How To Avoid Common Deadlift Injuries
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Don’t make these deadlifting mistakes
Deadlifts – the compound exercise of BEASTS, But like all weightlifting, deadlifts require good technique so we are going to look at how to avoid common deadlift injuries!
If done incorrectly you can incur some minor and even major injuries that are all too common.
Remember Bruce Lee?
Of course you remember Bruce Lee.
Be water my friend, and don’t injure your back doing back exercises like Bruce…
Preparing in advance can help you to cut out the mistakes and help you to reach your goals.
Since it is one of the few core exercises that should be included in every routine. You want to make sure you are doing it right!
How To Avoid Common Deadlift Injuries: Warm Up Properly
This is absolutely essential if you want to minimise your risk of injury during deadlifts.
Get your body up to a warm temperature by doing 5 minutes of cardio, then do 5 minutes of dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretching means you keep your body moving through the stretch – you don’t hold a static position. Save your static stretching to increase flexibility until after you’ve finished your workout or before bed.
Practise safe sets
Don’t force it if things aren’t ready yet.
Do some warm up deadlift sets. A couple of reps before jumping up to your max weight isn’t the most sensible idea. Try doing several light weight sets after your cardio and dynamic stretches to focus on your technique and prepare you for going heavy…
Deadlift Starting Position
First things first you want to make sure you get your set up position correct. Far too many people get the basics wrong which can lead to injuries such as pinched discs, lower back injuries and spinal disc related injuries,
Setting up correctly is a must, don’t set up too far away from the bar. If you are too far away the resulting lift won’t even be a true deadlift, it will be closer to resembling an almost deltoid raise like movement. The bar needs to be close to your body when you raise with your back in a neutral position.
Watch your deadlifting technique
It is important to spot these errors early on, get a friend or better yet, a qualified personal trainer at your gym to watch your posture and comment on it. If that’s not an option, you can set your phone up to film your posture and review afterwards – it will become more and more important the heavier the weight you are lifting.
Not only does improving your form help you to recruit a greater amount of muscles, it also helps you to increase the weight gradually.
Remember Your Muscles
The muscles that you work aren’t limited to your back, this is why a deadlift is such a crucial lift, they work your whole body which is why you must do them correctly or you could injure any of these parts of your body by putting too much stress on them:
- Legs – Your glutes and hamstrings determine where your hips are (you will want to keep them straight). Also take into account that your knees and calves are working for you as well.
- Abs – You might not have thought it but if you already eating the correct foods then a deadlift can help your abs to really show. Your abs are what is supporting your lower back.
- Back – Obvious but this where injuries can occur, deadlifts are great because they work your entire back, make sure your form is correct to avoid putting it under strain.
- Trapezius – These muscles work harder when you add more weight and can really swell to show the results. They just might be the first thing you notice but if you deadlift incorrectly you might find that you experience a sharp pain in your traps as one of the common injuries from deadlifting incorrectly.
- Arms – Yes, these are what lift the bar off the ground so it’s pretty obvious that you are using these. Your triceps and biceps work together to hold everything in position and your biceps are the most commonly injured muscle during a deadlift.
That’s right a bicep tear or strain is the most frequently injured muscle during this exercise. You can avoid this by ensuring that you fully extend your arms. Even the slightest bend in your elbows can result in the complete weight of the load being placed on your biceps – not what you were looking to do!
Avoid Bouncing During Deadlifting
A lot of people like to prepare themselves by bouncing the bar off the floor – this puts you at risk of injury. The bounce itself is what is making your form bad from the get-go, it will cause you to naturally bend your elbow, a costly mistake which puts you at risks of a serious strain.
A tip for ensuring your biceps are well prepared for a deadlift is to remember to extend as much as you can when doing bicep curls. This will help the muscles to become familiar with the position of the deadlift and will encourage other muscles to strengthen as well.
How To Avoid Common Deadlift Injuries: Final Thoughts
When thinkign about how to avoid common deadlift injuries it is important to remember your starting posture but also to not form bad habits. The reason why there are so many mirrors around the deadlifting area is so you can check your own posture and form.
So, if you don’t have a friend around to help, make sure you are checking on yourself and looking out for number one!
Professional b-boy (breakdancer) and all-round health, fitness, weightlifting, calisthenics, climbing and movement addict since childhood! Raised by health and nutrition obsessed parents, he’s keen to research and question everything. Oliver absolutely loves learning, optimizing and improving himself and his performance and has a passion for helping others to achieve the same!