Fixing the Back with Deadlifts

The Single Leg Deadlift (SL DL) is a greatly under utilized exercise to help with lower back (LB) issues. It doesn’t look super glamorous, but it can change your life if done correctly.

Just a few benefits include:

A stronger core

Proper muscle activation

Improves cross core motor control

Loads posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes and Lats)

Improves balance and coordination

Increases overall athleticism

Transfers well to running


So depending on where you are in your training career, will determine why your lower back hurts, after training SL DL’s.

If you’re a beginner, I strongly suggest doing the Single Leg Reach before you try to load the SL DL.




If it’s your first time and your LB hurts or feels fatigued after the exercise, it could be your body adjusting to training.

Your lower back has never isometrically stabilized under load before, and it could go into shock, which will give you the feeling of being super sore or extremely fatigued. This is why it’s important to own the exercise before you decide to increase the load.

Or, you could be simply extending through your LB rather than your hips.

If you’re familiar with this lift then it could be an activation issue. Maybe you’re not able to “turn on” your core, lats or glutes enough to stabilize the spine. While, in the meantime, your LB is being over used during the movement. You could be shifting the weight forward, which would force the upper back to round and loss tension and stability in the lower back.

To fix this, you would lower the load and focus on one muscle group at a time to really dial in the muscular contraction.

Here’s what a SL DL should look like.


If your back still hurts after a few changes then I suggest strengthening your core, glutes, lats and lower back, or reach out to a medical practitioner.

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