Back Position In The Deadlift

Does your back have to be straight when deadlifting?

This is a topic that I see way too often on social media. Let’s clear some things up!

For any beginner, maintaining a neutral spine is ideal! The goal with someone new is to learn a safe and effective technique so they can perform the movement without getting hurt. If you’re an average gym goer, this is the optimal way to lift.

Rounding of the upper back is okay, as long as you are braced and the lats are tight. You will often see high level deadlifters round their upper back. This shortens the range of motion which in turn helps them lift more weight.

Sometimes it may look like a lifter’s low back is rounded but as long as the movement is taking place at the hips then this is just fine.

Bottom Line:

At the end of the day, practice a technique that is safe and effective for you. A beginner/intermediate lifter will not lift the same as an elite lifter. Experienced lifters will often make technique changes that give them a mechanical advantage; this doesn’t mean that it’s the right way to do it for everyone!

Questions? Email me at

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