Lower Back Pain From Deadlifts: 5 Ways to Avoid it

  • Deadlifts can put an excessive amount of strain on the lower back if they are done incorrectly.
  • You should primarily feel the muscles in your lower body working when performing deadlifts correctly.
  • To avoid further injury and encourage healing, it's critical to give your recovery top priority.

lower back pain from deadlifts

Are you sick of having lower back from deadlifts at the gym? It's not just you. Deadlifts are a very efficient exercise for developing strength and muscle, but if done incorrectly, they can also be a major source of pain. But don't worry! We'll look at five doable, simple strategies in this article to help you prevent lower back pain from deadlifts. We've got you covered on everything from perfecting your form to including particular warm-up exercises. Say good-bye to those bothersome pains and hello to a back that is stronger and pain-free. These pointers, whether you're an experienced exerciser or a novice, will help you maximize the benefits of your deadlifts while avoiding undue strain on your back. Let's get started and learn how to maintain a healthy and happy back while deadlifting.

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain from Deadlifts

A compound exercise called a deadlift works the lower back as well as other muscles. Deadlifts can put an excessive amount of strain on the lower back if they are done incorrectly or with too much weight, which can cause pain and discomfort. It is essential to be aware of the typical reasons why deadlifts can cause lower back pain in order to prevent such injuries.

Inappropriate form is a frequent cause. The load is not distributed evenly throughout your body when your form is poor, which puts undue stress on your lower back. An additional factor is beginning with too much weight. To give your body time to adapt and build the necessary muscles, you should gradually increase the weight you lift. Lower back pain from deadlifts can also be caused by a weak core and lower body. The lower back takes on the bulk of the load if these muscles are not properly engaged. Finally, overuse injuries, including lower back pain, can result from a lack of rest and recovery.

We can avoid lower back pain from deadlifts in five different ways now that we are aware of the common causes.

1. Use Proper Form

lower back pain from deadlifting

The key to avoiding lower back pain from deadlifts is to use proper form. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing outward. Maintain a straight back and an uplifted chest while bending at the knees and hips. Grip the bar just outside your legs while contracting your abdominals. Push through your heels as you lift the bar, keeping your shoulders back and your back straight. You risk straining your lower back if you round your back or jerk the weight up.

It's beneficial to have a knowledgeable trainer or seasoned lifter walk you through the proper technique to ensure proper form. When you have perfected the form, start with lighter weights and gradually increase them as you gain comfort and confidence. Always keep in mind that the risk of injury is not worth sacrificing form to lift heavier weights.

2. Warm-up with Lighter Weight First

Warming up your muscles and getting your body ready for the demanding exercise is crucial before starting heavy deadlifts. Start your deadlift session with lighter weights to warm up your muscles and improve blood flow. This will lessen the chance of injury and help prevent sudden strain on your lower back.

Start with bodyweight exercises to warm up your lower body, such as squats and lunges. Use light dumbbells or kettlebells to gradually increase resistance after that. High repetition deadlifts should be done several times with a weight that is considerably lighter than your working weight. This will lessen the likelihood of lower back pain by allowing your muscles to warm up and become accustomed to the movement pattern.

3. Strengthen Your Core and Lower Body

Maintaining proper form during deadlifts and avoiding lower back pain require a strong core and lower body. You can more effectively distribute the load and ease the strain on your lower back by strengthening these muscles.

Include core-focused exercises in your regular workouts, such as planks, Russian twists, and bicycle crunches. To strengthen and stabilize your core muscles, aim for at least two to three weekly sessions. Moreover, incorporate lower-body exercises like squats, lunges, and Romanian deadlifts. Your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps will become stronger thanks to these exercises, supporting your lower back during deadlifts.

4. Use Weight That You Can Handle

Using weights that are too heavy for their current strength level when deadlifting is one of the most frequent errors people make. Although it may be tempting to push yourself with heavier weights, it's important to put emphasis on proper form and technique rather than weight lifted. Making sure that your muscles are properly engaged by using weights that you can manage will lessen the stress on your lower back.

Start with a weight that enables you to complete one deadlift with proper form and no pain or discomfort. Increase the weight gradually and incrementally as your strength and proficiency improve. Keep in mind that progress takes time, and that using good form when lifting lighter weights is preferable to using poor form when lifting heavier weights.

5. Prioritize Rest

Although they are frequently forgotten, rest and recovery are essential for avoiding injuries, including lower back pain from deadlifts. After challenging workouts, your muscles need time to recover and strengthen. Overuse injuries and chronic pain can result from not getting enough rest.

Incorporate rest days into your training plan, and pay attention to your body. Take a break from deadlifting and give your body time to heal if you experience any lower back pain or discomfort. On days off, concentrate on recovery-enhancing exercises like foam rolling, stretching, and light mobility drills. The best healing and injury prevention depend on getting enough sleep and eating the right things.

Which Muscles Should You Feel the Most When Deadlifting?

You should primarily feel the muscles in your posterior chain working when performing deadlifts correctly. The muscles on the back of your body, such as your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, make up the posterior chain. Together, these muscles help your body remain stable and produce power for the exercise.

As you lift the weight, concentrate on contracting your glutes and hamstrings to make sure you're working the right muscles. At the peak of the movement, squeeze your glutes while driving through your heels. There ought to be a noticeable contraction of these muscles. Your lower back should also be tightened up, but not overly so. You may need to modify your form or lower the weight being lifted if you experience excessive strain or pain in your lower back.

How to Recover from Lower Back Pain Caused by Deadlifting Improperly

Despite your best efforts, deadlifting may still cause lower back pain, particularly if you've been using poor form or lifting excessive weight. To avoid further injury and encourage healing, it's critical to give your recovery top priority if you find yourself in this situation.

Get professional guidance from a licensed healthcare provider, such as a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist, before doing anything else. They are able to evaluate your health and offer individualized advice based on your needs. In general, the steps listed below can assist in alleviating lower back pain brought on by deadlifting:

  • Rest: Stop deadlifting and any other activities that make your pain worse. Rest and recover your lower back.
  • Ice or Heat: During the first 48 hours following the injury, apply ice or a cold pack to the injured area for 15-20 minutes several times per day. After that, you can use heat therapy, like a warm compress or heating pad, to encourage blood flow and muscle relaxation.
  • Stretch and Strengthen: Stretching and strengthening exercises should be gradually added once your pain begins to go away to increase your lower back's flexibility and mobility. Exercises to strengthen your lower body and core can also support your lower back during the healing process.
  • Physical Therapy: Take into account getting professional assistance from a physical therapist who can offer specific exercises and techniques to address your unique condition and assist you in regaining strength and mobility.
  • Gradual Return: Reintroduce deadlifts gradually as your discomfort lessens and your strength increases. Start with lighter weights while keeping proper form and technique in mind. Increase the weight gradually only when you are pain-free and confident.

Never forget that healing requires time and patience. Rushing the procedure can result in more damage and setbacks. Give attention to your long-term health and wellbeing, pay attention to your body, and seek professional advice.


Deadlift-related lower back pain can be annoying and discouraging. However, by adopting the proper mindset and tactics, you can reduce your risk of harm while still reaping the rewards of this potent exercise. You can protect your back and get the most out of your deadlift sessions by using proper form, warming up properly, strengthening your core and lower body, using the right weights, and giving rest top priority.

Recall that prevention is the key. Don't rush into heavy weights before your body is ready; instead, take the time to learn and perfect your technique. Deadlifting may cause lower back pain, so give your recovery top priority and seek advice from a professional as needed. Lower back pain can be overcome with time and effort, allowing you to advance in your fitness goals.

So let's deadlift our way to a stronger, pain-free back. Lace up your lifting shoes, grab that barbell.


  1. Berglund, L., Aasa, B., Hellqvist, J., Michaelson, P., & Aasa, U. (2015). Which Patients With Low Back Pain Benefit From Deadlift Training? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29(7), 1803–1811. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000000837 ‌https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25559899/
  2. Fischer, S. C., Calley, D. Q., & Hollman, J. H. (2021). Effect of an Exercise Program That Includes Deadlifts on Low Back Pain. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 30(4), 672–675. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2020-0324 ‌https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33626500/


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