The DEADLIFT is a great full-body movement that works muscle groups in your body like no other exercise. All arm, shoulder, core, back, and leg muscles working in unison to complete a deadlift – ever heard of anything better than this?
When performed correctly, the movement also strengthens your posterior chain and corrects your posture. If, however, you don’t use proper form, your lower back can suffer beyond what you’re probably expecting – a sharp, searing pain, making it really hard for you to get back into working out after limping out of the gym.
There is is a myth saying that deadlifts come with a sore lower back that even stays with you for days after performing this movement. Before talking about a few things that can help you deadlift without hurting your back, we want to make it clear that your back should not hurt while or even after deadlifting – especially for DAYS after deadlifting!
If it hurts, you must be doing it wrong, or you’re putting too much weight on your back instead of using all your muscle groups to lift; it’s as simple as that.
Here are some things you can take into consideration to make sure you’re not hurting your back and only feeling the slight post-workout tightness that should normally come with deadlifting (and any other exercise for that matter)
PROPER DEADLIFT FORM
You need to keep your feet at hip-width apart and make sure the barbell is over the middle of your feet. Stand in a half-squat position, keeping your hips flexible, lower back stable and head in line with your spine, grab the barbell. Keep your arms straight throughout the movement, with your elbow in a locked position. Start the movement by pushing your legs to the floor – also don’t start too low or end up in a squat. Finish the deadlift by locking your hips and knees without leaning back.
Here are the tips you can use to avoid hurting, or worse – breaking your spine when deadlifting.
If you’re planning on lifting a big weight, warm us first by lifting light, about 20-25% of what your deadlift will weight. Just a light warm-up, no need to tire yourself before taking on the big guns.
TRAIN YOUR UPPER AND LOWER BACK, AND LATS
Training your back and lats will help build a strong base that will help you prevent injuries while doing exercises such as deadlifts. The best back exercise is the pull-up, followed by any type of row exercises. Especially for the upper back – shrugs, face-pulls, and upright rows will do the trick!
USE SMALL INCREMENTS FOR INCREASING YOUR WEIGHT
This will help you figure out where you’re at, without having to injure yourself just to find out that you’re not there yet. Setting yourself up for disaster doesn’t have to happen – set achievable goals and avoid going through injuries that will actually make you weaker.
KEEP YOUR HEAD AND CHEST UP
Maintain good posture throughout the entire movement. To avoid any spine injuries, it’s best that your head, back, and chest are in line with your spine.
KEEP YOUR ABS TIGHT
This will help provide the extra stability you will need, especially at the top of the deadlift. Hold your breath until you reach the top of the lift. This pressure will help you feel the weight better – not as much that is.
Deadlifts work your arms, forearms, shoulders, traps, abs, back, butt and legs – not so bad for just one exercise, don’t you think so? This movement also pumps up your entire body, and you’ll release extra testosterone that will help you in the muscle-building process.
You don’t need to avoid doing deadlifts because of the myth that this exercise comes with pain and it’s too dangerous. Get to enjoy the benefits of the exercise by performing it with a good posture and keeping in mind the tips we just gave you.