Video Basics: The Deadlift

The Deadlift is a fantastic exercise that trains the hip hinge movement, which is something everyone should be able to do well. Having a good hip hinge is imperative to protect against back injury as well as effectively train the glute and hamstring muscles. If your hip hinge is off, you probably move more through your low back than you should, which usually leads to an injury. I don’t need to tell those of you who have had low back pain know how seriously awful it is!

Before using the Deadlift as an exercise, practice the hip hinge until it’s completely comfortable for you. It may only take a short time, but possibly longer to groove the pattern. Remember, if you can’t do the basic movement well, you should never load it with extra weight.

This is the hip hinge using a broomstick to stay aligned. The broomstick should contact the back of the head, the upper back and the tailbone and stay in contact during the entire movement. One hand holds the stick behind the neck and the other in the small of the back. Keep the knees bent slightly, but don’t keep bending them so you squat. This one is all about the hips:

Once you can do a good hip hinge, you can graduate to a weighted version. This is the two legged stiff legged Deadlift:

And this is one of my favorites – the single leg stiff legged Deadlift, shown bellow using a kettlebell:

The Deadlift compliments and balances other lower body exercises like squats and lunges that require more knee movement. So, if you want balanced strength, function and great glutes, add Deadlifts to your workout and reap the rewards!

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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