Tip: The Best Hip Hinge

This fundamental movement pattern is, well, fundamental. But try this before you jump into deadlifting.

The Best Hip Hinge for Most Lifters: Trap Bar Deadlift

The hip hinge is a movement where you bend at the hips. Hip hinging is a great way to develop strength through your entire posterior chain, and the trap bar deadlift is one of the more back-friendly variations that'll still allow you to develop incredible strength.

Trap Bar Deadlift

Being in the center of the bar takes a significant amount of stress off your spinal erectors while still allowing you to develop powerful hips. It's a great way to learn the deadlift when first starting out and is useful for those with mobility issues.

From There, Move to the Straight Bar Deadlift

This is a classic strength exercise staple, but it isn't for beginners or lifters who have lower back issues. Here's what good form looks like:

Good Deadlift

The straight bar deadlift places significantly more stress on your spinal erectors than a trap bar deadlift, so if you have mobility issues, or a bad back, this is probably not the variation for you. This is what bad deadlifting form looks like:

Bad Deadlift

The straight bar deadlift is more technical than other variations of the hip hinge, like the trap bar deadlift. So if you're new to lifting, you may not know how to keep a strong, flat back while keeping the bar close to the shins.

TJ Kuster is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), specializing in mobility and injury prevention. He coaches at Method Sports Performance in Bloomington, IL.