Save Your Back With The Ultimate Back Exercise
At one point or another, you’ve likely had back pain. Whether it’s from a nagging sports injury, a workplace incident, a toddler jumping into your arms, or just the effects of aging – most of us have had a back injury.
In fact, 18.9% of Canadians over the age of 18 have chronic back pain.
But back pain doesn’t have to be a sentence to a sedentary, limited movement, a myriad of pharmaceuticals or frequent trips to the doctor.
In fact, there’s an exercise that can not only help you fix nagging back injuries (with proper advice and supervision) but can also help ensure you strengthen your back so you mitigate back pain in the future.
The deadlift is one of the best – if not the best – single exercise to do in the gym.
The deadlift is what is known as a ‘compound exercise’, which is quite simply defined as a movement which engages many muscles at once; other examples of compound exercises are the squat, bench press and shoulder press.
The movements that go into the deadlift seem easy enough but it is, in fact, one of the hardest lifts to execute flawlessly in the gym. If you are a beginner, only attempt this movement with supervision and using light weight.
Executing the Deadlift
You can use either a barbell or dumbbells for this exercise. Traditionally, however, the deadlift is done with a barbell, so that’s what’ll be referenced from now on.
- Feet shoulder width apart and bar midway along the lateral portion of your foot.
- Grip the bar on the outside of your feet with both hands (don’t worry about grip too much at the beginning).
- Have a slight bend in the knees.
- Make sure your back is straight, shoulders are back, chest is out, chin in tucked and weight is distributed evenly in your feet with a slight skew towards the heels.
- Take a breath in, and on the exhale, lift the bar straight up your shins until you’re fully ‘locked’.
- Hold briefly.
- Slowly return the bar to the ground with the exact same technique in which you lifted it – it is important you do not set the bar down by slouching your back.
This exercise, despite its intermediate technique, can truly be the one exercise you need to ensure you always have a strong, healthy back at any age.