November 15, 2018

So what?
Is the safest way to deadlift with a neutral spine? 
If so why is it that some of he worlds best dead lifters in history lift with a rounded back and live to tell their story? People get worried when they see someone or deadlift with a rounded back, and immediately assume there is something wrong with their bodies. Now, I realize this is a controversial thought, so feel free to discuss in the comments. However, understand that most of my argument isn’t a personal opinion, but rather the results of the accumulation of knowledge and my personal experience as a strength coach and an athlete.
This discussion is simply about techniques utilized to lift the most weight, safely, for the purpose of performance. If we look at basic anatomy/biomechanics, with neutral spine posture, you rely mostly on your back extensors (erector spinae, multifidi, QL) to keep your spine stabilized and maintain the natural arches of the spine. But if you slightly round your upper back, you get both active and passive support (key word slightly). So the misconception that the spine is not “stable” in a round position is totally flawed. The spine does indeed stabilize in a rounded position.
In a neutral position stability comes from your elector spinae, intra abdominal pressure, as well as muscles surrounding the core like the rectus abdominis and obliques, which when they contract they actually produce a flexion torque, meaning that they encourage a rounding back.
Now here’s the most important part- most advanced lifters round their UPPER back. If you SLIGHTLY round your (upper) back you get that active plus passive support. The thoracolumbar fascia surrounds the muscles in the core and around the back. When these muscles contract they stretch out this fascia and aid in stability of the spine along with the spinal ligaments, which are also more taut with the back in slight flexion.
Finally, I like to think that there’s no bad movement, but rather the unpreparedness for it. As long as you expose yourself gradually, and strengthen those positions progressively you should be okay. I wouldn’t encourage rounding coming from the lower back, but life requires you to be in awkward positions and you must be ready.

Created by Physical Therapists


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