Dare we say we love deadlifts? We love them because they are one of the most effective ways to grow and lift the glute muscles. Additionally, deadlifts work muscles that add some serious power for other lifts. Unfortunately, doing this exercise wrong can really complicate your world, especially if you already have lower back problems. If you’re wondering why you're feeling shooting pain during or after you do this exercise, keep reading. In this article, we are going to discuss the top mistakes when it comes to the deadlift and how you can correct them.
While deadlifts are certainly a “lifting up” exercise, they are so much more. If you focus solely on "lifting up", you may start “pulling” from leverage points in the body, leaving your lower-back vulnerable. Before lifting up, you also have to push down and back. Pay attention to what happens to your hips when you start lifting the weight. Do your hips rise, even slightly? Does your weight shift to the front of your feet? Be sure to sit low in your feet and push down in the hips before actually lifting the weight up and back. This can prevent pesky lower back pain.
Many people start with the bar too far away from their ankles because they fear the bar will run into their shins. When the bar is too far from your body, you start using the upper body to compensate instead of using natural alignment to perform the deadlift correctly and pain-free. To prevent this mistake, place the bar over the arches of your feet. If you’re worried about those shins, wear high socks that you can pull up for deadlift day.
Deadlifts are all about the transfer of weight. If your lats aren’t engaged, you risk transferring that weight to your mid and lower back. This usually results in the back rounding, creating tension and strain. You may not feel the pain of this at the time of the lift, but once you place that weight on the floor, you feel it come on in a sort of wave. You're going to want to squeeze the lat area before actually beginning the deadlift to ensure you can properly transfer the weight from your upper body to your lower body without strain.
When we lift weights, we want to maximize every muscle we work and get every last drop out of it. While we totally agree with that idea, this can be counterproductive with the deadlift. Trying to get the very last bit of gain by pushing your hips too far forward can actually cause an over-extension in your low back, resulting in pain. Instead of pushing the hips forward, think of squeezing the glutes “inward” or “flexing” to get the most out of the move without causing any pain. So less thrust more squeeze.
We hope this clarifies some of the reasons why you could be feeling pain in your low back, and how to correct your deadlift so it can become one of your favorite moves too. Need more advice, shoot us a message and we are happy to help. If you would like more assistance with this we can help you! Check out our trainers and see the different plans we offer.