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Lower Back Pain with Deadlifts

Are you experiencing pain in your back from deadlifting? If you are currently dealing with lower back pain when deadlifting (or have experienced pain in the past), here are a few helpful tips to help combat lower back pain.

Article contents:


Should You Feel Lower Back Pain from Deadlifting?

You may be wondering why your lower back hurts when deadlifting. You're not the first person to experience lower back pain when deadlifting. It is pretty normal for athletes to have low back pain either during the deadlift or after they complete their lift.

Lower back pain doesn't mean your back will explode or you're injured. Ideally, we want our athletes and clients to feel soreness or stiffness in their lower bodies while performing deadlifts with good form.


Tips for Lower Back Pain and Deadlifting

Here are a few reasons your back hurts during your deadlift and helpful tips to avoid pain.

  1. Set your trunk position
  2. Keep your hips down and back


1. Set Your Trunk Position

Often, athletes are worried about rounding their low back when they deadlift. So, in turn, they arch their lower back to decrease the chances of this happening. Arching the lower back can make the lift more difficult than needed, sometimes contributing to low back pain when deadlifting.

Setting your trunk position before addressing the bar is an important tip we recommend to avoid back pain from deadlifting. Get your rib cage over your pelvis and don't round or arch your lower back.


Helpful Drills We Use:

This exercise is used to help reduce back pain:

  1. Supine KB Pullover
  2. 90/90 Hip Lift w/ KB Pullover

When performing these drills, we want to avoid arching the low back and keep the distance between the pelvis and ribs the same.

This can carry over to the deadlift so the athlete can start in this position and get down to the bar efficiently and effectively.


2. Keep Your Hips Down AND Back

A common miscue with the deadlift is that athletes are coached to push their hips back. Pushing the hips back can be a great cue for some athletes and put them in a better position to be able to pull from the floor.

Unfortunately, for some athletes, this puts them in a disadvantageous position to deadlift from the floor. Instead of using the lower body, the lower back has to work harder during the deadlift, to lift the weight and take the stress off the lower body. This stress in the lower back leads to lower back pain and soreness.

Helpful Drill We Use:

As you can see in the video, we used a Banded Hip Hinge to help promote the hips going down AND back. After making this small change, the athlete felt much better with their deadlift from the floor.

Use the tips mentioned above for those struggling with lower back pain when performing the deadlift.


Contact Move Strong Physical Therapy

If you find that your lower back still hurts during or after deadlifting, and it affects your training or day-to-day life, we are here to help. It’s okay to feel sore or stiff from performing deadlifts. Lower back pain doesn't mean your back will explode or you're injured.

Contact us to take that first step to getting back to pain-free deadlifts.


Download Our Lower Back Pain E-book

Andrew Millett
Andrew Millett
Post by Andrew Millett
April 6, 2023



We’ve helped many people get out of pain and get back to their lives. Let us help you too! Contact our Hudson, MA physical therapy clinic.

This website does not provide medical advice. Consult with your physician or a licensed medical practitioner if you are dealing with an active injury or seeking medical advice.