Dead Lifting And Spinal Position

Dead lifting. So may of us dead lifting very few the right way. It is about pulling heavy shit off the floor BUT it is not about pulling heavy shit off the floor by any means possible. Our injury prone nation that lies in and out of the gym astonishes me when it comes to weights and the spine.

In the matter of dead lifting there are particular circumstances that an elite lifter may round their back…key note here they’ve been working their technique over and over for a decade at least. But who I am targeting are the non elite lifters and this spinal action.

I think it’s important to note that although most of us are jacked up we may not feel any symptoms of pain, but it doesn’t give us a pass go card to go through the span of flexing the spine, albeit, rounding or go in the other direction of extension. Complete extension. Too much of anything is not good. Well except millions of bucks. I don’t care what people say that kind of money would bring me a special kind of happiness…


Dr. Vince Lobato (chiropractor, friend and mentor) and I have had repeated discussions around the spine. The position is the most important factor unloaded or loaded and can be easiest path to disc herniation(s) and bulge(s).

This is no game to play with seriously. And to do such just to conquer a lift for one does not pay the dividends and two you are being talked about by on lookers. The ones who know anyway. And by the ones who will think they know but like you do the same thing but swear their not.


What To Do To Fix The Problem

The first thing one needs to make note of is what a decent spine looks like. It has normal curve (kyphotic) in the upper back and and another curve (lordotic) in the lower back.


set up..


The key is TENSION!


Where many people falter is in their initial set-up. Just dropping down to pick up the bar is not it. One thing Ive learned is how to use the lats. It’s such a big muscle that covers a lot space from the arm down to the pelvis simply put.


hip and shoulder position…

Getting the lats to engage to a greater degree is a full proof way to provide more spinal stability and prevent the back from rounding during a Deadlift.


Often times people rip out “pull your shoulder blades together” thinking this will solve the problem but it really doesn’t. In fact I think it makes the lift even more difficult and actually harder for one to get into good position to lift.


get long and tall…

Creating tightness throughout the body is essential but it in areas desired.

I like to tell people pull on the bar without trying actually lift the weight and so to take the slack out of the bar.


The combination of these cues I believe will help activate the lats and provide a more stability to the spine.


on the way down..

Make OJ is a word I think of cues such as with oranges in your armpit and squeeze. That is tension. This is what we are seeking. If this is still hard to do I would say some work would need to be done for lat activation moving with the hip hinge pattern.


Hope this helps! Dead lift right or don’t dead lift…and the latter would be unexcuseable!