There are a few different technique errors that can lead to the hips shooting up at the moment the bar is breaking contact from the...

Learn how to fix your hip shoot up during a deadlift

A common issue in the deadlift is the hips shooting up too quickly which may reduce deadlift efficiency and create poor timing and synchronisation between muscle groups working together to lift a barbell off the floor. This video will guide you through the steps to correct this technical error without the need for special accessory exercises or warmup drills.

This is an example of the evidence based coaching and training that I provide either face to face in our gym in Taren Point or online.

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To maximise strength in the powerlifting movements, exercises should be performed with technical proficiency. This means using the least amount of energy to perform the goal of the movement (move a barbell up and down in an efficient bar path). As mentioned, a common issue in the deadlift is the hips shooting up too quickly which may reduce deadlift efficiency and create poor timing and synchronisation between muscle groups working together to lift a barbell off the floor.

Identifying the Problem: What Does Hip Shoot-up Look Like?

Hip shoot-up occurs when the hips rise faster than the shoulders at the start of the deadlift. This results in a disjointed lift where the knees and hips don’t extend simultaneously. Instead of a fluid motion, there’s a noticeable ‘jerk’ movement as the hips shoot up first, the chest falls forward, then the barbell breaks off the floor – Kind of making the lift turn into a stiff legged deadlift.

Technical Errors Leading to Hip Shoot-up


Starting with Hips Too Low

A common mistake is beginning the deadlift with the hips positioned too low, almost in a squat stance. This low start often leads to the hips shooting up to the position to which the hips wanted to start before the bar even leaves the ground.


Finding the Optimal Hip Height

  • Aim for a V shape between your thigh and torso (watch video above to understand) 
  • The barbell should align with your shoulder blades when looking directly at the side of the deadlift start position. 
  • The barbell should not align with your shoulders but your shoulder blades. The hips will generally shoot up to the position they wanted to start at if they have been set too low.


Lack of Tension in the Initial Pull

  • Another issue is failing to remove the slack from the bar and the body before initiating the lift.


Creating Proper Tension

  • Create ‘long arms’ by raising your chest
  • Pre-pull on the bar to take the slack out of the barbell, and your arms
  • Pushing the feet directly down into the floor whilst pulling on the barbell can help anchor the hips into place.


Knees Extending Too Early

  • If the knees straighten prematurely, the workload disproportionately shifts to the back and hips and reduces the quadriceps contributing to lifting the barbell. 
  • The knees and hips should extend at the same time. 
  • When the hips rise too quickly, you will generally see that the knees have extended too early, the chest will fall towards the floor, and then extension at the hips occurs.


Timing the Knee Extension

  • Avoid letting the knees extend too early. The hips and knees should open at the same time.
  • Think of extending the knees once the bar reaches approximately knee height
  • Watch for a gap between the bar and your shins, indicating early knee extension.


Practical Steps to Correct Hip Shoot-up

  • Assess your starting hip position and adjust to prevent the initial hip rise. Is there a V-shape between your thighs and torso? When looking directly from the side, is the barbell in line with your shoulder blades?
  • Ensure you create enough tension in your hamstrings and glutes before the lift. This is achieved by keeping a high chest and pulling the slack out of the barbell
  • Focus on synchronizing the movement of your knees and hips. Both joints should extend simultaneously as the bar breaks off the floor.
  • Film your lifts and review them to identify and correct these issues.


Mastering the Deadlift Technique

Correcting hip shoot-up in the deadlift will improve the efficiency of your deadlift if you are experiencing this error. By focusing on these technical adjustments, you can develop a more efficient deadlift, which may increase your deadlift 1RM.

There are a few different technique errors that can lead to the hips shooting up at the moment the bar is breaking contact from the floor. The fix is typically not as complex as it can sometimes be made out to be, nor does it ever usually involve isolated ‘strengthening exercises’ to fix the issue. E.g, sometimes you hear ‘strengthen the quads’ or something along those lines because something is weak or not ‘activating’ whilst some other muscles are strong or ‘overactive’ or something like that.

Joanne is an example; the videos are 1 week apart. On the left she is starting with her hips a tad too low. You can see just before she’s going to lift the barbell, she drops her hips down a couple of centimetres, but then they shoot back up to the position prior to when she drops her hips, then the bar breaks off the floor and she stands up.

The cue we used was – don’t drop your hips before you lift and start them at the height that your hips are shooting up to. To me, this cancels out the hip shoot up as she is starting her hips at the height they are shooting up to (inserts black man thinking meme photo here).

She has got the idea of the technique in her mind, she can sense when her hips shot up, and she knows what to do to fix it, whenever the error happens. Now, it’ll just be practice of performing the new starting position > she’ll develop strength which is specific to the new starting position > her initial lift off will improve as the weeks go on.

If you’re struggling to fix your technique on a lift or have an error which you don’t know how to solve, get in contact with me and I’ll likely have a solution for you.

Want powerlifting coaching?
Online powerlifitng coaching

SPC Performance Lab provides Powerlifting coaching with the option to get face to face sessions in our gym, book online sessions or to join a small group. Run by Paul Attard the coaching is customised to suit beginners, recreational or competitive powerlifters.

Paul Attard
Paul Attard

Paul is the founder and head coach of SPC Performance Lab. Paul has been coaching since 2014 and has worked with all different types of people. From first timers learning the basics, all the way up to the experienced power-lifting competitors.

He tailors his approach depending on the needs, goals and experience of the individual. Paul has extensive theoretical and practical coaching experience.

- Masters of Sports & Exercise Science (Strength & Conditioning)
- Bachelor’s degree in Exercise & Sports Science with First Class Honours
- Competed and won multiple natural body-building shows & power-lifting competitions.
- Held an Australian power-lifting record.

Free advice

SPC Performance Lab is a gym in Taren Point in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney NSW. It is a private gym that offers strength training, powerlifting and body building training. The gym is open 24 hours, 7 days a week with membership options that include casual or regular visits.

Paul also provides a choice of personal training one on one or the option of online coaching.

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