Squat and Deadlift Head Position

Someone asked me the other day what the proper head position is during the squat and deadlift.

My preference is to keep the head up and fixate on a spot on the ceiling well out in front of me. There are successful lifters and coaches who use the neutral spine approach, fixing on the floor 10 yards or so in front of the lift. While this can be a successful approach, the body has a tendency to follow the head (have you ever looked at your passenger while driving and found your car drifting towards the ditch?). Looking down can lead to a tendency to lean, bringing the chest down and leaving the hips high.

While head up and head down/neutral spine have have both been (arguably) proven successful, let’s touch on a couple approaches that are WRONG 🔴🔴🔴

Don’t look straight up. You’re not a bird. Stop it.

Don’t move your head around during the lift – once you start the lift, rep or set, maintain the same focus point throughout the lift, changing your focus during the lift makes it even harder to maintain a consistent body position during the lift.

When I’m lifting, I treat my head as an extension of the spine. For squats I watch my feet to walk out then pack my head back into my neck and focus on a point in the ceiling in the middle of the room during the lift. Provided I keep the proper body angle, my head does not move.

On deadlift, again my head is an extension of my spine. As I pull myself into the bar, and my hips come down/chest comes up, my focus point rises with my chest. Once set, I again fix on a point at the opposite end of the room or ceiling at the far end. I do not change that focus point until I’m locked out.

Your head should be an extension of your spine, fixated on one focus point – don’t create a moving target to shoot at during your lift.

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