Deadlifts – beneficial or harmful?

Woman lifting weights

When are deadlifts beneficial and when are they harmful? Our sports therapist Chloe Witts explains this further…

Deadlifts can be beneficial in athletic strength and conditioning programs due to the movement of simultaneous triple extension (extension of the hip, knee & ankle). This pattern of movement is seen in most sports and in power training (the next phase following the strength phase).

Lack of core strength and stability as well as poor technique can mean that deadlifts put too much pressure on the joints and discs in the lower back. Quite often people will rush into high load strength exercises and forget about their core. In order to prevent lower back injuries, you must keep your back straight, chest high and head up. Keep weights low in order to master technique and use blocks if range of movement is a struggle. Quite often full dead lift range is not necessary, however certain positions in rugby will benefit from this.

Use a core strength program 4-6 weeks before strength training and maintain this through your strength cycle. If you suffer from back pain or have had history of back trouble, especially disc conditions then opt for different movements to strengthen your lower limb and trunk. These could be abductor machine, squats, clams and bridges. Your therapist can assess which exercises are best suited to your posture and spine. Contact us for more advice on training and injuries.