Deadlifts are a part of our daily lives, whether we practice them in the gym or not. In this blog, we will go over the four types of deadlifts that we teach our patients at Calispine. Deadlifts can be extremely complex, so it is important to remember to focus on maintaining a flat back and making sure you feel tension in the back of your legs and glutes. If your back hurts before or after doing any of these motions with light weight, read our blog on the types of lower back pain for further assistance.

How to Do a Deadlift

Our goal here is not to get to you deadlift 100 pounds. Instead, we would like you to apply the basic motions that you would do in a deadlift if you were to pick something off the ground. This motion ensure your spine stays neutral instead of rounding into your low back compromising your spinal discs. Below, we go over the various ways to do a deadlift.

Romanian (Straight-Leg) Deadlift (RDL)

The RDL (Left image) is the motion that our patients use the most in their daily lives with or without weight. When practicing this motion, you should feel tension in your glutes and hamstrings, not your lower back. Observe yourself doing this motion in the mirror and look to see if your back arches or rounds as you hinge over. It is very important for your back to stay flat. All too often people stand over a workbench, sink, or counter with a rounded posture, (middle image) which contributes to back and neck pain.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (S/L RDL)

The S/L RDL is an incredible strengthening exercise with heavy weight. And if you need to pick up something quickly, this movement can protect your lower back.

To do this movement, pretend you have a metal rod that goes through your body from your head to your heels. Make sure that your upper body and leg stay in line and keep your back flat. If you have difficulty balancing, use a wall. Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you do this, the more your balance will improve. This is one of the easiest ways for patients to pick up objects without hurting their lower back.

Sumo Deadlift

This is a powerful movement for your daily life. We have patients using the sumo deadlift to pick up large objects like furniture, potted plants, moving boxes, etc. The hips are much lower in the sumo deadlift compared to the normal deadlift, yet remember that the back remains flat.

For more assistance with these exercises, keep in touch with us here at Calispine. We can teach you how to strengthen your spine and ensure your body is in optimal condition.