The hinge (otherwise known as the deadlift), is familiar and important in everyday life. Think about parents picking their child up, grandparents bending over to lift gifts into their hiding spots, or a tradesman picking up a heavy power tool.

Anytime that anything gets picked up off the ground, it’s usually done by performing a deadlift and yet, many people are dealing with constant back pain due to improper technique in this movement. If you have mastered the hinge then you have developed the correct sequence of events that will ultimately lead to fewer back problems in life. Give yourself a high-five! If you haven’t…get to work!

Movement Sequence

To initiate the deadlift stand with your shins at the bar and your feet stacked under your hips. Your feet should be facing straight ahead and in a slightly narrower stance than your squat position. This position is similar to your jumping stance. In fact, many trainers will teach proper positioning for the squat and the deadlift by having people go through the jumping sequence. In most cases, this is done instinctively as they will approach the jump and their feet will come closer together (deadlift position). As they finish their jump, their feet spread out and create a stable landing position (squat position).

Once we have established the proper distance for our feet we can set ourselves up by externally rotating our feet and retracting our shoulders. While maintaining a flat back, push your glutes back and hinge forward at the hips until you meet the bar. Next, you will grip the bar by placing your hands just outside of your shins with your palms facing you. Place your thumb underneath and wrap your fingers over your thumb. This style of grip is called the “hook grip”.

Similarly to how you created the tension in your lower body for the squat you will do the same for the upper body here. while gripping the bar, you will externally rotate your hands into the bar ( think trying to bend it). While maintaining the flat back (neutral spine) the next step is to create tension in your posterior chain, namely your hips, hamstrings and back by raising your hips and allowing your knees to come back. Next, while still maintaining that external rotation in your feet and hands lift the weight straight off the ground. Lastly, while keeping the bar as close to your body, stand up and extend your hips to meet the bar at the top. As you ascend the alignment of your back should remain in its neutral position.To lower the weight, reverse the process while maintaining the tension and the neutral spine.


  • Hinge
  • Dumbbell RDL
  • Barbell RDL
  • Single-Leg RDL
  • Weighted Single-Leg RDL