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Coaching the Deadlift

This post is a resource to go along with the lecture we did on coaching the deadlift. If you want to prescreen your client for the hinge pattern you can use a cone pick up test such as the one below. If they pick the cone up ‘improperly’ (with lumbar flexion) that isn’t necessarily indicative of how they would pick heavy weight up off the group but it’s a decent place to start.

So this test essentially will only tell you if your client already knows how to hinge and regularly does it to pick things up off the ground.

The hinge is the basic movement pattern to precede the deadlift. Before loading the pattern up we want to make sure the client is competent in this basic movement. We went over several ways to teach the hinge, below are three cues we used that implemented the dowel.

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Once you feel like your client has the hinge down the next step is to add weight. A basic kettlebell or dumbbell romanian deadlift is a good progression

If you feel confident that your client has the pattern down with low load the trap bar is a good progression. It’s not as demanding as the deadlift mobility wise because the handles are elevated about two inches. Since the weight is at the clients side rather than right out in front of them it places less stress on the back as well. Ignore the goofball in the background

If the client has mastered the trap bar deadlift you can progress them to the conventional deadlift. Here are some common deadlift mistakes to avoid.


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