Back pain with deadlifting: tips to avoid it

One of the most common injuries seen in the gym is pain in the lower back when deadlifting. How to relieve this and prevent it happening in the future?

Although this may initially present as painful and worrying, most of the time it is not going to be a long term injury that stops you hitting the gym again after too long. Follow the below steps for ways to relieve and reduce the risk of developing back pain with deadlifting.

First things first, warm up your back

This may sound simple but an often overlooked part of a training routine. Warming up can be done in a number of ways depending on your environment. Body weight exercises such as the cat-camel mobilises every segment of the spine and gets you ready to perform some great movement.

Combine this with a glute bridge to warm up lumbar extension and the glute’s and the scorpion to help with your hip and back rotation.

Next, warm up the movement

Although it sounds simple, practicing the movement with a lighter load before and correctly drilling down the technique can transfer movement patterns well when the weight gets heavier and our body starts to fatigue. A simple tip is to complete practice sets first with 30% of your maximum weight and slowly build up until you are at your working set. As part of your warm up you could complete 4-5 sets of the movement.

Third, train your glute's, hamstrings and abdominals, and train them well

Although we all like doing the big compound movements in our gym routine and don’t like the accessory work so much, this is what will build a strong base in your deadlift and keep you training harder and longer.

These preferably will be done on days when you are not deadifting.

Take rest days between your deadlift days

Deadlifting is fun, but back pain isn’t. Our bodies and soft tissues need time to adapt. It is this time which not only helps us build muscle and recover but it also helps our brains digest the technique and learn the movement to complete it more efficiently. Two to three days between deadlifting is suggested for a beginner to intermediate gym goer.

Keep moving your back throughout your day

When in pain we tend to reduce movement through fear of making it worse. We actually know general movement throughout the day can settle down back pain, and in fact helps us to get back on our feet and back to what we love doing. This could be anything from walking at lunchtime to doing a few stands ups and sit downs at the office.

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