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From the vault: Common power lifting technique faults causing low back injury

October 18, 2011

For those who have experience treating power lifters….or if you lift yourself, you will be aware of these two scenario’s and how they should be avoided at all costs in order to prevent a low back ‘blow-out.’  For all of you new lifters, or doc’s who find themselves with a lifter on their table, these tips will be of great value to you and your patient.

The video reviews two concepts – 1st is the use ‘pre-loading’ or ‘feed forward tension’ which prepares the body for the lift (which will make you stronger) while simultaneously stiffening the spine to prevent spinal segmental buckling (“blowing out” your back); the 2nd the the idea of catching the weight to prevent the bounce when the weight is dropped.

P.S.  Fast repetitive dead lifting for time is a good source of patients  😉


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason Izraelski permalink
    October 18, 2011 5:35 pm

    Dr. Spina – Heavy deadlifts for speed are undoubtedly a bad idea given the intense technical requirements of the lift required to ensure safety.

    Deadlifts are primarily a strength exercise. What are your thoughts on speed deadlifts done at 50 percent 1RM to improve muscle recruitment and power production?

    • October 18, 2011 6:40 pm

      Hey doc
      Good question….as you said, the premise behind performing the dead lift is to improve strength. More specifically, the dead lift is a great pure strength exercise due to the inherent ‘dead start involved.’ In terms of utilizing it for power production, I have no issue with lifting the weight with a high speed…in fact, I think that is very important to do so, after all Power = the ability to execute strength quickly. However I feel that this can be done after sufficiently bracing the spine before the lift. I don’t see the benefit of repeatedly bouncing it off the ground and jerking the weight up with the back. All this serves to do is increase your chances of a severe buckle

      • October 18, 2011 6:54 pm

        Having said that…if your sport requires you to perform such an activity quickly and repetitively, then you could argue that the risk is worth the reward. In this case I advise only that you maintain a constant brace during the lift….

      • Jason Izraelski permalink
        October 18, 2011 10:17 pm

        Thanks Dr. Spina – I wold never advocate bouncing the weight as it defeats the purpose of a “dead”lift in addition to the inherent dangers of doing so. Simply lifting a lower weight as quickly and explosively as possible is what I meant. Something hard to do with a 1RM on the bar. Hopefully that clarifies what i meant. Great feedback and Thank you for the reply!

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