Initiating the Squat: Making the Distinction Between Hip Flexion and Lumbar Hyper-extension

by Jordan Syatt January 14, 2013

We often hear about the important distinction between hip extension and lumbar hyper-extension.

For example, in my instructional video describing how to Sumo Deadlift I mentioned the importance of squeezing the glutes at the top of the lift (hip extension) rather than extending the lower back (lumbar hyper-extension). This is not only essential for lifting maximal loads but is paramount for pain-free movement both in and out of the gym.

What we don’t hear discussed very often, however, is the important distinction between hip flexion and lumbar hyper-extension.

As you’ll see in the video below, when the descent is initiated at the beginning of a squat pattern, people often make the mistake of hyper-extending the lumbar spine rather than flexing the hips. While it’s only a slight difference – and somewhat difficult to notice – this places significantly greater shear stress on the spine and makes it more difficult to transfer energy efficiently throughout the lift.

So what happens as a result of this lumbar hyper-extension?

Pounds are left on the bar and you may actually end up injured.

So check out the video below, assess your form/technique, and make the appropriate changes as you see fit.

I hope you enjoy the video and, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to leave them below.

Never Minimal. Never Maximal. Always Optimal.


Initiating the Squat: Making the Distinction Between Hip Flexion and Lumbar Hyper-extension

Want more great squat tips? Check out The Elite Performance Squat Seminar, a 2-hour video series outlining everything you need to know in order to improve your squat by 30, 40, or 50lbs in 12-weeks.

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