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  1. #1
    Registered User abhishek4563's Avatar
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    How Common are Deadlift Injuries

    I have been lifting regularly for the past 3 4 months. Most ppl in my gym steer clear from free weight squats and deads, they are happier on their machines and advice me to do the same.
    I refuse to train like that, I like to deadlift, A LOT.(though I lift hardly anything,right now).

    I have been around these forums for quite a while and they are a BIG help. I went through a few threads about deadlift injuries to learn about other peoples experiences and to learn how
    to avoid ending up with an injured back.

    I am **** scared, in all those threads, everyone says that they have injured their back couple of times doing deads, it almost seems like you WILL injure your back if you like to dead.

    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.

    I hope there would be more people who never hurt themselves doing deads than who have.

    Cheers
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  2. #2
    Registered User Pluto1998's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post


    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.

    1) On and off for around 2 years

    2) A few times, mostly it's just a lower back strain, which goes away after a week.

    3) Not concentrating on maintaining my form. When I first started learning how to deadlift, I really needed to focus to use my whole posterior chain to lift the load and not just my lower back.

    Over time, I have moved away from a bodybuilding style approach to deadlifting (lifting to failure, and practicing the lift once a week) to more of an strength training approach, which I practice the deadlift more as a movement and not just an exercise to target specific muscles.
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  3. #3
    Holisticbrah Smacker91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    I have been lifting regularly for the past 3 4 months. Most ppl in my gym steer clear from free weight squats and deads, they are happier on their machines and advice me to do the same.
    I refuse to train like that, I like to deadlift, A LOT.(though I lift hardly anything,right now).

    I have been around these forums for quite a while and they are a BIG help. I went through a few threads about deadlift injuries to learn about other peoples experiences and to learn how
    to avoid ending up with an injured back.

    I am **** scared, in all those threads, everyone says that they have injured their back couple of times doing deads, it almost seems like you WILL injure your back if you like to dead.

    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.

    I hope there would be more people who never hurt themselves doing deads than who have.

    Cheers
    1) 5ish years
    2) 2 or 3 times, pretty seriously
    3) I would say either because my form was slightly off or because I naturally have a pretty long torso which makes conventional deads kinda awkward to perform

    First time I ijured my lower back was from doing deads warming up with 365 without a belt. At the time my belted max was ~500. Now im thinking I might have a herniated disc.
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  4. #4
    Time to Cut Hockey16z's Avatar
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    I hurt my lower left back doing them.. Did it about a month ago and everytime I go back to them I cant go all out because I'll end up feeling it (probably because it's too quick). I've stopped doing them completely last week and I wont do them until I'm 100%.

    If your form is 100%, you shouldn't have any problems tho, most injuries occur from bad form.

    1) Probably a year with a few months break.
    2) Once, annoyingly.
    3) Not 100% sure, probably a form issue.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    I have been lifting regularly for the past 3 4 months. Most ppl in my gym steer clear from free weight squats and deads, they are happier on their machines and advice me to do the same.
    I refuse to train like that, I like to deadlift, A LOT.(though I lift hardly anything,right now).

    I have been around these forums for quite a while and they are a BIG help. I went through a few threads about deadlift injuries to learn about other peoples experiences and to learn how
    to avoid ending up with an injured back.

    I am **** scared, in all those threads, everyone says that they have injured their back couple of times doing deads, it almost seems like you WILL injure your back if you like to dead.

    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.

    I hope there would be more people who never hurt themselves doing deads than who have.

    Cheers
    1. about a year, on and off
    2. about twice. first one was pretty severe, pulled an intercostal rib muscle that took a long time to recover from
    3. according to me the reason for this injury was due to not having a strong enough core to handle the weight that i was pulling. also instead of practicing linear progression with my lifts, i was just going straight for heavy weight from the beginning
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  6. #6
    [300 Spartan Helot] gojimike's Avatar
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    1. I did about a year, on and off
    2. I got injured twice. It was in the lower back but wasn't anything to serious.
    3. The reason was wrong form and lack of warm ups. I did deadlift first thing and didn't do any warm ups. I now do warm ups my doing smaller weights increasing before doing the actual deadlift weight that I will be doing for the day.
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  7. #7
    Registered User chrifive916's Avatar
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    1 - About a year
    2 - Injured once.
    3 - Trying to rush through nd letting my form suffer.

    Any lift can cause injury, I've hurt my shoulders more on bench, and my groin more on squats than my back on deadlift. I think it is because I focus more when doing it, and it is easier to let the mind wander on "safer" exercises.
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  8. #8
    Registered User gates3353's Avatar
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    Been doing deads about 3 years now, up to 500 lbs now. I've experienced some lower back pain on a regular basis. I'm doing 5 sets of deads and 5 sets of back squats in the same week, not to mention full cleans and snatches every workout. It can be stressful, but I figure professional athletes and construction workers have been doing the same for a millenia! I make sure I decondition every 8 weeks. FYI, I'm on an HST program.
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  9. #9
    Registered User abhishek4563's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for your responses!

    I think I just need to perfect my form, go slow and not worry about **** that's out of my control!

    It would still be nice to see more responses though
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  10. #10
    Registered User brent89's Avatar
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    I used to do deadlifts years ago and moved up weight like usual. Than eventually I would push the limits to get every rep and when I would stop the set my body would be shakeing. Sometimes I would go to pee and my hands would be shaking so bad, even my legs would shake I could barely stand up right. Clearly I was putting too much stress on my lower back and it was compressing the actual nerves. Stopped to be safe and I am fine so technically no injuries however all the problems I had was because I was dumb not the exercise. You shouldn't even feel it in your lower back that much. You really gotta focus on bracing your abs and lifting your chest way up I create an arch in your entire back not just the lower back. If you feel it in your lower back a lot just stop the set. You can always do a couple extra sets to get the reps you missed.
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  11. #11
    Registered User abhishek4563's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brent89 View Post
    I used to do deadlifts years ago and moved up weight like usual. Than eventually I would push the limits to get every rep and when I would stop the set my body would be shakeing. Sometimes I would go to pee and my hands would be shaking so bad, even my legs would shake I could barely stand up right. Clearly I was putting too much stress on my lower back and it was compressing the actual nerves. Stopped to be safe and I am fine so technically no injuries however all the problems I had was because I was dumb not the exercise. You shouldn't even feel it in your lower back that much. You really gotta focus on bracing your abs and lifting your chest way up I create an arch in your entire back not just the lower back. If you feel it in your lower back a lot just stop the set. You can always do a couple extra sets to get the reps you missed.
    Yes. I train at a weight where I can manage 8 reps in absolute form and even got a trainer to spot me. But he insists on keeping my knees vertical, pretty much making me do a stiff leg deadlift. I have told him about the Rippetoe approach i.e bar over middle of foot, shin just touching the bar, for the start position and I am going to it this way only.

    I hope 8 reps are Ok since if I train at 6 or fewer reps its very easy to break form.
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  12. #12
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    Never. I always do singles and I get picked on by dudes in my division because I spend about 20 seconds on each lift going through a checklist of things so I dont injure myself. I just try to advise people to not underestimate the lift and to respect its ability to **** you up. Spend more time on technique, and the weight will follow.
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  13. #13
    Registered User m314's Avatar
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    1 - 1 year and 4 months

    2 - Just once, ruptured my distal biceps tendon. I had surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone 5 weeks ago. I'm still in a full arm cast, but only for 8 more days. After that I'll have a couple months of physical therapy. This will set me back about a year in terms of overall strength, but I'll make a full recovery.

    3 - Lifting heavy with a mixed grip.

    I kept increasing the weight every week or every few weeks, trying for a one rep max almost every week. At some point the weight became more than my left biceps tendon could take. I tried 500 for the first time, and I got it. Right hand facing out, left hand facing in. I waited 5 minutes and tried again, this time with the left hand facing out and the right hand facing in. I felt and heard a loud pop about halfway up. I reracked the weight and drove myself to the emergency room. I knew what it was when I saw how the biceps had pulled itself up towards the shoulder.

    I've never injured my back with deadlifts. I've had back problems all my life, but they went away almost completely after I started deadlifting. I can't wait to get back to them. I'll be changing some things in the future, though. No more mixed grip, not even once. Double overhand for the rest of my life. No more one rep maxes either. I'll lift with a weight where can I get at least 8 to 10 reps.
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  14. #14
    Registered User abhishek4563's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by m314 View Post
    1 - 1 year and 4 months

    2 - Just once, ruptured my distal biceps tendon. I had surgery to reattach the tendon to the bone 5 weeks ago. I'm still in a full arm cast, but only for 8 more days. After that I'll have a couple months of physical therapy. This will set me back about a year in terms of overall strength, but I'll make a full recovery.

    3 - Lifting heavy with a mixed grip.

    I kept increasing the weight every week or every few weeks, trying for a one rep max almost every week. At some point the weight became more than my left biceps tendon could take. I tried 500 for the first time, and I got it. Right hand facing out, left hand facing in. I waited 5 minutes and tried again, this time with the left hand facing out and the right hand facing in. I felt and heard a loud pop about halfway up. I reracked the weight and drove myself to the emergency room. I knew what it was when I saw how the biceps had pulled itself up towards the shoulder.

    I've never injured my back with deadlifts. I've had back problems all my life, but they went away almost completely after I started deadlifting. I can't wait to get back to them. I'll be changing some things in the future, though. No more mixed grip, not even once. Double overhand for the rest of my life. No more one rep maxes either. I'll lift with a weight where can I get at least 8 to 10 reps.
    Good Luck with your recovery. It must suck not be able to lift but as Rippetoe says 'accumulating injuries is the price we pay for the thrill of not having to sit on our asses'.

    I too am planning to lift only at the 8-10 rep range. Should that be a problem? For most exercises, I know that this is the magic range for hypertrophy but everyone seems to be doing <6 reps for
    deads.
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    injuries from deadlifts

    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    many many years 3+

    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    only once, a year or so ago...trying to max out. it was the part where i had the pull below the knees and stood up too fast and strained my back.


    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.
    deadlifting 405 with no food, or water, or rest....strained my back...
    have made a good recovery since, pulling 365*5, 375*2, 385 on occasion....havn't tested max yet, guessing its still the same
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  16. #16
    Registered User m314's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    Good Luck with your recovery. It must suck not be able to lift but as Rippetoe says 'accumulating injuries is the price we pay for the thrill of not having to sit on our asses'.

    I too am planning to lift only at the 8-10 rep range. Should that be a problem? For most exercises, I know that this is the magic range for hypertrophy but everyone seems to be doing <6 reps for
    deads.
    I'm actually lifting 6 days a week now. I started lifting again 13 days after the surgery. I'm doing a modified program to work around the injury, but I'm not about to stay out of the gym for months at a time. I've found ways to use various machines for chest, back, shoulders, traps, plus I'm still able to do crunches, back extensions, leg presses, calf raises, and other leg machines. I'll get back to doing squats next week once I get the cast taken off. I'm still able to do bi / tri exercises for the good arm too.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with 8-10 reps for deads. I was focused mainly on getting stronger in terms of a one rep max. I think 8 to 10 reps would be safer as long as your form is good for every rep. When I tried sets like that before, I'd be tempted to up the weight to the point that my form was breaking down before I got to 8 reps.
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  17. #17
    Registered User k9pit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.
    1. I haven't done conventional deads in over a year, but I do RDLs (and Squats) still
    2. Pulled lower back doing deads once *snap crackle pop*.
    3. Previous pulled muscle there a year prior (non-lifting related) and scar tissue buildup. I did the Rest and Ice part which took away the pain but didn't get it taken care of properly (massaging/clearing/of scar tissue/to allow the pulled area to reconnect and heal) so scar tissue basically bound the area like duct taping 2 things together. In hindsight, it was only a matter of time before it popped with lifting heavy.
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  18. #18
    Registered User abhishek4563's Avatar
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    BUMP!!!

    Common people I need more replies to get a fairer picture.

    Till now it still seems EVERYONE hurts their back if they do deads.

    I am sure this would help other noob lifters who are too afraid to dead lift make an informed decision.
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  19. #19
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) lee__d's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.
    1. 2+ years
    2 Once, had to go easy dead lifting and squatting for a few months.
    3. Poor form, maybe due to lack of concentration. Rounded my lower back as I begun the pull.

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  20. #20
    LIFT HEAVIER NEXT MONTH kanis999's Avatar
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    1. Almost 2 years
    2. Once, but all it really was was aggravating a recently healed squat issue! It was a minor SI joint injury that went away after a few weeks of tennis ball rolling.
    3. Original squat injury was due to 'buttwinking' to force proper depth. Deadlift reactivated the injury due to moving through the motions too quickly, not tensing the back enough, slight rounding due to rushing through the motions, and keeping the bar too far from my legs when returning it to the floor.
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  21. #21
    Mr. Injury Paranoia Yoy0's Avatar
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    I'm gonna have to disagree here, although people who perform deads and squats get injured due to the amount of control and posture the lift requires, ANY lift performed incorrectly will cause you to be injured. True, some are more prone than others, but in the end it's not the excercise, it's the technique to that excercise.

    In regards to deadlifting. I've only taken deadlifting seriously for about 3-4 months and have been working out for a year so. I remember around a week ago I upped my weight by around 10 lbs and went for it, but strained my back after the third set. The thing is, I knew this was a strain, I knew it wasn't anything serious, so I moved on with my life.

    I know what it's like to be **** scared about injuries. Trust me, I've been there. But I'm too stubborn to quit. Right now, mentality is this: If breaks, it breaks. Simple as that. If it hurts at a minimal degree, I go on with the exercise thinking it will get better. And in my case, most of the time, it usually does. Please note I'm not advising you to follow my mentality/workout style, but I'm saying there are people out there who simply aren't that cautious and just do what they want to do - lift.
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  22. #22
    resident giant StimFlow's Avatar
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    1. little over a year
    2. 1 injury. moderate severity. L4/5 spinal disc mild compression
    3. too much weight for me to hold proper form.

    aftermath: neurlogist + xray + 12 sessions physiotherapy to build more core and strengthen back. still lifting very light on the deadlift(~20-30kg) until i attempt to go back to heavy lifts again(sciatica scared the **** out of me...)
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  23. #23
    Registered User abhishek4563's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for your replies!

    Trust me, it helps a lot!
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  24. #24
    Registered User daedaluz's Avatar
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    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    About 4 months before I stopped doing them. Not done one since.


    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    Once, a lower back injury I still have it to this day (7 months later).
    I don't squat or deadlift any more due to the discomfort, tightness and ache. Even just using an empty bar.
    I don't know what it is, the spine and back are so complex it could be one of 1001 things. Waiting to see a doc whos advice isn't "lol take painkillers, stop lifting for good, eat healthy"
    I can't drive without being in constant agony and shuffling round.
    I can't sit at my desk at work for more than 15 mins without having to stand up.


    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.
    Inactive glutes and hamstrings. Other muscles compensating, leading to muscle imbalances which eventually caused something to go wrong.
    Correcting those imbalances and activating/stretching/foam rolling my entire core and legs, didn't help as the damage had already been done.
    My squat and deadlift were textbook form, critiqued as excellent. It was the things that can't be seen from the outside that were the problem.
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  25. #25
    Registered User BrokeBrahMtn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    I have been lifting regularly for the past 3 4 months. Most ppl in my gym steer clear from free weight squats and deads, they are happier on their machines and advice me to do the same.
    I refuse to train like that, I like to deadlift, A LOT.(though I lift hardly anything,right now).

    I have been around these forums for quite a while and they are a BIG help. I went through a few threads about deadlift injuries to learn about other peoples experiences and to learn how
    to avoid ending up with an injured back.

    I am **** scared, in all those threads, everyone says that they have injured their back couple of times doing deads, it almost seems like you WILL injure your back if you like to dead.

    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.

    I hope there would be more people who never hurt themselves doing deads than who have.

    Cheers
    1. Doing deads for almost a year
    2. never injured myself just some regular muscle soreness (DOMS) and some back muscle pain that goes away in a few days, if not a week, but nothing that ever stopped me from carrying on with my normal day
    3. It seems that most people get injured due to improper form or ego lifts. For example this one guy was deadlifting right next to me and i was warming up with 225 lbs and this guy looks like he's never had a burger in his life, yet he's wearing a cutoff and all. Anyway, he sees me pull mine for 10 easy reps so he throws on 225 lbs and attempts it. This dumbass arched his back so much that my friend literally yelled out "OH SH!T" when he saw this idiot's form. Personally I go for the 6-8 rep range and 4-6 if i'm forcing it, i've only done my 1RM once and that was by accident because I thought I could hit more. I would never train specifically for 1rm.
    Basically make sure you practice PERFECT form at lower weights so you know exactly what to maintain when you get to heavy weights.

    And just in general, for my major compound lifts I take EXTRA precaution to make sure I'm doing it properly in a way that will reduce injuries as much as possible, Deadlifts, Benchpress, Squats, Shoulder/OHP
    Other lifts are w/e it's these lifts that i actually take a quick pause before I start my set to make sure that I'm all there and am set.
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  26. #26
    Registered User Thewix's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abhishek4563 View Post
    I have been lifting regularly for the past 3 4 months. Most ppl in my gym steer clear from free weight squats and deads, they are happier on their machines and advice me to do the same.
    I refuse to train like that, I like to deadlift, A LOT.(though I lift hardly anything,right now).

    I have been around these forums for quite a while and they are a BIG help. I went through a few threads about deadlift injuries to learn about other peoples experiences and to learn how
    to avoid ending up with an injured back.

    I am **** scared, in all those threads, everyone says that they have injured their back couple of times doing deads, it almost seems like you WILL injure your back if you like to dead.

    I just want to have a better idea of how common are these injuries so I request you to post
    1. How long have you been doing deads.
    2. How many times have you injured yourself, how severely.(if any)
    3.What, according to you, was the real reason for the injury.

    I hope there would be more people who never hurt themselves doing deads than who have.

    Cheers
    1. 3 years
    2. Minor injuries about 4-5 times, put myself in bed for a couple of days, probably 3 times.
    3. Bad form, too much weight, body just can't handle it.

    Will not be doing dead lifts fro now on, my lower back cannot take it.
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  27. #27
    Registered User noobzor's Avatar
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    1. 4 Years
    2. 2 times injured
    3. First time was a pre-existing hernia (umbilical), so i guess bad luck lol. Second time would be bad form im guessing, i severely herniated my l4-l5 and had a microdiscectomy a year after i injured it. Tried PT , decompression (still PT), epidural, steroids (oral), and pain mgt. Surgery was the best thing ive ever done for it. Im currently 7 months post-op, and my current deadlift is 315. Im limiting the weight to 315 as of now, just working on reps and my squat. At the time of the injury, i was working up to a 1rm, doing 2 sets of 275 tripples when i had a strong pop in my lower back and a ton of pain onset.

    Advice i have, you never know what your body will take until you try it. Me, im done with super heavy weight, i have pretty good arthritis in the lower back now so i feel ALOT older then 25 some days lol.
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  28. #28
    Registered User kebas239's Avatar
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    1) Pretty consistently since 2004 - so 8 years. I, of course, did have a workout here/there without deads and the expected few weeks or so off working out due to life, but most of my workouts have included them.
    2) I have never had an injury, but I don't go aggressively on deads. There are times (Usually if I miss a workout) where I get DOMS or some achiness in my lower back but I'd assume this is normal. I have not once felt pain in my lower back. The highest weight I have done on a deadlift set is 375 lbs X 5.
    3) I'd attribute my lack of injury to keeping proper form, and not being headstrong and moving up too quickly. Also, if I feel the SLIGHTEST discomfort at all while performing the exercise, I immediately reduce my weight and concentrate harder on my form. I also do not move up the next week to ensure that I can handle the weight. The deadlift is an exercise that can really screw your back up if done incorrectly and as such I do not trifle with it. Either this, or I just have incredible luck and/or genetics.

    To be honest, I am quite surprised that so many people have injured themselves doing the deadlift since I have never had an issue. I thought that it would be much less common, unless the majority of people have never had an injury and are just being quiet and not posting. Now watch - Since I've posted this, I'll injure my back next week while doing deadlifts =)
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  29. #29
    Registered User Protege385's Avatar
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    Been deadlifting for probably 2 years, but never more than once a week. I've never injured my back, but tweaked it a couple times because of sloppy form. The most I've ever deadlifted was 450. Not much for my weight and build to be honest.
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  30. #30
    Registered User ManTFitness's Avatar
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    1) I have been training Deadlifts consistently for about 3 years now
    2) I have never injured my back doing deadlifts (despite having had a history of back issues)
    3) I truly believe that if deadlifts are done properly they can actualy prevent low back injuries. Think about it... they teach you to use your gluts and your hamstrings to lift while your back stabilizes.... they teach you to keep your natural lordosis when lifting, they teach you to retract your shoulder, stick out your chest and stand with a tall spine (all things that decrease load on your spine)
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