Stop Guessing and Start Assessing: The Deadlift

25 July 2019

Whether you are consciously aware or not, performing a deadlift in a gym setting closely resembles the biomechanical and physiological demands that are placed upon our bodies during every day life. Essentially, the deadlift is a hip hinge and is involved in many activities of daily living (ADL's), such as bending down to pick up a box from the floor.

Clinical experience dictates that the sudden onset of low back pain that arises at the lowest portion of the hip hinge, occurs prior to the ascent (lift) phase in the absence of external load. In other words, the time interval between the initiation of picking an object up from the floor and lifting it up presents a vulnerable moment whereby injury may occur. Surprisingly, it may not be  a heavy external load which acts as the 'last straw to break the camel's back'. Therefore, if the analysis of your deadlift is biomechanically similar when executing it with bodyweight versus with external load added, this may present some concern, as it indicates that your body cannot adapt or emerge to a new constraint or body position.

Consequently, we have decided to use the deadlift analysis as a means of prescribing good lifting mechanics that can carry over into your workplace and at home rather than assuming it is only relevant for those who deadlift in a gym setting.

Regarding the technique or style of the individual, as a general means, the squat and deadlift present opposing ends of the hip-ankle continuum. It is quite common to find that those with poor ankle and hip mobility, will tend to deadlift their squat. It is also common to find that those with poor hamstring flexibility will show a tendency to squat their deadlift. These, as well as other parameters, can be identified to better understand why a preference is shown and how this information can be used to either modify the movement for immediate performance improvements or create long-term efficiency to prevent further deficit manifestations.

It is important that we analyse your data with load (using a barbell or box) and without load in both the concentric and eccentric phase of the movement, as different patterns will emerge due to different brain networks taking part in different modes of contraction.

The assessment will include the following:

  • Ascent (concentric) analysis - Examine the initial, mid and end phase of the deadlift during the first and last repetition.
  • Descent (eccentric) analysis - Examine the mid-phase of the deadlift during the 1st and last repetition.

Similarly to our squat analysis, we are pleased to be able to offer this comprehensive analysis using the latest software, including a personalised consultation with Dr Yazbek explaining the results, at an introductory offer of $49 for a limited time.

If you are interested in minimizing injury risk at work, home or in a gym setting,  click here to make an appointment.

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