Happy Thirsty Thursday to everyone, hope everyone is safe and healthy out there. For those that missed this post on social media (hint hint, wink wink) this little diddy went up yesterday, but wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to lay eyes on it. I hope it helps clear things up for at least 1 or 2 of you out there.
Saying Deadlifts are bad for your back is on the same laziness level as saying squats are bad for your knees. Yes if you do either of these like an asshole, no kidding it’s going to hurt. If you do any exercise wrong you’ll likely feel pain or get hurt. (Some of you will understand the significance of Grumpy Cat here).
Deadlifts actually might be one of these best things you can do to keep your back healthy or, in some cases, get a bad back healthier.
Most that have set eyes on this page/account before are aware that the deadlift is in the hinge family, hooray hinges! Hinging movements are primarily focused on hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors, with things like quads and your major core muscles chipping in too. I’m going to give you a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) as to what muscles will really help keep your back nice and healthy. You nailed it, those same three! Strong glutes, hamstrings, erectors, and a good mobility routine is a damn simple way to keep your back from getting crankier than Grumpy Cat.
To that, let me just tell you about a couple of people I’ve been working with. Each have had their own back issues (stenosis and arthritis) to the point where they saw physician and did some physical therapy for it. Both of them do trap bar deadlifts and rack pulls with me. Both of them were experiencing limited to no pain in their back before we went into lockdown, and that had been the case for 9-12 month+ for each. Ok, I’m done tooting my own horn.
Now I can understand not being comfortable coaching a deadlift variation for someone with back pain if you are very green and new. It’s a scary thought and you’re trying not to hurt the person, that totally makes sense. Don’t coach something you’re not confident with when you’re at that stage…or ever. But using these types of excuses is just a lazy way of coaching.
So the next time someone says, oh no, I can’t deadlift, I have a bad back. There’s a deadlift variation for them out there, I promise. Thanks for your time everyone, feel free to comment with thoughts and feedback. Stay safe everyone!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS