We received many questions from athletes interested in powerlifting and weight training exercises. Can you deadlift with scoliosis?
If you have scoliosis, your posture is asymmetrical. It means that muscle groups on each side of your body have different strength. Performing a deadlift would put substantial pressure on these muscles. Since they are already out of balance, your body would try to compensate it and often exaggerate your curves.
If you have scoliosis and you want to deadlift, supervision and training under a specialized expert are mandatory. In addition to this, you should raise your awareness of your posture in everyday life and during your training.
This means that you should develop internal and external references.
Internal reference: How does your body and spine feel?
We are talking about a your subjective feeling of your body. You should regularly pay attention to your body.
- How does my spine and body feel (during training, today, over the week)?
- Is there discomfort anywhere?
- Does it hurt? Where?
Keeping these questions in mind would help you to stay alert. The goal behind it is that should your scoliosis worsen or other postural problems develop, you’ll notice it as soon as possible. It is subjective – we are talking about personal perception of your own body. There might be “false positives” or you might not notice everything. Thus, personal perception should be complemented with an external reference.
External reference: What do objective tools tell you?
External reference fills in the gaps and reassures your personal perception. Objective measures of your posture are centered around question about:
- What are the angles of my spine?
- Is there a change in my spine curves?
- Are there changes/improvements in my posture tilts and other parts of my body?
- How are they changing during my training?
These observations concern angles and tilts of your body parts, proportions, muscles strength, body symmetry and others. External reference can be provided through: regular visits to a doctor, posture monitoring by a posture coach, a trainer, and a specialized app like APECS. For instance, we developed APECS to help people with regular and high-precision monitoring of postural changes.
Your might not notice subtle changes in muscle strength or postural symmetry, which external tools will detect. In addition to this, objective tools will bring clarity to your physical sensations that seem unrelated to scoliosis. Scoliosis – like other postural issues – doesn’t just impact your spine, but your body at large. Spine is the central pillar of our body, therefore some changes might be noticed in seemingly unrelated parts of the body (ex. arms, legs, head tilt). External tools like APECS could help you with detecting it.
So, can I deadlift with scoliosis?
To sum it all up, if you want to deadlift with scoliosis, you should:
- Have approval from your doctor to practice weight lifting exercises.
- Make sure a specialized expert (coach, trainer etc) guides you to develop a proper form and a correct way of training.
- Use internal and external references to regularly monitor your posture and its condition.
Following these steps will allow you to avoid harming your body, and to rapidly modify/stop training should the situation get worse.