Summary: Deadlift hitching is a common mistake encountered by lifters, particularly those who are just starting their training program. Hitching occurs when the barbell stops momentarily or moves backward during the lift, often because of the difficulty of getting the weight past the knees. This article will discuss the causes, risks, and possible solutions for deadlift hitching.
1. Causes of Deadlift Hitching
Deadlift hitching is caused by an inability to generate enough force to move the weight past the knees. This is because the lifter is not utilizing proper technique and form. When the bar passes the knees, there is often a momentary pause in the lift, which is also called the sticking point. This is where the lifter must generate additional force to complete the lift.
The sticking point can occur due to several reasons, such as poor hip mobility, weak posterior chain muscles, or a lack of proper setup before the lift. If a lifter attempts to pull the barbell with improper form, then they are more likely to experience hitching.
Another cause of hitching is using too much weight during the lift. A lifter may think that lifting heavier weights equates to a better workout, but this is not always true. Too much weight during a deadlift can lead to hitching and ultimately increase the risk of injury.
2. Risks of Deadlift Hitching
Deadlift hitching should be avoided at all costs, as it can cause several risks for the lifter. Hitching puts a lot of pressure on the spine and lower back muscles, which can result in strains and injuries. Additionally, it can cause the lifter to lose their balance and drop the weight, leading to severe injuries such as fractures or head traumas.
If the lifter continues to do hitching deadlifts, they may develop compensatory movement patterns that can lead to improper posture and alignment. This can cause pain in the hips, lower back, or legs and even chronic conditions such as sciatica or herniated discs.
Ignoring the risks associated with hitching can worsen over time and even prevent the lifter from continuing their workout program. This is why it’s critical to understand the causes of hitching and how to avoid it.
3. How to Avoid Hitching
The best way to avoid hitching is to work on proper technique and form. This includes a thorough warm-up before beginning the lift, such as foam rolling and dynamic stretching. Proper setup before the lift can also help improve the lifter’s technique and minimize the risk of hitching.
The lifter should grip the bar using an overhand grip, keeping their feet shoulder-width apart and their toes pointing straight ahead. They should then engage their lats and core before lifting the bar. Additionally, the lifter should keep the bar close to their body throughout the lift, which minimizes the chance of the bar shifting and causing hitching.
Another way to avoid hitching is to utilize accessory exercises that target weak points in the lift. This can include exercises such as Romanian deadlifts, deficits deadlifts, or stiff-legged deadlifts. These exercises can help improve posterior chain strength, increase hip mobility, and ultimately improve deadlift performance.
Deadlift hitching is a common problem encountered by lifters, particularly beginners. It is caused by several factors, including inadequate force generation and poor technique. Hitching can be detrimental to a lifter’s physical health and performance. Proper technique, warm-up, and utilizing accessory exercises can help improve deadlift performance and minimize the risk of hitching. As such, lifters should prioritize understanding the causes and risks associated with hitching and take necessary precautions to improve their technique.