Everyone involved in crossfit training knows the deadlift works a wide range of muscles throughout the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. When a deadlift is performed properly, there is a mild, natural arch in the lower back during the first stage of a lift. While this is acceptable, it’s important to avoid any rounding of your lower back in the process. This rounding happens when an athlete reaches too far forward and puts extra stress on the supporting muscle groups and spine.
Here are some tips to consider for reducing back arching during this weight training staple:
• Switch to weightlifting shoes – they are designed to provide added support through an elevated heel. The hard soles of these shoes also help to transfer increased energy from the floor to the lifter.
• Make sure your starting position has good form. Don’t bend forward to grab the bar, instead keep your chest lifted as you drop your hips. Remember, if your chest faces the floor – you’re likely rounding your back and over-stressing your body.
• Keep your head in alignment – stare at a spot on an opposing wall to slightly elevate your chin for better form.
• When pulling the bar, keep it against your shins and hips on the way up. This positions the bar closer to your natural center of gravity and prevents you from bending too far forward or rounding your back.
• Make sure you’re lifting the proper load for your capability. It’s okay to push yourself, however if you’re a novice focus more on technique than load in the beginning. Before you attempt a max lift, make certain your form is good.