In order to relieve lower back tightness after deadlifts, perform stretches designed to target your lower back, hips, and hamstrings. While stretches such as the cat/cow and two-knee twist specifically stretch your lower back muscles, incorporate movements like the seated straddle and kneeling lunge to stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors. This has the effect of reducing back soreness and tightness.
Is Deadlifting Bad For Your Lower Back?
Deadlifting is not dangerous for your lower back when the exercise is performed correctly. In fact, studies show deadlifting builds muscle in your lower back, preventing injury and helping to reduce and eliminate lower back pain.
- Deadlifting is not bad for your lower back.
- Back injury and pain can often be reduced by strengthening your lower back with deadlifts.
- If you have lower back pain after deadlifts, this may be a sign of poor form or a serious injury.
If you are experiencing lower back pain when weightlifting, this may be caused by a few different exercises in your workout routine, including chest and shoulder workouts. You may feel lower back pain after deadlifts if you suffer from specific injuries or are not lifting with proper form. Before blaming deadlifts, revisit the basics of proper deadlift technique.
Should Your Lower Back Be Tight After Deadlifts?
It’s not uncommon to feel tightness or muscle soreness in your lower back after deadlifts. This is due to the fact that your lower back muscles are worked by the deadlift movement. The solution to this type of tightness is proper care for your muscles after a workout, including a good stretching routine.
- Because deadlifts work your lower back muscles, some tightness and soreness is expected after a workout.
- Stretching can help eliminate flower back tightness.
- If you are experiencing severe pain or a reduced range of motion after deadlifts, visit a doctor to evaluate the injury.
If you are experiencing severe pain in your lumbar spine that is not simple muscle soreness, this may be a sign of a more serious injury. Sharp, nagging, or shooting pains in your back are signs you should consult a doctor. Don’t wait to address back pain. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can resume exercising again.
The 7 Most Essential Lower Back Stretches After Deadlifting
In order to reduce your risk of injury and alleviate lower back tightness after deadlifting, incorporate a stretching routine into your workout program. The following stretches are designed to increase flexibility in muscles essential for the deadlift. Building flexibility will help to decrease pain and discomfort after deadlifting.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
If you feel pain and tightness in your back, you may wonder why we’re beginning with hamstring stretches. The truth is, most lower back pain is caused by tight hamstrings. So, any post-deadlift stretching routine should include hamstring-specific stretches. To do this one:
- Stand in front of a chair or bench with feet shoulder width apart.
- Raise one leg and place your heel on the chair or bench.
- Keeping your legs and back straight, hinge forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
- Hold for 10 seconds, then switch legs.
- Repeat 2–3 times.
This simple stretch is a great way to provide relief for your hamstrings. As your hamstrings get a good stretch, this will reduce strain on your lower back, leading to relief from lower back tightness.
To directly target the lower back when you experience soreness after deadlifts, perform the cat/cow. This stretch is great for the erector spinae muscles along your spine. Here’s how to do it:
- Assume the starting position on your hands and knees.
- Keep your hands directly below your elbows and your knees directly below your hips.
- Exhale, arching your back upward. Think of pulling your bellybutton back to your spine.
- Hold this pose for 2–3 seconds.
- Inhale, arching your back downward and bringing your bellybutton to the floor.
- Hold this position for 2–3 seconds.
- Repeat 3–5 times for each position.
This active stretch is great for relieving tension in the lower back brought on by a deadlift session. Pair this with a hot shower and an ice pack for extra relief.
Hip Hinges with Dowel
For this stretch, you will need an extra tool. Although some gyms and physical therapy centers keep lengths of PVC on hand for this, a broomstick or similar light, straight pole will work. Perform this stretch by following these steps:
- Hold a light pole or dowel along your spine. It should make contact with your tailbone, between your shoulder blades, and the back of your head.
- Keep a natural arch in your lower back.
- Keeping the dowel in place, stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly.
- Hinge forward at the hips, bringing your chest toward the floor.
- Make sure the dowel retains contact with your tailbone, spine, and head throughout the stretch.
- Hold the stretch for 3–5 seconds. Then, return to standing position.
- Repeat 5 times.
This stretch will provide relief for tight hamstrings. At the same time, the dowel held along your spine will help keep your back in a healthy position, preventing back injury and increasing the effectiveness of the stretch.
This classic hamstring stretch is great for stretching out tense calf and lower back muscles as well as your legs. In a single stretch, you will stretch out many of the major muscles of the posterior chain. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit on the ground.
- Straddle your legs as wide as possible while keeping your knees straight and heels planted on the ground.
- Reach forward while seated until you feel the stretch in your calves, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
If your lower back is sore after deadlifts, this simple stretch will work to alleviate all the main sources at once. It is an extremely valuable lower body movement.
The two-knee twist stretches the muscles of the back with safe rotation. This stretch is excellent for sore muscles the day after deadlifts. For this stretch:
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat.
- Bring your heels to your rear, pointing your knees straight up at the ceiling.
- Spread your arms in a T-shape with both shoulder blades touching the floor.
- Keeping your upper body stationary, turn at the waist to bring both knees to the floor on one side.
- Continue bringing your knees to the floor until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
- Make sure your shoulder blade does not come off the floor during this stretch.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat for the opposite side (if you brought your knees to the left at first, bring them to the right).
By keeping your shoulder blades in contact with the floor and turning only with your hips, you will safely stretch your back sore muscles.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Your hips are a prime source of power during deadlifts. Muscle soreness in your back may be due partially to tight hip flexors. One great way to stretch your hip flexors is with a lunge position stretch. For this one:
- From a standing position, step forward with one foot and drop into a kneeling position with the front foot firmly planted.
- Keep your back straight.
- The knee of your rear leg should be in line with your hips.
- Squeeze your glutes and bring your hip bones forward until you feel a stretch in your hip flexor.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat for the opposite side.
Although it may not seem like it at first, stretching your hips is crucial to alleviating back soreness after deadlifts. The muscles of the posterior chain are all interrelated, so the best way to reduce tightness in one is to stretch all of them.
Supine Hamstring Stretch
This final hamstring stretch is a great way to cap off a stretching routine after your muscles are warm. It’s excellent at stretching back and hamstring muscles to alleviate soreness after deadlifts. To perform this stretch:
- Lie on your back with your legs extended.
- Loop a resistance band, towel, belt, or elastic jump rope over one foot.
- Hold the strap with both hands.
- Raise your leg toward the ceiling, keeping the knee straight.
- Once you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, or you cannot raise your leg further without bending your knee, hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Use the strap to maintain tension and get a deep stretch of the hamstring.
- Repeat for your other leg.
Stretching out sore muscle fibers with the help of a resistance band or other tool is a great way to get a deeper stretch and reduce back tightness. Start small with stretches, then push yourself to increase flexibility over time.
How Do You Stretch Your Lower Back After Deadlifts?
To stretch sore muscles in your lower back after deadlifts you should follow a stretching routine with movements designed to stretch your hamstrings, back, and hip flexors. A good stretching routine of this type is to perform the following movements:
- Standing hamstring stretch
- Hip hinges with a dowel
- Seated straddle
- Two-knee twist
- Kneeling hip flexor stretch
- Supine hamstring stretch
These stretches are designed to increase flexibility in muscles used by the deadlift. If you are experiencing extreme back pain that is worsened or not alleviated by stretching, consult a doctor. There may be a more serious injury at hand.