The Case For “Deadlift Correctives” - Upright Health

The Case For “Deadlift Correctives”


The deadlift is a skill, that you eventually need to practice if you want to get better at it. This applies to any skill.

However, it’s often the case that practicing the skill, alone, is not enough to improve the skill. Sometimes, taking a break from practicing the skill (to work on related skills) may even be required to improve upon the initial skill.

For example...

Proper deadlift form revolves around your ability to form and maintain a "neutral spine".

Kettlebell deadlift neutral spine

Neutral spine... neutral spine... neutral spine.

But... what if you currently lack the spine control to FORM a "neutral spine"?

What if you lack the hip control to MAINTAIN a "neutral spine" (as you bend over)?

Do you expect any of the above to change via deadlifting, alone... where you can compensate in countless ways to pick the weight up?

Sure, you can take your chances on that. But I'm guessing if you're here, you're looking for a more precise way to fine-tune your deadlift technique.

Neutral spine flat back hip hinge deadlift

Notice any relationships?

Enter "deadlift correctives".

You see, proper deadlift form is comprised of a combination of joint positions.

For example:

At the bottom position of a proper deadlift, you're combining a neutral spine... with a deep hip bend.

Now, if you struggle to combine these joint positions (neutral spine + a deep hip bend) during a deadlift... why not train this, using a different exercise that's easier to manage?

That way...

You can practice mastering whatever combination of joint positions you currently struggle with most... WITHOUT getting distracted by having to manage all the other pieces of the deadlift.

Neutral spine hip flexion half forward fold half split hamstring flexibility toe touch
Deadlift neutral spine hip flexion kettlebell

Notice any patterns?

The bottom line?

To be ABLE to possess proper deadlift form... you must be ABLE to articulate EVERY joint into EVERY position that occurs in proper deadlift form.

If you’re missing access to any one of these “deadlift-specific” joint positions... then this can be difficult to change, using the deadlift as your ONLY tool.

Flat thoracic spine shoulder flexion angle

Two different shoulder positions. Two different spine positions.

In the following lessons [1] [2], I discuss key poses that emphasize joint positions found in proper deadlift form.

Through exploring and mastering these poses, you’ll:

  • improve your access to the individual joint positions that occur in proper deadlift form
    (to improve your deadlift form)
  • improve your understanding of proper deadlift mechanics
    (to make better informed decisions in your deadlift practice)
vincent with back pain from the deadlift

Keep getting injured during the deadlift? 

Tired of injuries derailing your training?

Wish you could push your body harder without getting hurt?

Our program teaches you fundamental concepts and action steps for injury-free deadlifting. 


About the Author

Vincent's first passion is powerlifting. Over the years, his desire to master his body and mind have led him into deep explorations in stretching, mobility, and mindfulness.