Is Low Back Pain and Soreness common after Deadlifts?

Yes. Low back pain is common after deadlifts. It is extremely common to hear people complain about low back pain after a session of deadlifts. However although common it is not ideal or normal.

You can definitely feel back soreness and pain after a session of deadlifts but many times the pain is not intense enough for you to seek help. This is unfortunate as it puts you at risk of injury.  Also, keep in mind that the muscles that you are “working out” are not being targeted properly. By using your back instead of your hips, core, and legs, you are compensating and not achieving the “full potential of the lift”.

Fixing it

The most common faults on the deadlift are:

  1. The Set-up
  2. Hip Hinge/Hip Mobility
  3. Using the wrong variation of deadlift for your body type

#1 The Set Up:

Most people set up for the deadlift with an already rounded back and then try to correct it right before they start the movement. Instead attempt to come down to the bar in an already “chest up” posture:

 

Hip Mobility:

If you are unable to push the hips back with minimal knee bend, your body will compensate by using the low back to pull.

You can read more about hip hinge here

Body Proportions

Depending on each individual’s body proportions there is an ideal form to deadlift to not only protect your back but target the muscles that should be activated through the lift.

Here is an idea

One of the most common assumptions we make is that the proper or “acceptable” form is the one used by experienced lifters on their one max rep attempt. However, this “one-rep max form” should not be the standard for training weight.

Compensations will occur when we lift a weight that we have never lifted before. However, this should not be the form we are using with lighter percentages and higher reps. This only leaves us prone to injure our back and also train the wrong muscles.