There is a lot of folklore about deadlifts being scary. This misconception comes from a place of misunderstanding. I have heard many stories of people getting hurt while “deadlifting” and many of you probably know someone who got hurt “deadlifting.” Usually, the videos I see of people performing deadlifts are not deadlifts at all. Why deadlifts are so scary is not knowing how to properly do a deadlift. This often leads to serious injury. Learning how to properly hip hinge and deadlift is often pivotal to keep your back and knees healthy as we age. It can also leave you with a shelf booty just like Jenny from the block.
Next time you watch someone pick up a box or a couch or anything else from the floor try to take notice of how they do it. Do they round their back? Most likely they will. Do their knees bend? Maybe, but only if necessary. Do they keep the object as close to them as they can? Nope. Do they use their legs to regain an upright posture? Nope. Do they brace their abdominals? Nope again. Most of the time when you see someone pick something up off the floor, it looks like Image 1.
This is what poor posture looks like. Instead of doing all those things depicted in image 1, which will likely lead to injury, you should do the exact opposite. Let’s break down image 2 below:
Do they round their back? Nope. Do their knees bend? Only enough to meet the fundamentals of the movement:
· Keep the shoulders higher than the hips
· Keep the hips higher than the knees
· Maintain a vertical shin.
Do they keep the object as close to them as they can? Absolutely! Do they use their legs to regain an upright posture? Absolutely. Do they brace their abdominals? Yup. Image 2 is what a safe deadlift looks like.
If something comes with a warning label and says read instructions before use, you probably are going to do so before using. A deadlift, with all the negative stigmas that go along with it, should probably follow the same rules. Learn how to properly perform the movement before implementing it, especially before trying to max out. If someone picks up a box or grocery bag in an unsafe manner, then it will most likely show up when deadlifting.
This makes absolute sense why so many people get injured while deadlifting. They never learned how to do the movement properly and became obsessed with picking heavy shit off the ground. I completely understand, it is incredibly fun to lift heavy shit off the ground, but it’s even more fun to avoid injury while doing so. The amount of weight you can lift does not matter if it was accomplished by poor movement quality. Swallow your ego, take some weight off the bar, and find a coach who can teach you how to do it.