Deadlift Back Angle

Angles play an important role when weight training (geometry *did* come in handy after all!). Too little here or too much there and your body moves out of place; when your body is out of place, you can't lift as much weight, you can become injured, or you end up performing an entirely different exercise. The back angle -- which is formed by the torso and the floor -- is largely dictated by the opening and closing of the hips; as the hips open, so too does the back. In a properly executed deadlift, the back angle stays relatively horizontal during the early phase of the pull. As the bar approaches the knees, however, things begin to change; it's at this point that the hips really start to extend and the back starts to appear vertical. Why is this important? If the back -- which remains isometrically contracted throughout the lift -- appears too vertical too early, you're likely sitting back and down, which looks and feels more like a squat. You'll have a problem lifting the bar up and around your knees in this position. If the back appears too horizontal later in the lift, you've likely opened your knees entirely without much hip extension, which looks and feels more like a good morning. You'll have a problem keeping the bar close to the body and lifting it to the the final position. Seen below are approximate back angles at the various stages of the deadlift. When you pay attention to the details and allow your body to do what it's supposed to do, you'll likely become stronger while experiencing fewer injuries. (You'll perform the proper exercise, too!)

Back Angle.png