Deadlifting Will Destroy Your Back?

One of my clients recently told me that he will NEVER deadlift again. He said his past chiropractor and physical therapist essentially reamed him out when they found he had deadlifted with his personal trainer. 

Let me just say that our words as health care practitioners can have an incredible impact for our clients. It's therefore our duty to continue to understand and master our craft, instead of just relying on what school thought us years ago. I can probably bet you money that neither of his former chiropractors or physical therapists knew how to properly hinge themselves. 

So, hinging at the hips while your trunk stays stable is pretty much the deadlift. This is a fundamental part of everyday movement that you have to learn how to do if you want to protect your back. Granted, it's not like I'm asking you to deadlift 300 lbs, but even if you do that correctly... you are pretty darn safe! 

When reaching forward to touch your toes, those with back pain often move too much through their low back instead of your hips. When they come up, they lead with their back instead of contracting their glutes and hamstrings to bring them back up. These types of movement and neuromuscular patterns need to be re-trained. 

If you are having trouble hinging at your hips, it is important to get assessed to find out why. Is it strength, power, stability, flexibility, mobility, neuromuscular control or even fear avoidance beliefs? Although certain dysfunctional patterns are pretty common, each individual is going to respond differently. Some clients respond best to tactile cues instead of verbal. 

So whenever the next time someone tells you that you shouldn't be hinging or deadlifting, ask them to demonstrate proper form first. :)