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Heavy Deadlifts, Legs Extend Before Hips

So someone pointed out that when I do my heavier sets of deadlift, I tend to extend my legs faster than I open my hips.

I can’t seem to correct this issue at heavier weights. Do I need to reset my deadlift training Max to a number where I can control the Movement 100%? Conversely, should I maybe add an extra sets of deadlifts as assistance work at lower weights to try to concentrate on form?

Does that make sense?

Does what you’re doing hurt?

How much do you currently deadlift?

Someone will probably ask for a video as well.


No, it doesn’t hurt.

This was noticed when I was doing my 85% TM of 305 for 5 reps.

I have a video, but didn’t see a way to upload it to when I looked at the option below. Will try again.

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The forum automatically embeds Youtube links. Just post the basic URL.

Generally speaking, if your form starts to change when you hit a certain weight, it means you simply can’t handle that weight. No different than bridging your glutes up on an extra-heavy bench press or good morning-ing a squat that’s a little too heavy.

A video would definitely help to see exactly how the form is changing and which muscles could benefit from specific assistance work.


New to the YouTube thing, but pretty cool…

350 x 1

375 x 1

290 x 5

This is nothing, you’re fine. I think you could do with bracing better. Hard to tell but it looks like you get some movement in your lower back when breaking the floor.


Yeah, that’s kinda what I’m seeing…. I’ll try to work on that with my lower weight reps (FSL, etc)

Looks ok?

It looks like you’re a little uncomfortable off the floor and you pull with lots of lower back without much glute action and hip drive.

Sometimes people elevate the bar with blocks under the plates to raise it to a spot where they can get a comfortable setup and a smoother pull.

Or do a short pause a couple inches of the floor to practice bracing/tightness down there.


What do you think about the cue of pushing the away as opposed to pulling in this situation?


That’s a good one. Strong guys do say that.

Somewhere there is a video of Brian Alsruhe standing, suspended on bands, holding onto an overloaded bar in the rack. Then dude practices “pushing the floor” away by driving into the bands.


I don’t think your form Really Looked that bad. Maybe you’re just setting up with your hips a little too low to begin with and that’s why your hips shoot up

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This is what I saw too. Plus you are spending too long in the bottom position and perhaps rushing the start of the pull just a bit. That said, I think your form looks pretty darn good and a whole lot better than what I was expecting from your first post.

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Thanks, guys! Very helpful. I’ll take some of this for action to see if I can fine tune this a bit and keep progressing!


Not the best to teach acceleration through the lift, but great for technique:
Lift the bar off the floor an inch or 2, pause for 3-5 seconds, then finish the lift. Will teach you tightness on the bottom. Don’t do it with max weights tho, take your time getting stronger with that lift.

The other, similar to the first one is what some may call Sheiko Deadlifts: pull off the floor to just below your knee. You can do this as a standalone exercise in the 3-5 rep range (at least for Deadlifts and variations that’s my preference, except maybe RDLs), or you can do it like, 1 or 2 of these below the knee reps then a full pull, that’s 1 rep, do 2-5 of these, paying full attention to form!

Remember, these are lifts to help your technique, and they have you spend a significant amount of time in the bottom part of the lift. Do them right and they serve you well, do them wrong and they can fuck your back up.

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Generally speaking, if your legs extend quickly you’re using a lot more hamstrings and back. I was terrified about my form because my hips would shoot up. Injured myself over and over trying to get to that “perfect” form. Then, I tried just starting my deadlifts with my hips at the height where they would shoot up to before the weight broke the ground - which had me almost SLDL’ing the weight. And it worked. Haven’t had a problem deadlifting since, after years of injuring myself nonstop. If you like a high hip position and have a good brace, you’re fine.

So, you’re starting like this

But the weight doesn’t break the floor til you’re like this

So try starting the lift with your hips closer to the second picture. You can also work on hinging your hips a bit more to initiate it, as it looks like you’re just pulling up instead of up and back, like a fulcrum.

Most importantly though, don’t try to keyhole yourself into a form that doesn’t work for you.


I’m exactly the same way. The form is so close between the two that I probably only lose about 10-20kg by doing SLDL

I second what @flappinit has said. You are setting up for a clean deadlift with hips down, chest well over the bar, and quads ready to do more of the work…which is fine if you actually want to train that specific lift. But your hips are shooting up into a more natural hinge position before you even pull which probably feels a little awkward and not like you’re “locked in.” You gotta pick a style and stick with it and start your pull in that position. There’s no right choice, it just depends on your goals. Though if you opt for a true powerlifting style deadlift, it seems like you need to get a lot more tension generated in those hammies before you initiate the pull. The load is too much to stick with a clean deadlift and as you shift your hips up you’re not generating enough pull through the glutes/hams and then the lower back takes over.

Personally, I exclusively pull snatch-grip today and my deadlifts are more like a 3/4 squat. I prefer it that way though as even on high rep days I don’t feel the lift in my lower back anymore.