This study documented characteristics of the dead lift of teenage lifters. Films of 10 "skilled" and 11 "unskilled" contestants in a Michigan Teenage Powerlifting Championship provided data for analysis. Equations of motion, force, and moments were developed for a multisegment model of the lifters' movement in the sagittal plane and applied to the film data. Analysis was limited to 1) body segment orientations, 2) vertical bar accelerations, 3) vertical joint reaction forces, 4) segmental angular accelerations, 5) horizontal moment arms of the bar to selected joints, and 6) intersegmental resultant moments. Significant differences (P less than 0.05) in body segment orientation indicated a more upright posture at lift-off in the skilled group. Maximum vertical bar acceleration and angular acceleration of the trunk tended to occur near lift-off in the skilled lifters. The unskilled subjects demonstrated greater variability and magnitude in linear and angular acceleration parameters. In all lifters, maximum vertical force was experienced at the ankle joint. Within each subject, the hip joint experienced the greatest torque because of the relatively large horizontal moment arm of the bar (dominant mass in the system) to this joint. In all subjects, the magnitude of the mass lifted, and not the technique, was the primary determinant in the intersegmental resultant moment acting at the hip and the vertical force experienced at the ankle, knee, and hip joints.