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Beware Of This Exercise That Destroys Your Lower BackBy: Matt Furey
Best Selling Author of "Combat Conditioning"
A couple weeks ago I took my son, Frank, to the pool for a schwim (that's how he pronounces it). While there I saw my neighbor, Bob, and we began to rap.
Bob's had back pain for quite some time, well over a year. He tells me that he thinks some of the exercises he does in the gym may be contributing to it. "What exercises would those be?" I asked.
"Well, I do deadlifts," he said.
"Oooh, I see," I cringed.
"I know, they're probably not good for me," said Bob.
"PROBABLY not???" I replied. "Why, if I was drinking coffee right now I'd spit it up. You're literally doing the worst thing you can do to your back."
"You think so?"
"I know so. Dude, you're in pain. You've been hobbling around since I met you. And you're doing dead lifts? You're not insane, are you?"
Bob laughed. "No, I'm not - but you never know." Then he asked me why deadlifts are so bad for you.
"Because the leverage on them is mechanically all wrong. Even when you know the proper technique, it doesn't matter. It still throws your lower back out. Sure, deadlifts can make you stronger - but not in the long run. In the long run they cripple you."
"That's how I feel right now," said Bob.
"Look, about 80% of Americans will have a job-related lower back injury. That's eighty percent. This means that eight out of ten people, if they were to do deadlifts, are already at a disadvantage."
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