Why do you have back pain when you do deadlifts?

Posted on Friday, July 20

Why do you have back pain when you do deadlifts?

Dominic Baillargeon, M.Sc., PT, FCAMPT, SPC, UASD, and Sylvain Girard, Editor, Nxt Generation PHYSIO.

When we think of deadlifts, we think of power, strength. It’s an excellent exercise for improving glute strength. However, the problem is that it is often (too) frequently performed incorrectly, which can result in back pain.

This movement focuses on our posterior chain. Imagine a line starting between your eyes, going behind your head, down your back, behind your legs, and all the way to under your feet. That’s the posterior chain. The more tension there is on it, the more tension there will also be on the sciatic nerve. Consequently, there’s a higher chance of experiencing back issues.

How can you recognize a good deadlift from a bad one?

Proper body tension should be established before lifting the bar. This means that the back of your legs and your abdominals should be engaged. Throughout the movement, your back should remain in a neutral position, and your pelvis should be aligned with your ribcage. Your body should unfold uniformly, and the movement should finish with hip extension.


How to reduce the risk of back pain?

#1 Improve your mobility

The problem in general is that people have a weak back and tight legs. So, it is necessary to perform mobility exercises to improve the posterior chain. Use a ball for the plantar fascia, perform massages on the lower back and glutes. For the hamstrings and calves, utilize a trusty foam roller. Stretching can also be done, but mobility exercises are faster and safer. Therefore, keep in mind that stretching is beneficial, but only if you have the time.



#2 Reprenez le mouvement à la base

If it’s not your body that’s the problem, then it’s likely your technique. Remember that what works for others may not always be the right method. The most muscular guy at the gym is not necessarily a guarantee of a good example. Even professional athletes don’t always perform the movement correctly.

#3 Step back one or two levels

Also, reduce the weights and gradually increase them as you progress. If you find yourself slipping back into imperfect technique, it means that your body is not strong enough. You’ll need to go back to the previous level and work on it again. Be patient, take your time, and you’ll see that you can achieve performances you couldn’t even imagine.

If you’re experiencing back pain, it may be related to an issue with the sciatic nerve. In that case, feel free to contact us and ask your questions. Our team will be delighted to provide you with advice and reassurance.

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