T Nation

Deadlifting After a Back Injury

I am about to start lifting weights again. But I am kind of scared of doing dead lifts in my routine due to a lower back injury i received. It will still act up once in a while. But,is it ok to do them, or should I just cut them out of my routine.

I would start with standing good mornings. Strengthen your lower back this way first, use exceptional form when doing them and evaluate how your back feels after a month. If it feels ok after a month, start deadlifting with good form. The problem with most people and back problems associated from deadlifting is poor form.

I wonder if I could lift the bar up off the ground using a squat rack of other weights. Would that help?

[quote]Travis.keating wrote:
I am about to start lifting weights again. But I am kind of scared of doing dead lifts in my routine due to a lower back injury i received. It will still act up once in a while. But,is it ok to do them, or should I just cut them out of my routine. [/quote]

Just listen to your body. We can’t really tell you. I personally don’t dead lift that much. I think its overrated for bodybuilding on this site. Power lifting’s a different story.

If your hurting yourself doing deads, check your form. There’s a great article on here with videos.

[quote]Travis.keating wrote:
I am about to start lifting weights again. But I am kind of scared of doing dead lifts in my routine due to a lower back injury i received. It will still act up once in a while. But,is it ok to do them, or should I just cut them out of my routine. [/quote]

The answer unfortunately is maybe. A few key things:

  1. Start with a modified range of motion i.e. rack pulls and work on getting to a full deadlift or even from a deficit over time. This could be months and months…no rush right?

  2. Start light! Everyone always wants to jump right in, don’t it’s boring starting light I know but better than than another injury right?

  3. Learn proper DL technique, the various articles on this site will be a good read for you and a good refresher for others. The deadlift is all about hip extension NOT back extension.

  4. Adding accessory exercises would be a good idea. I saw good mornings mentioned above. I’m not going to reiterate what is said in the various articles but the spine is more capable of taking compression than shearing. Proper form.

  5. I’m not sure what your lower back injury was from but I would take a look and examine your body’s structural balance. i.e. tight hips? bad posture? dysfunctional scapula? glutes not firing?..etc

Agree with above post. Did you consult your doc or chiro? I had a non-exercise related back injury. Chrio is for deadlifts, but suggested I take off 4-6 months, then begin slowly. I don’t believe my injury was as severe as yours.

[quote]Backlash79 wrote:

  1. I’m not sure what your lower back injury was from but I would take a look and examine your body’s structural balance. i.e. tight hips? bad posture? dysfunctional scapula? glutes not firing?..etc

[/quote]

I went ice skating last year and my feet went right out from under me and my body did kind of a V and I landed light on my lower back . I have started doing scrawny to brawny. Right now I am in my first week of the correctional phase.

Well man I broke my back in two spots just over a year and 1/2 ago and I’m back to deadlifting 450+ so it can be done. The best thing I found for me was hyper extensions to really get the muscle around my spine strong again. Once my back was feeling better doing those, I switched to pin pulls. From here I went to regular deadlifting again.

Hope it helps man!

Take your time and do what you can. As mentioned above: back hypers, good mornings, pin pulls ,pull throughs can all help get you on your way. Whether going light or heavy, keep the reps lw when starting to pull again. If you want to go higher reps do singles with abbreviated rest. You could also try some sumo or modified sumo pulling as it utilizes glutes and hamstrings more than lower back.

I definitely disagree that deads are over-rated. I’m not prepared to defend that they are better than squats, but personally pulling has done more for my physique and strength than any other lift.

I decided to start lifting again for a few reason. One to help strength my back, and hopefully that will help it to get rid of the back pain. And I need to get stronger wen I have to lift some 400 lb fat ass off the ground when he or she had a heart attack. I’m a EMT. Maybe I will start a log. I know I am not big by any means, but will I get flamed if I do?