How To Do A Seated Dead Lift

If you already watched the video above; I want you to know that I never intended on filming myself for a post but wanted to take the opportunity to explain a few things.  I was trying a new exercise out for myself that I have not done before and wanted to see my technique and form and I am glad I did because it really revealed a lot of things I was doing wrong.  Yes, strength coaches can get it wrong as well!!

I first learned of this training exercise over a year ago while I was visiting Westside Barbell.  I even captured a small discussion on doing a dead lift from a chair which you can see in the following video.

So what did I see in my video clips of myself?  Well, I saw a lot of things that were wrong.  First, I was not even doing the exercise correctly from the start.  See, when doing the seated dead lift, by the way I was positioned in a sumo stance, I first should have picked the bar up off the floor before even starting to stand up.  If you watch the video, I was clearly off the box before the bar even left the floor.  I honestly can not believe I never realized I was doing this until after I watched the clips.

Secondly, I was never really “locked in” to position.  You can clearly see this in my back.  It was rounded and in many of the reps even bent forward.  I have been doing many squatting variations but really have not been doing any dead lifting for a long time (literally over a year or more) and in the video I can see that I have some low back and oblique weaknesses that need to be addressed. photo-5

Third, I was not getting good glute activation from the start of the pull and this is one of the major benefits of this training lift.  I am typically good at using my glutes during dead lifting but since not doing them in such a long time, I think there is some re-educating them in my future.  For me it may be just as simple as focusing in on them next time I dead lift.

Forth, was my flexibility.  It NEEDS some work!  There is a reason why I was doing it sumo stance.  In the conventional stance, I felt very tight and a bit uncomfortable.  The sumo stance allowed me to open up my hips and sit onto the box in a deeper more comfortable position.

What I did see in the video that was a positive it that I was maintaining the weight in my heels and was able to keep my knees pushing out.  Most of the sets I did were at 225 pounds which I would consider a moderate weight for me since I have not been dead lifting.  I know I could have done more but my purpose was to learn a new lifting technique and not try to impress anyone.

Here is a video of Louie Simmons from Westside Barbell explaining how to do a seated dead lift from a chair the correct way.  Louie is one of the world’s premier experts in developing strength and power and I have been honored to be able to discuss training with him on more than one occasion.

So besides just showing you this training technique to help improve your dead lift; I wanted to show you that even strength coaches can make mistakes and even screw up a lift.  Does this ruin my credibility-NO I don’t think so.  It shows that just like you, I am always learning and trying to better myself.  I am not perfect, I get it wrong, and I have made many mistakes over the years and will continue to make mistakes.  I believe that if we are not making mistakes then you can never truly progress.  ALWAYS LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES!!

Hope this helps!

To your health,


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About Jerry Shreck

Division 1 Head Strength Coach at Bucknell University, Specialize In The Art of Injury Prevention Training Techniques God Loving Family Man (Wife-Trina & 2 daughters-Alexis & Aleyda)

2 Responses to “How To Do A Seated Dead Lift”

  1. Thank you Jerry,its always good when people can acknowledge that something has gone wrong.Something I have never seen one of the so called-Celebrity Trainers-do.Then again they in my estimation never seem to know very much anyway except perhaps the art of relentless self promotion.

    • Edward,
      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I am human and make mistakes and screw things up but I took the opportunity to make it into a learning experience for someone else. I plan on doing a follow up post showing me doing the correct technique and update on my progress. Thanks again and keep training hard!

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