Four Smart Exercises To Do If Deadlifts Hurt Your Lower Back


Kirsten Macnab |

This weeklong workout plan from Alex Viada fuses new science with proven training strategies. You’ll not only build the best body of your life but also turbocharge your strength and endurance. Follow the programme for up to eight weeks

1. Barbell Rack Pull

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WHY IT WORKS: You’re mimicking the mechanics of deadlifting from the floor but eliminating the first part of the movement – the part that’s typically most problematic.

HOW TO DO IT: Set up blocks or a power rack so the bar is at mid-shin to knee height (or higher). Bend at your hips and knees and grab the bar overhand, your arms just outside your legs. Now stand up, thrusting your hips forward as you pull the bar from the blocks or rack. Do 3 sets of 6 reps.

2. Farmer’s Walk

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WHY IT WORKS: It targets your grip, upper back, and core without putting force on your lower back.

HOW TO DO IT: Grab a heavy dumbbell or kettle bell in each hand and walk slowly forward for 30 to 60 seconds. That’s 1 set; do 4.

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

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WHY IT WORKS: It places a huge load on your glutes and hamstrings with less of the lower-back stress associated with a traditional deadlift.

HOW TO DO IT: Sit on the floor with your back against a bench and a heavy barbell across your hips. (Using a pad or towel can make it more comfortable.) Grip the bar, bend your knees, and plant your feet flat on the floor directly under your knees. Now thrust your hips up and squeeze your glutes as if you’re cracking walnuts between your butt cheeks. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 8.

4. Single-Leg Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

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WHY IT WORKS: You’re challenging your posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings, calves) without using backbreaking weight.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand and shift your weight to your left foot. Hinge forward on your left leg until the dumbbells come close to the floor, keeping your right leg in line with your torso and your right foot pointed toward the floor. Your back should stay straight throughout. Reverse the move and repeat. Do 4 sets of 10 reps; then switch legs and repeat.

READ MORE ON: deadlift Health