Lower back pain from deadlifts, and how to prevent it

Photo of author

By Sean James

We’ve all been there; we’re at the gym, get the barbell out and attempt to pick it up from the floor. Then suddenly your back doesn’t feel right, and you sense a twinge. The next day you wake and can barely move.

So, how do you prevent the dreaded deadlift lower back pain? Having correct form when attempting a deadlift can reduce the number of injuries to your lower back. Not lifting with your ego, and with a straight back can also help reduce injury.

Keep reading to find out how to prevent pain happening when performing a deadlift.

How do you deadlift without lower back pain?

Learning how to deadlift correctly can massively improve your form and overall lift. In the gym, you see a lot of people attempting to lift more than they’re capable. You see them reach down to the bar, their hips shoot up, and their back bends like a banana while attempting to shift the weight. Doing this will cause significant injury over time. Instead: start with a light barbell and lift it with correct form. Even better; seek advice from a personal trainer at your local gym.

Can you deadlift with lower back pain?

I’m by no means a personal trainer or a trained physiotherapist. But from my research and personal experience, I would not recommend deadlifting with lower back pain. Think about it. Your back is painful, and you’re attempting to lift a heavy load away from the floor. It’s a recipe for disaster. If you’re experiencing pain, it might be worth speaking with a trained professional to advise the next steps.

Lower back pain stretches

Strengthing and stretching your muscles that support the lower back can be very beneficial. Have a look at building your core muscles, such as the abdomen and muscles around the lower spine. Doing this will help you gain strength and will result in a better deadlift over time.

Here are two exercises to help build stability in the lower back. If you need more, check out this article from Summit Medical Group.

Standing hamstring stretch:

Put the heel of 1 leg on a stool about fifteen inches high. Keep your leg straight. Lean forward, flexing at the hips ’till you are feeling a light stretch within the back of your thigh. Ensure you do not roll your shoulders or twist at the waist when doing this. The aim is to stretch your leg, not your lower back. Hold the stretch for roughly thirty seconds. Repeat with every leg three times.

Glute stretch:

Lie on your back with each knee bent. Rest your left ankle over the knee of your right leg. Grasp the thigh of the right leg and pull toward your chest. You’ll feel in your butt and probably along the surface of your hip. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds. Then repeat the exercise along with your right ankle over your left knee. Do the workout three times with every leg.


By now I hope you understand back pain from deadlifts can be prevented if performed correctly. Use the correct form and correct weight to ensure a safe lift. Also, if you’re just starting out and need a barbell, check out this one on Amazon.

Side topic? Interested about who holds the deadlift word record? Take a look at this post to find out more.

Leave a comment