Deadlifting - how comfortable are you doing them.


You’ve heard the saying “deadlifts don’t hurt your back, your crappy form does” - We’ve been deadlifting since we were 2- why do we lose this movement pattern?

Generally speaking there are two major components someone must have in order to deadlift a weight safely, these include adequate hamstring length and core stabilization. Deadlifting is a hip hinging movement pattern- hips move backwards as opposed to downwards such as in a squat. The shins remain vertical where as in the squat they will travel forwards.

You can test your hamstring length by lying on the ground and doing an active straight leg raise. This movement can either be limited by hamstring tightness or a lack of core engagement. If either are a limiting factor, we can still deadlift but lets use a platform to bring the weight higher to accommodate for the short hamstrings. If core stabilization is our problem, shift the kettlebell into one hand, train the suitcase deadlift to challenge the core. Again use a riser if you notice your weight or hips shift so proper engagement occurs and you’re movement pattern is solid. And the best part is YOU CAN LIFT HEAVY from an elevated platform using good technique. These modifications PLUS working on hamstring stretching and core stabilization, may allow you to eventually remove the platforms to one day pull from the ground once again, PAIN FREE. And if you never remove the platforms not matter how consistent you train mobility and stability- oh well, rest assured there are probably some 6ft 8” basketball players who never pull from the floor because it’s just too damn far away! .

Kettlebells are a great way to work on deadlift form if the barbell has always seemed difficult to you. Don’t let your ego get in the way of using one just because everyone else is using a straight bar. You may start the conversation of why at your gym- and that’s awesome. .

Find a coach or movement based health professional who can help you deconstruct your deadlift. If you are unsure if you have the movement requirements to deadlifts, book an appointment so we can break it down for you. If there’s a will, there’s a way!

~Find your passion, find what moves you, find your strength in movement~

Gina Perrault