Do you even lift, bro? :)
Well if you do or are just in the process of starting to it's good to have an overview of the common mistakes when lifting barbell weights. The first reason is to prevent unnecessary injuries and the second is to be able to make quicker gains i.e. lift heavier weights.
In this post I'm going to list the common mistakes with the deadlift.
Bar positioning and bar path
A common mistake is starting the deadlift with the bar too far away from you and letting the bar drift away from your body making your deadlift very inneficient.
Start by positioning the bar over your mid foot.
The bar should travel in a vertical line with as close to your shins as possible without scratching them.
The hips should not be too high or too low.
A common mistake is mistaking the deadlift with squatting and thus positioning your hips too low. When the hips are too low your body is placed behind the bar to a greater extent which causes greater stress on your lower back and it decreases the amount of weight you can lift since your center of gravity is suboptimal.
The proper height position of you hips should be between between the level of your knees and head.
When the bar is under your scapulae it's an indication that your hips are at a correct height.
A common mistake is a rounded back. You back should be straight and your chest out. The head is aligned with your hips and back.
Lifting heavy weight with a rounded back will lead to an injury.
A rounded back is an indication of weak hips. A rounded back brings your hips closer to the bar and gives them a mechanical advantage in lifting the wait easier. However as I mentioned this will probably lead to back injuries.
Jerking the weight off the floor
Jerking the weight off the floor is another common mistake that could lead to back pain or injuries.
What you should do is pull the chest up and slightly pull up on the bar to generate muscle tension before the pull.
Overextending the lockout
Avoid overextending the lumbar spine when leaning back at the end of the deadlift.
The deadlift should finish with a solid hip extension which means contracting your glutes.