Beth Davies Coaching

Tips for a symptom free deadlift

A hip hinge or deadlift is a fantastic functional movement because it works your glutes, hamstrings, back (all of your posterior chain). And because you use this movement ALL the time when you pick up things! 

However, this can be a movement that provokes symptoms, particularly if you have a rectocele. Rather than banish it to the list of exercises to avoid, here are 5 ways to help make your deadlift symptom free 


Change the range of movement

Sometimes, going into a deep hinge can be the moment where symptoms might be felt most. Popping the weight on a yoga block or step so you’re not deadlifting to and from the ground (interestingly, the lift from the ground is the moment of highest intra-abdominal pressure) is a great way to change the range of movement. Plus, see if this has an impact on symptoms. 


Timing of your breath

Indeed, playing around with your breath (in lots of different ways) can often help with symptoms. This might be taking your exhale just before you lift the weight. Or exhaling through the entirety of one rep. In both cases, we are asking the pelvic floor for support and stability and to help manage pressure. 

Consider how much tension you're creating

Whilst we need tension in the muscles to be able to lift, if you have prolapse, it can be super easy to create too much tension. Particularly, if you’ve been told to engage your pelvic floor in order to do things. Or you have a tendency to “hold on” to your pelvic floor muscles. Consider matching “tension to task” which means creating the amount of tension or stiffness you need, for the task you are wanting to carry out. This is an idea coined by Aussie physio, Antony Lo.

Build up the movement

Breaking the movement down, in order to build it back up can be useful in understanding the part of the exercise that you find hardest. Or where your symptoms might kick in. A hip hinge pattern can be taught in kneeling, using a band or a stick or broom handle. 

Build up the load

Progressive overload (gradually making something more challenging, in order to improve strength, or speed or power) is super useful. Start with a band or light weight, then a kettlebell, empty bar and then loaded bar. This not only builds your capacity to do more but also builds your confidence. If you find symptoms kicking in at a certain point, lean gently into that weight or take the reps down and see how it feels. 

If you’d like help getting back to deadlifts, LIFTED! is perfect for you as we build up from gentle core and floor to loaded movements. 

Sign up for my free 5-day mini course called “How to exercise with POP” using this link. This takes you through the strategies I use to help my clients return to the exercise they love without worrying about their prolapse. 

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