The 3 Mistakes Powerlifters Make When Dealing With Back Pain

What you need to know about getting pain free as a powerlifter

1. Just Stretching And Foam Rolling

These are passive modalities and while they have their uses, you are meant to move.

Your muscles don’t get tight for no reason. Generally there is a joint position issue that is causing your muscles to become chronically tight and until you address that, you’ll keep ending up sore and stiff.

2. Not going through breathing/bracing mechanics

If you’re trying to lift with poor diaphragmatic function (anteriorly tilted pelvis, overly elevated ribcage), you’re going to be severely lacking in your ability to generate a strong BRACE (intra-abdominal pressure).

This brace is what stabilizes your spine in the heavy compound movements and reduces the potential for movement at the spine. A stiffer spine is a stronger spine in the barbell lifts.

As the late Konstantin Konstantinovs said: “This is my belt” *slaps stomach*

3. Not developing the hip hinge

The last thing I see with lifters who complain of persistent back tightness is that they can’t hinge their hips. This is the act of creasing at the hip joint and shifting the center of mass backwards while keeping a fixed spinal position (NOT BENDING/EXTENDING THE SPINE AS YOU MOVE YOUR HIPS).

As basic as it is, you’d be surprised how many lifters can’t perform this basic pattern but are still quite strong. In my coaching experience, improving the hip hinge pattern via focused technique work and building up movements such as pull throughs, Romanian deadlifts and good mornings works very well at not only boosting the strength of these lifters but also for reducing pain.

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