What are the long term effects of deadlifts on your back?
This highly educated, not to mention ripped, physical therapist was telling me that deadlifts are the worst thing for your back and that you shouldnt do them. You joints suffer in the long run and your back wasnt meant to do that type of heavy lifting in that type of motion… i need some enlightenment.
Depends on whether on not you do them safely.
Sorry that sounds like a stupid answer, but it’s true. If you keep your back locked in a neutral posture it should easily bear the forces of deadlifting. Ideally there shouldn’t even be motion in the spine, all bending should come from the hips and knees, and if you can’t manage this lower the weight and/or work on flexibility.
My opinion comes from reading Stuart McGill, the world’s foremost expert on the spine. He does not have any particular problems with the deadlift but stresses safe form and is concerned that in practice people lack the flexibility and technique to go out there and perform the lift safely.
If you flex or extend the spine under load you put yourself at risk, and that goes for any exercise. Lots of people say “deads are bad for your back” or “deep squats are bad for your back” when they should be saying “exercize Y is bad for your back if you do it with screwed up form that puts your back at risk.”
My personal rule is no back rounding on deadlifts, period. If the form starts to break, the weight or reps go down. I realize I can lift a bit more if I do sloppy deads but I don’t compete and I’m not getting paid, so it’s not worth it.