Many of us suffer from this problem... Lower Back Pain.  Lower back pain is the result of poor core strength, improper posture, and lack of proper form when training in a fitness program. However, how to address it and relieve those sore spots is a different story. The one exercise we encourage and require all of our personal training fitness clients to perform is the deadlift.

How Does The Deadlift Improve Lower Back Pain?

By doing a deadlift, you are using certain parts of the body and muscles that require a unison type of movement.  In addition, a deadlift is essentially the same motion as picking up a box from the ground.  Obviously there are more moving parts to it, but let's explain how the deadlift improves your lower back pain. By keeping your spine in a straight line, from the lower lumbar to the neck, you begin to teach and train the body to remember that position. What happens when you begin to actually perform a deadlift with resistance is that your core muscles and lower back all become engaged and slightly tense.  Those lower back muscles begin to get stronger.  Your stabilizer muscles begin to fire and work properly.  And your abdominal muscles begin to tighten up. The lack of these muscles being used correctly, as one, is the main reason for lower back pain.  However, by incorporating these muscles more often will begin to strengthen everything around your midsection and lower back.

How To Perform a Proper Deadlift

First of all, before grabbing on to the barbell you need to make sure the center of your feet are directly underneath the barbell and either shoulder width apart, or slightly more.  Toes then need to be pointed completely straight -- NOT angled.  This ensures proper flexion of the ankles and hips, major joints of movement. Second, you need to squat down, by pushing your glutes back as far as possible and creating that flexion motion in the hips, as you then grab onto the barbell with either a cross grip or traditional grip (palms facing back).  Having a poor squat will kill the deadlift and probably shoot a sharp pain into lower back. When you're in the squatting position, you'll need to also make sure that your back, including the lower part, is completely straight.  No curves or roundness to the back -- none!  Again, we are trying to create more strength to relieve your lower back pain. In addition, your shoulders need to be pulled back.  This requires a lot of upper body strength, but if your shoulders role forward you will suffer the same problem, but with the upper back. Third, you'll need to make sure when you begin to lift the barbell that the bar is actually rubbing against your shin and top of the knees the entire time.  This is the biggest mistake our personal training clients do when performing a deadlift. Once you've pulled the barbell to the top position, the bar should roughly be above your knee cap, your shoulders should be pulled back, and your chest should be open.  In addition, your core muscles should be engaged, as this is what stabilizes the body for falling over with so much weight. Fourth, when you begin to bring the barbell down, you'll need to make sure you follow the same instructions, in reverse order.  Make sure the bar rubs down the knees and shins, push your glutes back to a squat position, pull your shoulders back the entire time, and bring the bar to the middle of your feet. Then, the plates on the side should lightly hit the floor, while you pull right back up.

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