All tagged form

How to hip hinge and move into powerful deadlifts

There’s literally nothing I love more than the camaraderie amongst true fitness people in the gym. I’m not talking about the meatheads that slam things around (although I do my fair share of that) and bicep curl all day (in the squat rack…that’s not what it’s for, bro) and grunt and slam NO-Xplode and rub orange self-tanner all over the bench you wanted to use.

Not to knock them, because, do your thing, but my people are the ones who strive to improve every day. Who see the gym as a training ground for life, and who are there to motivate themselves and celebrate the accomplishments of others. They’re there – I promise! I know, because I’m one of them. And I have a few people that come at my same time of day, and every time we’re there together, we ask how the program is, how the goal is, how work is, how life is…everything.

And when one of them hits a new PR? Or has a business success? Or proposes to his girlfriend? FIREWORKS, MAN. We’re on this Earth to cheer each other on in this relentless pursuit of expansion. We’re all trying to do better, have better, and be better, so it’s important to find the ones who support our mission and push us to keep on loading, reminding us every time we stop or burn or almost quit that we are powerful and worthy of growth.

Few lifts will prove this as thoroughly as the deadlift.

Transferable life skills: 4 steps to setting up for the barbell back squat (step 0: ignore the people throwing chalk in the gym like Lebron James).

Ah, the squat.

It’s humbled everyone out there, in one way or another.

We’ve all seen videos of huge dudes with 58 plates loaded on a bent bar amping themselves up, Lebron-ing some chalk around, and looking like their heads are gonna explode somehow go down and come back up with those hundreds of pounds.

An impressive feat, to be sure, but also unlikely to be any of our goals here in real life (cool party trick, though); it’s far more likely to cause a bunch of anxiety surrounding what is, at the bottom of everything, a fundamental movement pattern for life.

We look at the bar, we remember the intimidating videos, we remember that we’re new – that we’re in the conscious incompetence or conscious competence stage of learning – and instantly feel that, because we aren’t yet masters, we’re unworthy. We talk ourselves out of great things every day, team, because of this feeling, and, a lot of times, overcoming this in bigger, more impactful areas of life starts with giving ourselves a smaller victory to build momentum: overcoming this in the gym (or on the yoga mat, or deep in meditation, or if we somehow find ourselves on a treadmill, fill in the blank.).

We’ve cultivated awareness, we’ve gotten our breath under us, we’ve accepted our situation, and here, in the barbell squat, we have our first challenge.

So! I’m gonna walk you through it, from a form perspective, step by step. Because if some meathead dude can do it, so can you (also, hello to any meathead dudes that may be reading this, and sorry you’re on the back burner rn.).