Isometric Deadlift Holds for Low Back Pain

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Deadlifting and Low Back Pain: Have you ever hurt your back deadlifting just as the weight breaks the floor? 🏋🏻 Here I'm wedging the barbell underneath the J hooks, pushing my feet hard into the ground, keeping my lats rigid and irradiating as much force as I can into the bar and floor. For certain powerlifters recovering from back pain, I find this more helpful than say, a side plank or a dead bug. You feel this in your low back, glutes, hamstrings, and every other region necessary for deadlifting. You also generate MUCH more isometric force which has analgesic, or pain-relieving effects (PMID 29163981, 25979840) so it does what those commonly prescribed planks do, but so much more. 💥 I think exercises like the bird dog, dead bug and plank can occasionally be useful rehab. However I think one misconception about these exercises is that people with back pain have these unstable spines that need stabilization. This idea originated from Paul Hodges' research (PMID 8961451) which suggested certain core muscles like the transverse abdominis and the multifidus need to fire in certain sequences and with specific timing in order to prevent pain (a notion that has since been thoroughly challenged due to it committing the questionable cause logical fallacy). From this many PTs have cued their patients to pull their belly buttons inwards as if it provided some sort of protective stabilization effect against back pain. 🐘 Since Hodges' study, there has been less-wrong evidence that suggests stabilization exercises are no more effective than general forms of active exercise for low back pain (PMID 25488399). For powerlifters strengthening the muscles of the trunk is still very important but rehab exercises can be more effective by encouraging greater magnitudes of isometric resistance in more relevant positions. And the transverse abdominis doesn't need any more special focus. Again I think traditional core stabilization exercises have their appropriate time and place, but I don't think un-injured powerlifters need to religiously do them as preventative measures against low back pain under what I feel is a false premise of creating a "stable spine". _ #ClinicalAthlete

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