How We Progress Clients To Deadlifts at CTS

How We Progress Clients To Deadlifts at CTS

With our beginner clients instead of introducing them to deadlift variations straight away we’ve seen a lot of success and improved results by starting with other hip hinge variations first. Then over the first few phases of training progress them up to deadlifts.


If you are new to strength training, you can steal this method off us and use it in your own training. Or if you have been training for a while its probably worth looking at these other variations that are often under utilised.


Note: There are many ways to skin a cat. Depending on the client and their limitations often you can get them doing some sort of deadlift variation straight off the bat. But we’ve found better results by holding off on deadlifting variations and developing the posterior chain with other hip hinge variations before introducing the deadlift.


Another reason we like to use this progression. Many of our personal training clients train multiple times per week outside of their PT sessions. Which means if we start with deadlifts with a complete beginner then they will be performing deadlifts by themselves in their other sessions where we can’t keep a close eye on them.


By using simpler regressed hip hinge variations initially there is less room for error which means they can easily do them safely and correctly while still developing the posterior chain.


95% of people with no strength training history struggle to hip hinge correctly and have a very weak posterior chain. So it will pay dividends to develop the musculature and movement pattern in a more isolated fashion initially. As well to teach the client how to move and contract the right muscles appropriately.


Without further ado here is the hip hinge progression we use. Check out the video below for an explanation of the progressions as well as a demo of each exercise

Hip Hinge progression

An example set and rep progressions we might use in each phase

Week 1-3         45 degree back extension        3 sets of 10   3210 tempo

Week 4-6        Horizontal back extension         4 sets of 6    30X6 tempo

Week 7-9        Barbell romanian deadlift            4 sets of 8    3030 tempo

Week 10-12    Barbell rack pull mid shin            5 sets of 6   3210 tempo