It’s quite common to see people avoiding deadlifts as a result of the negative stigma surrounding its correlation with low back pain. Honestly, I think that’s rubbish. Deadlifting is commonly used as an end-stage rehabilitation exercise to strengthen the low back and glutes. But why is an end stage rehabilitation exercise for low back pain considered to be an exercise that can be detrimental to that very area? Because often it can be done wrong! However, I honestly think that thought of scrapping deadlifts as an exercise should be discounted immediately. Throughout life we are constantly picking things up off the ground and from in front of us, so why wouldn’t we want to get good at it by mimicking an action that is doing just that? You can’t tell me that a footy player is going to go out and play a game without preparing themselves…they’d get injured! So why isn’t this the same?
Often, if the back pain just comes from deadlifting, there are likely some common faults in the movement itself. If you notice yourself or a friend deadlifting with back pain, and they are looking like the wrong examples below, try correct them and see if it makes a change! Ultimately all we are doing in each image is optimising the distribution of the weight of the barbell through the body as a whole.
A Rounded Back
Hyperextension During Lockout
Bar Too Far From Shins
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