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Hips Shooting Up Early; Form Critique

Hi everyone! I have noticed on my deadlifts that my hips are shooting up really early. I’ve tried setting the bar up more towards midfoot today while attempting a new pr, but my hips always want to shoot up first.

My question is, since my hips keep wanting to shoot up early, is this a sign that my quads are too weak to initiate the movement?

Or is this a sign that I should switch to sumo?

I would love to hear your advice to guide this beginner, thank you!

These two videos were my most recent, 09/09/15 I was actually going to attempt a new pr this day, but I couldn’t even get 445lbs off the floor. So I dropped it to 405 to work on my set up: trying to start with hips lower, bar more towards mid foot.

This video was from 0608/16

This last video is my all time max which I can’t seem to get anywhere near anymore, 05/11/16

Sorry for not posting videos in the beginning! Hope this small timeline of videos help.

It’s most likely a technical issue with either your starting position or the order you engage the movement. It would help to see a video from the side.

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Work on form.

Incorporate deadlifts from negative in your program.

90% of the problems I’ve seen is from low back not being strong enough.

Video would be nice.

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Post a video of a near-max attempt

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Technical issues combined with this is the most likely explanation. Both are probably at play but impossible to see without video anyways.

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You are probably starting with your hips too low and possibly not “pushing the floor away from you” or both.


Hi! I have experimented starting with my hips at the height in which my hips naturally gravitate to when be the pull actually begins. It ends up looking like a RDL and all posterior chain.

I will definitely try pushing the floor away from me, thanks!

Hi! What are some of these potential technical issues? I have just posted a couple videos from the side, thanks!

Thanks for the feedback! After reviewing my videos, my form breakdown seems to grow more and more apparent. So I think you’re right that I need to back off and work on my form.

Hi thanks for looking at my post! I just added 3 videos with exact dates they were attempted.

For what it’s worth, I’ve seen way worse.

This is a case of if you actually want to get stronger and deadlift is a main lift, get a coach. Even working with a good one for 3 months would have huge benefits.

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That hip rise is not even near the worst I’ve seen and you seem to hold the package tight very well. I’ll second JFG with getting a coach. Having someone who actually knows how to best utilize your leverages and strengths and correct your weaknesses in the deadlift will benefit you a ton.

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Thanks for your reply! I’m just nitpicking myself now because I do want to get stronger and better.

Thanks for the advice! I agree my hip rise isn’t the worst, but I’m just trying to get stronger. I’ll ask some of the strength coaches at my university to see if they would help before I look into investing in a coach.

yeah 3rd what everyone else says, your form isn’t near as bad as I was fearing.

Look at your all-time max video, then compare it with the first 2 videos and the vid of 405 x 4. Noticing the differences between your best pull and your subpar pulls will help you find what needs to happen. I’ll give you a hint: your 405x4 video is a lot closer to the form you used to pull your max than the others and also looks the best.

You’re tight, you keep it together well. The biggest issue that jumps out right way at me is your head. Look where your head is tilted in the max video, then look where it is in the first 2 videos. You’re looking STRAIGHT DOWN in those. In the max video the head is up a bit more and looking slightly out. Never look straight down. That doesn’t mean stare at the ceiling, but don’t stare in front of your feet.

Start and pick a spot about 10 feet in front of you to look at when you start pulling. Stick with this spot for about 4-6 weeks to give yourself some time to get used to it, then if you don’t like it adjust the spot a little. Spots tend to change over the course of years as pull styles and strengths change, so it is ok to revisit it and tweak it. You just shouldn’t change it every set or every week. You won’t ever find your comfort zone if you don’t get some time to acclimate to a new spot visually.

Second thing: your lock out seems to be mostly back. You need to get your glutes involved more. Don’t think about leaning back to finish the pull, think about squeezing your butt as hard and quickly as possible after the bar gets to about your kneecap.

In terms of training I’d suggest more pull-throughs at heavy weights to really hammer the glutes, focus on the same thing: squeezing the butt as hard as possible to finish every rep. I’d also recommend some paused leg pressing using your deadlift stance (make sure your feet go high up on the foot plate). Pause in the hole 3 seconds on every rep, then drive. Do that for higher reps (6-10).

A good coach always helps, but I think those will help you. Do you fail in the bottom of the pull, or about mid shin, or where?


Holy crap thanks for all the pointers, I should have noticed the head position! That’s some day 1 stuff. I’ve been comparing the videos and besides the head position, the differences I can notice is my arms are not locked out in the first 2 videos (and makes it look like my knees are poking out past my arms) and in the 405x4, 462x1 videos I dip my butt down right before I initiate the deadlift. Am I missing anything else?

I will definitely find a spot to keep my head up & think about squeezing the glutes past knee.
I’m doing supine barbell hip thrusters currently, and will add the pull-throughs. My gym doesn’t have the traditional decline leg press, but we have a horizontal leg press that should work. Also, I’m not disagreeing with you that my lockout is mostly back, but how did you deduce that I needed to get my glutes involved more?

I fail in the bottom of the pull, like right off the floor. I don’t think I’ve ever failed yet past the knee caps, I feel very confident in my lockout from the knee up. However, I don’t feel very strong mid-shin or anywhere from the floor up to the knees for that matter.

Thank you for your advice! It really helps.

Ok. That’s why quad work is suggested. They shouldn’t be the biggest movers out of the bunch in my opinion because otherwise you get into the thought process of “squatting” rather than “pulling” or hinging, but they can help drive off the floor and add pounds to your PR. For a floor sticking point the remedy is usually pulling from a deficit and snatch grip deadlifts (or even snatch grip RDLs, which are brutal). Take a month or so and focus your 1 main deadlift variation from a small deficit, for reps of 5. Do each without a tap/go. Use snatch grip deads as an assistance exercises. Don’t overhaul your program, just take time to get good at those while focusing accessory time on paused quad work and glutes.

If you don’t have a back day I might suggest one–a lot of rows.

Thanks Aragorn! Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Just to clarify, should I have a deficit deadlift as my main lift (on that day), then go into accesories and variations. OR keep the deadlift as my main lift (on that day), then go into accesories and variations?

I’m actually really excited to incorporate all of the stuff you mentioned. I’m a kinesiology-exercise science student, and writing up mock programs and programming in general is fun-time for me.

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I kinda feel the same way. I would say deficit deadlift as the main lift. Start with a small deficit and increase intensity (in terms of 1 RM%) gradually. Deficit deads can drain you if you go gung ho right from the off. Also the feeling in the start is different and of you don’t force yourself to stay tight and in proper deadlift starting position the extra couple inches will bury you in terms of weight.

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I only watched the last two videos. Looks pretty solid to me, cant imagine a form change is going to get you lifting much more. Keep doing what you’re doing and get stronger.

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