Deadlift lower back pain and how to fix it

Deadlift lower back pain and how to fix it

The deadlift exercise is one of the most technical lift, It is one of the most common reasons you want to skip a deadlifting day: severe back pain that occurs after your lifting or sometimes while you are still working out. Back pain when deadlifting is common but not normal. In fact, it is usually an indication that you are doing something wrong with the lift.

“It’s ok to feel a tired in the back the next day after deadlifting, but if you wake up the next day and it affects your daily activities like it’s hard to bend and hard to twist, or afraid to sit or lie down or roll over in bed, then it shows that there is a problem with your form or technique.

Deadlift is a full body workout, it will work you back (which is why some people put it on the back instead of the leg day), but if you feel pain there, it’s not a good sign, and there are many things that can bring pain to your lower back the next day after deadlifting.

Here are 3 of the most common reasons why you get lower back pain from deadlifting

  1. You start with the bar too far away

deadlift lower back pain and how to fix it

Starting with the barbell far away from your body, you give yourself a poor line of pull which puts a lot of pressure on the lower back.

It can also take away the involvement of your hamstrings and glutes, which should be your major players in the lift. Start with the barbell right over the mid foot.

  1. You overextend at the top of the lift

deadlift lower back pain and how to fix it

You want to finish your lift completely upright and your knees are locked, squeezing the glutes. That’s the full range of motion for the deadlift exercise —you don’t want to try to extend further by bringing your lower back to it.

The problem is, if you can’t fire your glutes successfully, you actually end up pushing with the lower back instead. Because of this, you might end up with your pelvis too far forward, you should not extend too far to the point where you round your back.

  1. You do not bend the knees enough

deadlift lower back pain and how to fix it

A deadlift requires some knee bend but not as much as a squat, but enough that will allow you to get down to the bar.

If you don’t bend your knees, you are just going to bend at the waist, you’re going to have straight legs, and that can crush your back.”

Plus, if you don’t bend your knees enough, it’ll be really difficult to get yourself into the proper “wedge” position: Your chest should be above your hips, and your hips above your knees.

Making the tweaks here should help alleviate back pain you feel when deadlifting, but if the problem persists, you might want to enlist the help of a reputable personal trainer or coach to see what you’re doing.

It’s also possible that the conventional deadlift simply isn’t the right lift for you. There are many different variations of the deadlift you can incorporate to your routine to accomplish your goals, So play around with some variations, especially if you’re a beginner.

Deadlift Tips

The majority of deadlift lower back pain are the result of improper execution. It stands to reason the best way to avoid this is by performing the lift properly.

Tips on properly executing the deadlift

  1. Keep the chest, shoulders and back upright. Avoid rounding the back as this not only limit your growth but also making you more susceptible to injuries.
  2. Set up the bar directly over your feet, do not stand too far away from the bar as this can place tremendous stress on the joint due to far distance of the bar placement.
  3. Initiate the pulling movement by thinking about trying to bend the bar toward you, this will further engage the lats. Do not jerk the bar up.
  4. As you lift the bar up, make sure not to round the back, still maintain good form.
  5. Stands erect, do not hyper extend the back.
  6. Lower the weight quickly but with control.
  7. Use straps for ultra-heavy weights as the grip can be a limiting factor for lifting the weight.


As with any weight-training workout, proper stretching is likely to minimize the risk of injury such as sprain, strain or disc herniation before performing a set of deadlifts.

The Healing Process

In the case of a severe lower back pain the only true cure is the only true remedy. Proper rest and nutrition will gradually decrease pain in the lower back.

While there are measures we can take to relieve deadlift lower back pain, such as applying ice for 15–20 minutes every couple hours for the first three days. This process will be ineffective if you do not take a break from any physical activity, heavy lifting or excessive flexing of the spine all should be avoided.

Everyone is Sore After Trying Something New!

Here’s the truth. If after you performed the deadlift for the first time and you wake up the next day with back soreness, don’t be too concerned. You just tried something new! Think of all the times you’ve done something different, or something your body hasn’t been used to doing (i.e. hiking, carrying furniture, ice skating) – it’s inevitable that you’re going to be sore the next day!

So, if you have a sore lower back after deadlifts, and you’re relatively new to deadlifts, fear not. Give your body a chance to adapt!


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