5 Steps On How To Fix Lower Back Pain After Deadlifts

Back pain after a deadlift can make you feel weary of returning back to the exercise that hurt you. Here is the exercise progression I prescribe to my patients to train their body so they are ready to return back to deadlifts.

1) Cat- Cow

Shortly after your back injury your lower back mobility will be quite limited. Bending forward and backwards can be quite painful. This is a gentle option on how to re-introduce this movement to your body.

  1. Start on the floor, with your hands positioned under your shoulder and knees under your hips.
  2. Lets begin with a cow pose. Inhale and let your belly drop down as you arch your back. Gently look
  3. Transitioning to the cat pose, exhale and round your back drawing it toward the ceiling. Look softly
    down toward your belly button.
camel portion of cat camel exercise

2) Banded bridge

Let’s train the posterior chain of muscles you will need during your deadlifts such as your gluts, hamstrings, and back extensors. Placing a band around your knees during this exercise will help recruit the gluteus medius (lateral buttock muscles) as well as the gluteus maximus during the bridge.

  1. Place your hands on either side of your body to keep you balanced. Position your feet shoulder width
  2. Keep your core tight. Push down through your heels, lifting your buttocks off the floor. Keep your back
    relatively straight and avoid arching your lower back. This is a great exercise to isometrically
    strengthen your core and back extensors.
bridge exercise with resistance band around knees

3) Hip Hinge with Dowel

This is a fundamental movement pattern for deadlifts. Let’s focus on pain free range of motion. So only hinge as low as you feel comfortable.

  1. Stand shoulder width apart. Soften your knees.
  2. Position the dowel so it is in contact with your head, upper back, and lower back.
  3. Keep your core tight during this movement. Hinging at your hips, draw your buttocks back as you lower
    your upper body down.
  4. Contract your gluts, push your hips forward, and stand back up.
hip hinge exercise with dowel along back

4) Kettle bell deadlifts

This is the first stage to return to a loaded deadlift. Decreasing the range of motion of this exercise will help you ease back into deadlifts. Place a couple of weighted plates on the floor to elevate the surface. Use a kettle bell or inverted deadlift for this exercise. Set up the weight on the edge of the plate so it is close to you.

  1. Stand shoulder width apart. Soften your knees.
  2. Hold onto the weight. Push your hips back so that there is tension on your hamstrings and gluts.
  3. Keep your core tight. Contract the gluts, push your hips forward, and stand up.
deadlift with inverted dumbbell

5) Rack pulls

Rack pulls will allow you to practice deadlift using a barbell. The safety bars on the rack will once again elevate the surface and decrease your range of motion during the lift. During the deadlift keep the bar close to your shin and thigh as you lift and lower the weight.

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