Form over weight.
Especially when performing full body lifts like the deadlift or squat.
I see a lot of people sacrificing form when deadlifting in order to pull a few extra pounds. Performing the deadlift with a rounded back puts upwards of 6x more shear stress on your lumbar spine than compared to lifting with a neutral spine.
This is not how to perform a deadlift. Unless you want a herniated disc or an injured lower back.
This is how a proper deadlift should look.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, deadlifting is actually a safe exercise for your back and spine when performed correctly.
Here are cues that I use when teaching the deadlift:
Keep the bar close – the bar should stay as close as possible during the entire movement
Push the hips back (hip hinge) - break at the waist and push your hips back behind you
Put your shoulder blades in your back pocket (I stole that one from Tony Gentlicore) – pull your shoulder blades towards your back pockets to engage their lats, which plays a huge role in protecting the spine as well as increase strength
Tuck your chin - pick a spot on the ground about 10 feet in front of you and stare at it throughout the entire lift
Push the ground down – instead of thinking of picking the bar up, think about driving your feet as hard into the ground as possible
Push the hips through – at the top of the lift, push your hips to extension
Concentrate on form before you start adding weight to the bar. Better yet, start with variations that make learning proper form a little easier, such as the kettlebell deadlift, rack pull, or deadlift from blocks.
Once you are able to perform the deadlift with proper form, then you may start adding weight to the bar. Adding weight to the bar is one of the best ways to continually getting stronger, however it should not come at the expense of poor form and possible injury. As you add weight, continue to make sure your form is in check. A little wiggle room is allowed in certain instances, but proper form should come as a priority.
Performing the deadlift with proper form will not only result in a much safer exercise, but will go a long way in increasing your strength in the long run.
Form over weight.
Be safe my friends!
Till next time,