When patients walk into the clinic and tell me that they have injured themselves at the gym, the first thought process that enters my mind is “I bet they did deadlifts” and 90% of the time, I’m right. Why is this a thing? How come it is such a great exercise that everyone promotes, but so many people get injured?
Don’t get me wrong, I think deadlifts are a great exercise to gain strength and build muscle. But why are you doing them? Do you want to get better at the movement? Do you want to compete in a powerlifting competition? Or are you someone just doing them because you saw on Youtube that they are a great way to get stronger? Deadlifts when done incorrectly, can put an immense amount of pressure on your low back. The forward bending movement, together with the heavy weight a lot of the time injures the discs of the lower back. Correct form is so critical with deadlifts and without proper coaching, engagement of the core, form, and back control it can be quite a dangerous movement pattern for a lot of people.
For me, it’s about risk vs reward. If you’re doing deadlifts because you want to get better at them or have a competition coming up, then great keep doing them. You’re most likely a person that knows what you’re doing. However, if you’re someone just doing them cause you heard someone say they are great, I suggest doing other exercises that engage the same group of muscles. There are many great alternatives to deadlifts that decrease the load on your low back and yes, you will still get the results that you are looking for.
If you have injured yourself performing deadlifts at the gym, our team at Complete City Health are experts in Lower back pain injuries. Make sure to book an appointment for a detailed analysis of what is causing your pain.