Learn the 3-point hip hinge to master the Deadlift

The Deadlift is a technical hip dominant exercise which requires us to create tension, maintain a braced neutral position and correct posture throughout the whole movement. Not knowing how to move correctly through a full range of movement can lead to poor positioning, decrease in overall strength or lead to injury.

Why is it important we know how?

Mastering the 3-point hip hinge is a prerequisite before even attempting a Deadlift!!

Follow these 3 skills below, to “earn the right” to perform the lift.

Skill 1

Learn to hip hinge correctly under “no load” grab yourself a PVC pipe or long broom handle, with your feet around hip width and your toes facing forwards, stand upright and hold the pipe along your back with 3 points of contact 1. Lower Back 2. Mid Back 3. Top of your head. Flex at the knees, send your hips back and hinge your bodyweight forwards whilst maintaining 3 points of contact from where you placed the pipe (you should feel your posterior chain light up) then stand back up, with 3 points of contact and knees flexed until you are standing upright. I would recommend doing 3 Sets of 5 Reps.

Skill 2

Learn to hip hinge under load with decreased range of movement (of the plates) using the Single Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift. With your feet hip-width and toes facing forward start at a hinged position with the Kettlebell resting on two 20kg plates, to create a little height which makes it easier when it comes to building the position. Squeeze the Kettlebell handles to create tension throughout your arms, shoulders and back, making sure your eyes are looking down (your posterior chain should now be switched on). Pull up on the Kettlebell and push your hips forward, maintaining flexion in the knees throughout and a neutral back (imagine you still have the pipe stuck to your back), then lower the Kettlebell back down to the plates whilst maintaining tension and correct posture.

Skill 3

Now it is time to progress to a Barbell and link the skills together and work on some deliberate practice. I would always suggest initially starting with the Barbell elevated as this will decrease the range of movement and allow you to put yourself in a stronger position ready to perform the reps. Once you’re more familiar with the lift and mobility allows you to, take away the plates and lift straight from the floor.

Deadlift Checklist

  • Position feet at hip width with Barbell over midfoot.
  • Hinge over and squat down slightly to grasp the Barbell
  • Squeeze the Barbell to create tension
  • Pull the Barbell up maintaining a neutral back
  • Reverse the movement back to the floor whilst always maintaining control