Deadlift back pain – Conquer 6 common deadlift mistakes

Deadlift back pain

You just had a great back workout, Created a new PR (Personal record) in deadlift now you’re gonna sleep and the next morning you are feeling soreness and lower back pain due to deadlift. Soreness might be good but the pain isn’t let take a look at things that you might have done that caused you to suffer from deadlift back pain.

Deadlift, dumbbell lunges, barbell squats these are some of the examples of multi-joint exercise when you do the heavy lifting in these multi-joint exercises incorrectly your body is also going to respond the same way. If you do the deadlift correctly your muscle is going to respond the same way that is undergoing muscle hypertrophy and promote muscle growth and we all want that but when done incorrectly deadlift can cause lower back pain and worst-case scenario can cause heavy injury that might prevent you from lifting again.

As I said above soreness after deadlift is common but if you’re experiencing pain there is a high probability that you’re doing something wrong for example if you can’t bend, it pains as you twist your back these are some of the signs that you need to check what are you doing wrong while deadlifting?

As deadlift is a compound movement exercise and people often make mistakes, lots of mistakes while performing a deadlift, and at the end that leaves them with deadlift back pain. For some, it’s due to ego-lifting, for some bad form, whatever the reason we’ll cover the do not so you can stimulate proper muscle growth through deadlifting rather than experiencing pain.

  1. Deadlift back pain due to Improper Movement

One of the main reasons would be the Improper movement of arms. shoulder, and hips. When you’re doing a deadlift you’re bringing it up to the top position but you will see some people repeating this mistake that is that they’re going to roll back their shoulder and overextend their hips forward. There is a number of reasons that you shouldn’t do this.

when you roll back your shoulder while deadlifting it is going to put unnecessary pressure on your spine which can eventually lead you to an injury. Overextending your hips is the same as rolling back your shoulder because when you do that you’re going to put unwanted pressure on your lumbar leading you to an injury.

Another common mistake with the movement is that people think they have to lift the bar with the help of the arms instead of lifting from your arm you have to keep your arms fully extended throughout the lift that includes the lowering of the bar too. You need to push through your hips and squeeze your glutes but do not overextend. Eccentric and concentric movement is equally important so lowering the bar with the same movement is as important as lifting the bar.

2. Deadlift back pain due to the wrong exercise

Deadlift by the word itself means that the bar would be lying dead on the floor that will be your starting position, lifting the barbell from the ground and bring it back to start will be counted as one rep. Now you may have seen most of the people think the barbell on the top position is the starting point so they’re not engaging in the full range of motion, for instance, they bring the barbell below or close to knee level and then return to the top position and this is called “Romanian deadlift” which is a very different form of the deadlift.

For deadlift bar lying on the floor is the starting position as well as ending position be sure to get the full range of motion.

3. Deadlift back pain due to hips being too low

When lifting a barbell to perform a deadlift you will see one common mistake that they bring their hips too low making it look like they are about to perform a squat. Their hip will be in a straight line with knees but what they have to do is keep their hips positioned slightly higher than the knees.

An easy way to remember your hips position would be in squats think like you’re sitting on a chair as for a deadlift it would be like that you’re bowing with the knee slightly bent now just pick up the rod and you’re good to go. When you’re performing a deadlift in a squat position all you’re doing is just putting unnecessary pressure on your legs and that will leave you with performing just another variation of squats.

Another reason why you shouldn’t be in a squat position but in bowing? because when you’re in a bowing position your hamstrings will be engaged and ready to assist you with your lift whereas if you’re low like in squat position you have to get into that range of motion till you get in that position you’re hamstrings will not be engaged and that will put unrequited pressure. Also when your hips are too low there is a high chance of you banging the barbell on your shins and knee as you bring the barbell up. So lift with hip positioned in the right way.

4. Deadlift back pain due to rounded back

You may have seen this happen and there can be 2 reasons for that happening and also causing deadlift back pain.

Reason no.1 would be the deadlift is working another way around instead of you lifting the weight, the weight is pulling you down so just for the sack of rep you’re lifting the weight with bad form and rounded back which could lead to potential injury. Instead, you have to do is contract your lats and shoulder back, back straight and chest up.

Reason no.2 is that you have placed a bar too far away from your feet and if you got a bar too far away from your feet so lifting that bar will be an invitation to unnecessary pressure and that could lead you to an injury. Instead, you have to make sure that the bar is positioned in the middle, direct center of your feet that is the best position for you to lift from.

5. Deadlift back pain due to excessive/unwanted use of lifting gears

Yes, straps and belts are quite helpful when you’re trying to break or create a PR (Personal record) but that’s it they are just to help you with a heavy load you should avoid developing a habit of totally relying on them for your lifts. If you can lift the weight by yourself and do your reps then do it, you don’t need gears also you don’t need an under-overhand grip.

Do deadlift with an overhand grip that helps with developing lower back and grip strength. When you just rely on straps and belts or under-overhand grip you don’t allow the development of targeted muscles. Another reason for deadlift back pain can be improper footwear. For deadlift and many other compound exercises, you need flat-soled shoes.

You should avoid shoes filled with gel because they would be lifting your heels from the ground, aim to keep your feet as flat as possible. Use lifting gear when you need to just rely on it as a necessity.

6. Deadlift back pain due to dropping of weights

While most of the people do half of the rep correctly, that’s the first half bring the barbell to the top after that they just drop the weights, gravity takes over and it feel easier to just drop the weights. There is a number of reason why you shouldn’t drop the weights?

When you let gravity takeover, the uncontrolled dropping forces your body to get out of the form and causes serious pain in your lower back that can lead to an injury. Keep your core and lats engaged throughout the lift that can help you lower the barbell with total control and avoid the risk of back pain.


Experiencing soreness is okay, but if you feel the pain you need to get in check with your personal doctor. If you have a hard time doing deadlift there are a various variation of deadlift that doesn’t involve lifting weights from the ground up which makes them easier, you can try these variations. Another great course for you to do a traditional deadlift would be with the help of a trap bar (which allows a person to step in between the weights with handles on the sides).

After a good workout session, it is necessary to do after-workout stretching that will act as a catalyst to better recovery. If you want to lift heavy weights then focus on myofibrillar hypertrophy. Now you know the reason deadlift back pain can occur I hope you would keep these points in mind when crushing your PR. Spread this knowledge of deadlift back pain with your workout partner to keep them safe from back pain. That’s the end of the deadlift back pain article.

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