Has it ever felt like your low back was “straining” as you deadlifted the bar off the floor?
The day after deadlifting, have you been left with battered and bruised shins?
You’re likely making a very common mistake. And the great news? It’s incredibly easy to fix.
This all-too-common mistake happens before you even wrap your hands around the barbell. The barbell is in the wrong position. It is likely too far forward.
The barbell is too far forward here.
This too-far-forward position creates a less efficient deadlift since the bar is in the wrong position. As you pull the barbell off the ground, it’ll swing back over the middle of the foot, where it should have started. This is why you may have that “straining” feeling (the bar isn’t in the most efficient position) and end up with bruised shins (from the barbell swinging back and crashing into your shins).
The proper starting position for all deadlift variations, be it a conventional deadlift shown here, sumo deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, stiff-leg deadlifts, is over the middle of your feet, where the center of mass is.
The barbell is in a more efficient position. It’s a small change that makes a big difference.
The simple way to have a stronger deadlift, and to help keep your shins from getting beaten and bruised, is to have the barbell in the proper position before you even wrap your hands around it.
Watch this two-minute video to see this common deadlift mistake and its easy fix.
The next time you deadlift, pay attention to how you usually set up for the lift and where the barbell is in position to your feet. Make sure the bar is in the proper mid-foot position, then enjoy your more efficient deadlift.
One more helpful tip: if you have trouble locking your back into a neutral position when deadlifting, ensuring correct bar placement, as shown above, may fix that too. Having the bar too far forward can make attaining a neutral spine challenging.
Check Out These Deadlift Resources
Are you new to deadlifting or want to make sure you’re doing it as efficiently as possible? Refer to the article How to Deadlift (and Why Everyone Should) for instructional videos on how to deadlift, additional common mistakes and how to correct them, and more.
Do you already know how to deadlift and want to deadlift even more? Then check out the STRONG program.