The Dead Lift & Hinge

The Dead Lift & Hinge (3 min read)

It’s the most common & controversial exercise out there, so let’s talk about it! 

Many of you have tried dead lifting at some point in your training cycle, with some adopting it as a staple exercise in the routine. As someone who has coached the dead lift for the last 10 years, it gets a lot of attention, and here’s why. 

Now, not everybody is happy to dead lift & many of us don’t always understand the importance and relationship it has to our everyday life, so let’s break it down. 

Dead lifts are a hinge movement, which means it involves bending & extending of the hips. This is an essential movement we all complete on a day-to-day basis, and dead lifts are a great way to teach a person how to hinge & build strength in the movement pattern. 

This becomes more relevant as it assists in the following.

  • Managing load through the body.
  • Lifting heavy things, such as shopping bags or boxes.
  • Enabling optimal hip function.

Assisting in all forms of bending and extending.

If we look at the needs of the hip hinge, they are clear; building strength & optimal movement through this pattern will bring about many benefits, however, there are risks involved when implementing it incorrectly. Many of you are aware of poor form & it’s implications, but this shouldn’t detract from the importance of managing load & how it impacts each person. 

Some people may be unable to lift due to a pre-existing injury such as a disk bulge, however, they can still perform a modified hinge movement (e.g., hip thrust) & learn through lifting lighter loads. What’s key is learning how to engage the hips & gluteal muscles properly, so we can use them in our everyday life or in performance settings (running faster or jumping higher). 

In my experience, I’ve also seen cases where the person gets hurt often & we end up taking the dead lift out altogether. We always make sure there is a loaded hinge movement in the program, even if we need to change it to a bridge or thrust. 

The key is to understand the relevance of the exercise & how it impacts you as an individual. You may be someone who has no prior injuries & is able to master the movement relatively easily, or you might be someone who has had a bad experience and is dealing with a pre-existing condition. Taking all these factors into account is important and will allow you to use the exercise in the most appropriate way. 

Always tailor each exercise to suit your specific needs & situation to get the most out of it, this method will serve you best, allowing you to achieve your goals and avoid any shortcomings.

Thank you for reading our blog post, we hope the information was helpful.

Please comment below or get in touch if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: If you are currently experiencing severe/chronic pain, then you should be consulting an allied health professional (physiotherapist/osteopath etc.)

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