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Are Deadlifts Safe? Expert Advice & Tips

Updated: Apr 25

The deadlift is generally considered a safe and effective exercise when performed with proper form and technique. It is a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups, including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and core. When executed correctly, the deadlift can improve strength, muscular endurance, and overall athletic performance.

However, like any exercise, improper execution or lifting too much weight can increase the risk of injury. Common mistakes during deadlifts include rounding the lower back, using momentum to lift the weight, and not engaging the core muscles properly.

To minimise the risk of injury while deadlifting, it's essential to:

  1. Learn proper form and technique: Before attempting heavy deadlifts, familiarise yourself with the correct form by working with a qualified fitness professional or coach.

  2. Start with lighter weights: Begin with lighter weights to master the movement pattern and gradually increase the load as your strength and technique improve.

  3. Engage core muscles: Keep your core muscles engaged throughout the movement to support your spine and prevent lower back injuries.

  4. Maintain a neutral spine: Avoid rounding or arching your back excessively during the lift. Keep your spine in a neutral position to distribute the load evenly.

  5. Use proper equipment: Wear appropriate footwear and use a weightlifting belt if necessary to provide additional support to your lower back.

  6. Warm up adequately: Perform dynamic warm-up exercises to prepare your muscles and joints for the deadlift.

  7. Listen to your body: If you experience any pain or discomfort during the exercise, stop immediately and reassess your form.

By following these guidelines and practicing proper form, deadlifts can be a safe and beneficial exercise for improving strength and muscle development. However, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert before incorporating deadlifts into your workout routine.

From our perspective we believe that the general population performs the deadlift motor pattern on a regular basis throughout the day. As a result we feel it is important to learn the correct technique and reinforce it. Additionally being strong in this motor pattern is in fact a great way to protect your back. For example you do not want the first time you are lifting 20kg to be when lifting a bag of potting mix which can move into an awkward shape. Rather you would want to be able to deadlift over a 100kg easily which will make the 20kg bag of potting mix feel like a piece of cake.

If you want to find out more how Ryan our experienced strength and conditioning coach and qualified Exercise Physiologist can help you on your strength journey contact us at

Body Fit team

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