Hip Mobility to Swings and Deadlifts
by Charlie Weingroff & Mark Cheng
End Your Plateaus and Set New PRs on Your Deadlift
If you’ve ever found yourself stalled at a certain weight on your deadlift for months on end – you know how frustrating it can be. And you know that’s true of your clients as well.
You see, although hip-dominant hinge movements like the deadlift can do wonders for performance—helping build the posterior chain and develop lower body speed and strength, while delivering a huge metabolic hit—most people fail to execute the movement well enough to get the most out of the movement.
…Some dump the weight forward on the way up.
…Some aren’t using the right position for their body structure.
…Some fail to engage their hips properly and put undue stress on the lower back.
…Some fail to keep their upper body aligned for maximum pulling power.
…While some have mobility patterns preventing them from getting into the right position in the first place.
The issues that hold people back from pulling more weight off the ground vary from individual to individual, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
That’s why in this hip hinge video (Hacking the Hinge), Charlie Weingroff and Mark Cheng show us a variety of strategies for improving two of the most important hinge movements: the deadlift, and its closely related cousin, the kettlebell swing.
This Charlie Weingroff & Mark Cheng video shows us how to identify suitable entry points for coaching the deadlift and swing using the active straight-leg raise test from the Functional Movement Screen. We’ll never again have to rely on a ‘one size fits all,’ or ‘hope and pray’ approach.
And then they’ll show an array of strategies to improve these movements from each different entry point, so you’ll have different tools to help your clients succeed in the deadlift and swing, quickly and safely, no matter where they currently are.
Charlie is no stranger to the deadlift himself, having deadlifted triple bodyweight and reaching elite status in powerlifting with a 1915-pound total in the 220-pound weight class.
Together with Mark Cheng, a Senior Level Instructor at StrongFirst, they’ll show you the nuances and finer details of the hinge that you may have missed, and that may be holding your clients back from moving bigger weights.
Even if your clients aren’t athletes or powerlifters, getting them strong in hinge movements like the deadlift and the swing can help accelerate them towards their fitness goals. The deadlift and swing are ‘big money’ moves that can help people get fit and lean, and that carry over to many other activities.
Shatter Deadlift and Swing PRs
In the Hacking the Hip Hinge video, Charlie Weingroff & Mark Cheng will explore—
- How to use the active straight-leg raise test to identify what issues you should look at and address in the hinge movement
- Interventions, drills and cues for the hinge movement
- How to perform and coach the kettlebell swing
- How to perform and coach the deadlift: including three different deadlifting variations you can use with your clients
- and much more
If you’re looking to help your clients progress and master the hip hinge progressions, hinge movement and improve their swings and deadlifts, let Charlie and Mark walk you through strategies they use to identify suitable entry points for training, and the cues they use to help people lift more weight, more safely on the hinge.
Your clients may be closer to breaking their PRs than you think!
What’s Covered in the Presentation
In the first disc, Charlie and Mark discuss the factors that may be limiting performance on the hinge, such as biomechanics, how to use the FMS active straight-leg raise to determine suitable entry points for coaching and intervention, and breathing interventions to improve core control. Here’s what they cover (including transcript page references)—
- Three perspectives to help determine which hinging exercise to use in each individual case—for example, whether to use a heavy deadlift, or a ruthless kettlebell swing. pg.3
- Why some people can get away with lifting something off the ground with a rounded back, and why this still doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. pg.3
- The biomechanics of the hinge: how to minimize ‘energy leaks’ and maximize power. pg.4
- Are your clients having to work very hard to keep the back from rounding on the hinge? The impact of joint capsules on stiffness. pg.4
- How qualified are fitness professionals when it comes to improving biomechanics? And when should they refer out to other professionals? pg.5
- Are you a fitness professional thinking of referring your client out to another health professional? One of things you need to think about on pg.5
- The only two parts of the body that are primarily involved when pulling off the ground. pg.5
- What people should be able to do before doing deadlifts and swings. pg.5
- Why strong and fast athletes often look ‘soft’ and ‘round.’ pg.6
- Do we need mobility throughout the whole body? Or is it a bad thing? See pg.6 for Charlie Weingroff’s thoughts. pg.5
- How much range of motion we should have in the lumbar spine for flexion, and how this helps us move well and reduce the risk of injury. pg.6
- Why some people get back pain after doing martial arts kicks—for example, in Muay Thai, aerobic-style kickboxing, etc. pg.7-8
- The ‘movement inventory’ concept: What tests like the active straight-leg raise can tell you about the risk of injury. pg.8
- We don’t need perfect form if training at a low level of intensity, right? Wrong. How training with lousy form impacts the nervous system, and risk of injury, even if done at low levels of intensity. pg.9
- Does scoring a ‘1’ on an FMS test mean your client can’t do certain movements or exercises? Mark Cheng and Charlie Weingroff show how you as a fitness professional should understand the FMS test results. pg.9
- Charlie Weingroff does a demonstration of the active straight-leg raise (ASLR) FMS test: where your client’s head, knees, heels, and arms should be positioned pg.8-9
- How to score the active straight-leg raise: what a ‘3’, ‘2’ and ‘1’ score should look like. pg.9
- The two things you should be looking for on the active straight-leg raise. pg.10
- What each of the three scores on the ASLR tells you about your client’s potential deadlifting ability. pg.10
- How people ‘cheat’ on the active straight-leg raise test, the underlying issues this reveals, and a simple way to stop it. pg.10
- Do some people really suffer from short hamstrings? See pg.10
- How to use the ASLR test to tell if your client is going to wind up with a crooked deadlift. pg.11
- How to use the active straight leg raise test to tell whether your client will deadlift with the weight out in front, or close to the body—if it’s the former, you’ll need to fix it. pg.11
- Why you need to address asymmetries on the active straight leg raise before having your clients pulling big weight. pg.11-12
- What the active straight leg raise REALLY tests—hint: it’s NOT hamstring length. pg.12
- Does a ‘1’ score on the active straight leg raise mean that your client will do poorly on the deadlift? See pg.12
- Why it can sometimes be valuable to give vague instructions as a trainer. pg.12
- Score a symmetrical ‘1’ on the active straight leg raise? How to tell if your client still has the potential to do some kind of loaded deadlift. pg.13-14
- Can your client touch the floor without a posterior shift? If so, this may be a problem. See pg.14
- Three reasons why you should always have your clients do the toe touch with feet together. pg.15
- A yoga-like technique to help the lumbar spine get mobile very quickly on the toe touch. pg.15
- Why the presence of pain disqualifies the information you get from the FMS tests. pg.16
- What if your client scores an asymmetrical ‘1’ on the active straight-leg raise and CAN’T touch the toes? See pg.16
- Why simple mobility drills can cause some people’s heart rates to shoot up. pg.16
- How useful are FMS scores? Why some people score very low on the FMS, but don’t get injured. pg.17
- The two most important parts of the inner core. pg.17
- One of the easiest ways to tap into the diaphragm: Breathing interventions to help your clients breathe deeply and start gaining back control of the inner core. pg.17-18
- How to perform one of the easiest breath interventions: the crocodile breath, including modifications for those who are severely kyphotic or lordotic. pg.18
- Where your clients should be starting deep breathing movements from. pg.18
- A quick change you can do to improve someone who has apical breathing and goes into internal hip rotation on the active straight-leg raise. pg.19
- How the fastest people on the planet run. pg.20
- How Charlie thinks the neck should be aligned in any side-lying position. pg.20
- Why the body tends to shake when exposed to unfamiliar movement patterns. pg.20
In the second disc, Charlie and Mark walk through some mobility drills, and show you how to to perform and coach both the swing and deadlift. Here’s what they covered (including transcript page references)—
- What you should focus on if your client scores a hard ‘1’ on the active straight-leg raise. pg.1
- Two principles to follow when selecting what mobility drills to do. pg.2
- How many times should you do a mobility drill? Charlie’s answer on pg.2
- How the pelvis, thighs, knees and feet should be positioned in the tall-kneeling position. pg.2
- A simple way to cue someone to get tall without using words. pg.3
- Charlie demonstrates a hip extension mobilization drill in the half-kneeling position. pg.3-4
- Why people get thrown forward in the deadlift and the swing. pg.5
- A mobility drill you can perform with a client on a table to take the spine out of the equation and teach the split position of the pelvis. pg.5-6
- A side-lying mobility drill to teach the hip extension control in the split pelvis position. pg.6
- Charlie’s thoughts on using bridges for glute activation. pg.7
- How to set up the hinge properly for the swing and for pulling. pg.8-11
- An easy way to teach someone to sit back in the hinge. pg.8
- Maintain neutral spine on the hinge: How to get instant feedback when the lumbar spine starts to round. pg.9
- How the neck should be positioned on the hinge. pg.9
- Five kinds of neck asymmetry. pg.9
- A coaching cue to help keep the chest wide on the hinge—this helps stop us from going into spinal flexion). pg.10
- Where to keep the eyes pointed when setting up the hinge. pg.11
- How the hamstrings should feel if you’ve setup the hinge correctly. pg.12
- How the heels, knees, glutes, ribs and neck should be when standing up in the hinge: five coaching points. pg.12
- The ‘lock and rock’ technique: What to do if your clients have their toes straight on the hinge. pg.14
- The difference between using a single kettlebell and two kettlebells on the hinge. pg.14
- The only biomechanical difference between a deadlift and a swing. pg.15
- How to pick up the kettlebell and initiate the swing properly. pg.15-16
- When your clients should and shouldn’t grip the floor with the toes. pg.15
- How high should your clients swing the kettlebell? See pg.16
- If someone is struggling with a movement, should you increase the weight, or go lighter? See pg.16
- When to start hinging back on the downswing portion of the kettlebell swing: a cue from Charlie Weingroff, and another from Mark Cheng pg.17
- How the shoulders should be positioned in relation to the hips on the swing. pg.17
- Three ways to set up with a bar for a deadlift: two for anyone with mobile ankles, and another for those without. pg.17-19
- Two grips to use when lifting competitively. pg.18
- The difference between a conventional deadlift and the kettlebell swing. pg.18
- How to coach and perform the sumo deadlift. pg.18
- How to deadlift if your client doesn’t have mobile ankles. pg.19
- How the neck should be positioned on the deadlift. pg.19
- How does limb and torso length impact the deadlift? Two things to consider when it comes to levers. pg.19-20
- A simple cue to keep the neck packed, and eyes looking up on the deadlift. pg.20
Hip Hinge Video – Get Your Copy Today
If you’re looking to help your clients progress and master the hip hinge progressions, hinge movement and improve their swings and deadlifts, let Charlie and Mark walk you through the strategies they use to identify suitable entry points for training, and cues they use to help people lift more weight more safely with the hinge.