Deadlift Lower Back Soreness – 3 Ways to Alleviate Discomfort

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Deadlift Lower Back Soreness
3 Ways to Alleviate Discomfort

Why Do Deadlifts Make Your Lower Back So Sore?

Anyone who has ever done deadlift knows that it is one of the few exercises that makes you sore no matter what. You can go to the gym and do bench press, squat, shoulder press and all kinds of compound lifts and after a while you just don’t get as sore anymore. It seems like deadlift leaves you just as sore every time you do it. 

The best way to describe what you feel like after doing deadlift is having two bowling balls sitting side by side on your lower back. If you have ever done a stretch such as downward dog or something that bends your back in the opposite direction of a deadlift repetition you have probably felt this.

You Tend to Lift Heavier When Doing Deadlift

One of the main reasons why your back is so sore after doing deadlifts is because you tend to lift heavy weight more often with this exercise. You don’t usually see people doing a lot of reps with deadlift unless they are doing a romanian deadlift and even then they usually don’t go over 10 or 12 reps. Grip strength is a huge factor when doing deadlift so a lot of people elect to load the bar up with weight plates and just do less reps so they don’t have to grip the bar as long. Less reps keeps you from tearing up your hands. Wearing gloves can help with this problem but they also make it harder to grip the bar since the glove can actually slide down your palm.

Deadlift Lower Back

Alleviate Lower Back Soreness After Doing Deadlift

1. Forward Extension Stretch

One of the best ways to relieve lower back soreness after doing deadlift is to stretch your back in the opposite direction. You can do this in several different ways. You can squat with a wide stance and reach forward while moving your chest toward the ground. You can also sit down and with your legs separated and try to touch your chest to the ground. It may help to have someone with you who can push your back down to help you get a good stretch. If you don’t have a partner you can also simulate this sitting on a bench. Put your legs out in front of you and lean over toward your toes while pulling the bottom of the bench. The only problem with this is you can only stretch so far since the bench is in the way.

2. Foam Roller

The foam roller is a great tool for taking care of muscle tightness and soreness. If you work out hard without stretching or doing any sort of cardio to loosen up, over time your muscles can get really stiff. Rolling out some of the stiffness and soreness will allow you to continue to do deadlift without injury. One of the best ways to use the foam roller on your lower back is the Extensor Stretch. You perform this by starting with your tailbone on the ground and the foam roller in the middle of your back. You bring your elbows to your side and either clasp your hands or hold them like you are praying. Once you are in position you lift your hips and move backward and forward on the foam rollers lowly. Try to maintain this movement for 30 seconds.

Deadlift Lower Back

3. Get a Massage or Go to the Chiropractor

Massages are often thought of as a luxury. The truth is, bodybuilders and people who work out regularly get massages often. Some people get massages as often as every two weeks just to relieve tightness so they can continue their training programs without missing days due to extra soreness in certain areas. If you have been training for months or years and you’ve never had a massage, now is probably a good time. Deadlifts are really hard on your body and unless you are staying on top of stretching, warming up good and cooling down after your training, you probably need a professional to help loosen you up. 

The Chiropractor is Great for Deadlift Lower Back Pain

A chiropractor can also help a lot for someone with lower back soreness. People who have trained for years and never go to the chiropractor often find that when they do finally go they have a lot of misalignments that need readjusting. Just imagine the twists and movements your body does when lifting hundreds of pounds. When you get tired and start compromising your form to finish out your reps it can get even worse.

Deadlift Lower Back


Making sure that your back is not sore or tight is key to staying on schedule with your training program. If you do deadlifts on back day, you might still be sore two or three days later. This will make leg day even worse because when you squat you use a lot of lower back also. Ideally you should be stretching every day but at the very least you should stretch or use a foam roller shortly after finishing your workout. Use this stretches and foam roller instructions in this guide to ensure that you aren’t jeopardizing your lower back and putting yourself on the shelf for weeks or months without being able to work out.

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