T Nation

Injuries in powerlifting

according to a research by hamili, 1994

who here was injured in the last year or has previous powerlifting injuries?



I can give some from memory:

goldberg:hip, shoulder
steve coppola:shoulder

glute:lower back & hip

I’ve had a few injuries. Torn lower ab/groin, rotator cuff problems, delt insertion sprain, scyatic (sp?) nerve pain shooting down alternate legs, strained pec tendon. Still doing it though. Chasing that 500 bench.

I had an umbilical hernia.

In faith,

torn rotator cuff, torn hipflexor, lower back.

Torn pec.

all my shit was from previous injuries. my shoulder had nothing to do with powerlifting. it had to do with almost landing on my head after a back flip. I first hurt my hip when i was 12. My hips have always given me problems.

whats the point of this?

Actually since switching to powerlifting I have allot less injuries than before. I feel Great!

hmm… I’ve:

pulled a hamstring (bad form)
hurt my shoulder (bad form)
wrist bent back (bad form)
tweaked my hip (bad form)

these weren’t severe… i guess the moral is, before you step under maximal weight, make sure your form is 100% spot on. that was my error


no moral yet. interested to know and share.

The worst injury I’ve had lifting was tearing up my shoulder unracking 135 from an incline to warmup one day about 5 years ago. Shit happens.

what about that powerlifter who blew out his rear end?

Oh the picture of the PLrs explosive rear?
let me see, if you had just pushed your guts out your butt there are several things taht would happen

  1. you wouldnt have a cleanly ripped suit around your ass
  2. you wouldnt have a clean ‘wound’
  3. you wouldnt be squatting in a doorway so your mates can take a picture of the ‘wound’

its fake

tahts been known for ages

I hurt tore my right quadricep this year. I would say that aches and pains come with the sport, like all other sports, 'cept battle bots.

Actually, Glute, my shoulder was torn before I even started PLing. I definitely have way more old baseball and basketball injuries than I do current PLing injuries.

Wrist (although this was from doing cleans), lower back (deadlifts/goodmornings).

Also had a sciatic nerve injury.

OK, here’s the thing:
Before I started power training I trained body-building for 5 years. I made gains that satissfied me but created some pattern overloads, over use injuries, strength imbalances and weak points.

last year since I’ve started training for power, I strted Idenifiying those weak points and worked on my flexibility, ROM, cuff/mid upper back strength.

but my weak links never catch up to my strength which is shoting up. so, I’m training through lower back pain, sciatic nerve and hip pain and some rotator cuff pain. I don’t feel I cured most of my weak links.

So I thought maybe I should ego-check myself.

I was thinking about limiting my strength routine to twice per week, jsut for maintanance of absolute strength/speed strength and working on my weak points.

is this the correct way to do it? I need twho workouts that wont get me sore but will keep my strength and speed. ideas?

btw my weak points are:

  1. supraspinatus - Whenever I work overhead I’m in pain although I work my cuffs
  2. hip flexibility - causes me to sometimes round my back on the lower parts of the squats/deadlifts, causes anterir pelvic tilt

although I gave them much focus, my ego never let me reduce the intensity on my “main” program, and they never seem to catch up. my legs are always sore and I can hardly stretch them.

what do you think?


As for your individual growth areas, you said:

“1. supraspinatus - Whenever I work overhead I’m in pain although I work my cuffs”

I don’t buy it. It might be weak, but the reason you’re in pain is that the scapular rotators and humeral depressors are not doing their job. The supraspinatus tends to be more of an anterior/posterior stabilizer, with the teres minor and infraspinatus bearing the brunt of the workload on superior displacement. Keep in mind that this pain can also be due to tight internal rotators that lead to rounded shoulders. It’s one of several structural abnormalities that can throw you out of whack. I’d lay off overhead work until your shoulder is good to go.

“2. hip flexibility - causes me to sometimes round my back on the lower parts of the squats/deadlifts, causes anterir pelvic tilt”

Take care of that; you really don’t want an L5-S1 herniation like I had:(

Keep in mind that in addition to stretching the hip flexors, you’ll want to strengthen the glutes and core.

thank you very much, E-S.

Here’s how I diagnosed my self with that: my shoulder realy hurts when doing explosive overhead drills and in the starting point of the lying lateral raise (the exercise you gave in your article) I have no cuban press or external rotation pain.

Also, I’d like to her your opinion not only about preventing cuff injuries but rehabing one. Ive worked my cuff pretty good, even when I was bodybuilding. right now, if I don’t warm up very good or if I do explosive stuff like push press or push jerk, my supraspinatus hurts slike a bitch.

So, what should I lay off? my ROM is not imapired, just shooting pain right now. should I avoid all pushing patterns? also, my friend is a professional volleyball player who has got the same problem only much more severly, overuse due to spikes and benching. his rom is impaired, and although he stopped all pushing patterns for 3 month allready its not getting better. I prescriebd some light cuff stuff to him (similar to what you detailed) but some he cant actualy do, even without the dumbbells… wondering what are your thoughts about his situation…