How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting

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My latest article via discusses something very close and dear to my heart. My cat. I mean, deadlifts1

It was the best of spines, it was the worse of spines.

Forgive the literary pun, but when it comes to the action of deadlifting there’s no denying the fitting nature of the phrase.

Although there are unique circumstances where rounding of the spine is warranted and sometimes encouraged, save for the most elite lifters—who have spent years honing their craft and perfecting technique—for most people, most of the time, including you, rounding your back when performing a Deadlift is, well . . . not a good idea.

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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.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.
  1. Yes, I’m still on my honeymoon. And yes, Lisa knows I’m on my computer. It’s just for a few minutes though (while she’s putting sun screen on). Wait, what babe? Oh, I’m just looking for my sun-glasses and am no way on my computer. Coming!

Comments for This Entry

  • Weekly Picks: June 3rd, 2015 – Shadoe Fox

    […] How to Fix Back Rounding When Deadlifting – Tony Gentilcore […]

    June 3, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle Kania

    This chalk drawing really brought it all together for me. Today I also did the "pull yourself down to the bar" part and let's just say the weight was much easier to move and my lats stayed engaged longer.

    June 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Patrick

    If you guys are looking for a great protein shake recipes after you've finished your deadlifts, check out my site with over 101 whey protein shake recipes!

    June 10, 2015 at 10:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Chris

    Hi Tony! I appreciate your content and almost always agree with your reasoning. You know theres a "but" coming, so... But: Read Rippetoe´s thorough explanation in Starting Strength why the right position is exactly right, and the middle posiiton (on the chalk board) wrong. Also ask Bret why the middle position is neither efficient, feasible nor healthier in heavy deadlifts. Actually, Bret wrote a nice article about DL mechanics which further explains the topic. Regards Chris

    December 12, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Did you read the article or watch the video, or just wanted to comment on the random picture I choose? I TOTALLY understand that not everyone is going to fit into a one-size-fits-all setup. Depending on leverages and anthropometry, I can appreciate (and respect) that some people will set up with their hips higher, and that some, SOME, people will do better with a rounded back approach. The latter are usually ones who are super strong and have trained themselves out of compromising positions in the first place. Maybe it was my bad for choosing a random picture, but I would hope the content of the actual article/video would summarize the point I was trying to to make: that for most people, pretty much always, deadlifting with a rounded back isn't wise. Hip positioning is going to depend on the person. I didn't mean for the picture to represent my overall view of the deadlift. Just, you know, rounding is not going to end up well.

      December 14, 2015 at 9:04 am | Reply to this comment

      • Chris

        Hi Tony, thx for the reply. Im all with you regarding the rounded back, no question there. Its about the position of the armpits/shoulders/scapulae. You made the same point in a short T-Nation-Article that was (re?)published some days ago. Im referring to that point. As I said, see Rippetoes and Brets - or any biomechanics expert´s - explanation to this. Regards

        December 16, 2015 at 8:07 am | Reply to this comment

        • TonyGentilcore

          Well, with armpits above the bar the shoulders will still be in front. I find many people are TOO far forward, and hence it helps to get their weight back a bit. All comes down to the individual and what's the best fit for him/her.

          December 16, 2015 at 9:33 am | Reply to this comment

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