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My Girl Is Having Trouble with Deadlifts

I have the best chick ever. She wants to get not only in shape, but strong. She’s tiny. Like 5’1 125lbs and lead a very inactive life. She’s only been going with me this last week. She shocked me with her strength in some places and left me scratching my head in others.

So today I took her for deads. I thought simce she picked up on squatting cues this would be a breeze. She could not get her hips down. Lost the natural arch in her back. Got really frustrated. We moved on because frankly I didnt know what to tell her. So my question is, what cue can I give her to help and also where is she having tightness? Is it ankles? Hips? I really want to help her

Even if some movements come more naturally in the end you still learn things step by step. Deadlift starts with the hip hinge.

Learn to hinge first, moving at the hips not the back.

Tightness means nothing to a beginner. Engaging the lats, keeping the bar close/in contact, breathing and bracing effectively and cues to that effect are what you.

Teaching it from the top down has worked well for me for people who naturally pull with their backs. Cueing pushing a drawer closed with their butt gets the hip hinge going.

Some cues work for some people while being terrible for others e.g. hips down/low is often inappropriate. Sometimes it takes a few sessions for cues to click. Only a matter of working on it a bit.

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If a BB is too heavy then a KB should work fine as well. Starting from the top and learning to hinge is probably a useful way for her to learn.

I second Guineapig , with that last video he put up. Get her familiar with RDLs, or even a rack pull position, just so she can feel the movement. And just have her work on it consistently until she feels more confident at it.

I’d also ask her which stance she’s more comfortable with. If she’s got long arms, she’ll probably excel at conventional. If she’s got shorter arms, she’d do good with a medium-wide stance, or sumo. If she’s not comfortable with conventional, don’t force her.

I go by Pig on here

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Apologies. I saw the orange and thought Chris Ottawa was posting

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I think this would be a great place to start

Also agree on the RDLs so that she can learn the hip hinge.

Also, don’t get frustrated, it’s natural. It took me more than a year to get the technique I wanted (still not perfect, but way better now). Lots of asking advice, form check videos, YouTube videos watched, experimenting, and practicing involved as a beginner.

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I put some water into 2 buckets and let my woman “deadlift” those a few times. Getting tight and pulling the slack out come easy and happen naturally when you think about not sloshing all the water around and out of the buckets. We spent like 5 minutes, one time messing with that and then she was good to go on deadlifts.


I had my wife stand with a shoulder width foot stance and put a kettlebell (could use a dumbbell on its side) just behind her, then had her lift it with her hands behind her body. She automatically sunk down into a nice position. Hard to squat down with bad form when you’re trying to grab something behind you if you’re even the tiniest bit cognizant of your form.

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When I said tightness perhaps I was using the term incorrectly. What I meant to ask was if her having a hard time keeping a neutral spine is a result of her having poor flexibility in particular joint or area. She has a hard time even setting up properly. I only let her lift the bar. She had laparoscopic knee surgery years ago. I appreciate the videos. I’m patient with her. I just want to make sure im instructing her well.

Great videos. Thank you

I really want to thank all of you. I learned to lift years ago in prison, so im not the greatest coach. I learned just watching and reading. She thinks I have the answers. Poor girl. I used the push a drawer closed cue only I said car door. I like the idea of rack pulls for her to learn to hinge. The big battle is already won. She wants to learn amd won’t give up. RDL is another good idea. She’s not exactly lived an active life. Alot of weed and video games. So weak glutes I think is part of her problem. I will let you guys know how it goes. Thank you this has been a big help.

I see. In that case check her hamstring flexibility with RDLs. It’s unlikely to be the case I think because most people should be able to hit a conventional deadlift mobility wise if not movement quality wise.

Also unlikely but an alternative could be her individual leverages are atrocious for deadlifting in which case nothing u can do so either accept it or work around.

If it’s trouble getting into a decent starting position at all than work from the top in a hip hinge pattern as low as mobility will allow and over a short amount of time mobility will improve in that specific movement pattern and pulls from the floor can resume.

Why not just post a video?

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