick I often use is to cue people to use the barbell as a counterbalance to get their weight back, as if they’re trying to wedge themselves into the floor:


But Wait, There’s More

However, different people learn shit differently. How’s that for putting something eloquently? While some people are more visual or auditory learners (either showing or telling them what to do), others are more kinesthetic learners. Meaning, sometimes, in order to understand what their body is doing in space, they may need a little more feedback.

This is where using props comes in handy.

One trick I like to use to teach people what it means to get their weight back is to use a box.


The idea is to set a box underneath so that when they grab the barbell they have to “sit back” until they feel the box. It’s important to note it’s more of less a hover than it is actually sitting back onto the box entirely.The objective is to maintain tension throughout. I.e., no relaxing on the box.

I don’t know, I find it works well for some people and it’s always cool to witness the “ah-HA” moment when they finally get it.

Give it a try and let me know what you think,

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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