How many times has someone informed you that they pulled out their back bending over to pick something up? Probably at least once, and that one time is typically considered the reason why they pulled “their back out.” The best analogy I’ve remembered that explained the mechanism behind how injuries occur is to think of a bucket sitting underneath a leaking faucet.
Drops are slowly adding to the bucket over time and eventually, overflow happens. The overflow is the point at which an injury occurs happens. It probably wasn’t the bending over that one time to pick the basket up that threw your back out, it was not learning how to hinge into your hips (why we learn to deadlift). Maybe another advocate was sitting at a desk for hours in the slumped posture we have come to learn so much about. For this post specifically, I wanted to share two videos which I have found to be powerful in teaching people how to learn to stand up, sit down, and pick up/put bars down safely. Here is something for everyone that may seem stupid but then again crushing your back over and over again with foolish movements is stupid in my book. I love Dan John’s explanation and typical response to “squats/deadlifts hurt my back.” The answer after watching them do perform those lifts…No, how you are squatting or deadlifting is hurting your back.
Notice: hips driving the movement while the torso remains stiff.
Tony Gentilcore, who I think provides some of the best information out there, gives one of the best explanations for setting up to deadlift correctly. Watch, listen, and learn so that you avoid an injury later or so that you can know more cues to help athletes get stronger safely.