Thoracolumbar And Lumbopelvic Spinal Alignment During The Deadlift Exercise: A Comparison Between Men And Women.
Bengtsson V, Aasa U, Öhberg F, Berglund L.
Background: A neutral spinal alignment is considered important during the execution of the deadlift exercise to decrease the risk of injury. Since male and female powerlifters experience pain in different parts of their backs, it is important to examine whether men and women differ in spinal alignment during the deadlift.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to quantify the spinal alignment in the upper (thoracolumbar, T11-L2) and lower (lumbopelvic, L2-S2) lumbar spine during the deadlift exercise in male and female lifters. Secondary aims were to compare lumbar spine alignment during the deadlift to standing habitual posture, and determine whether male and female lifters differ in these aspects.
Study Design: Observational, Cross-sectional.
Methods: Twenty-four (14 men, 10 women) lifters performed three repetitions of the deadlift exercise using 70% of their respective one-repetition maximum. Spinal alignment and spinal range of motion were measured using three inertial measurement units placed on the thoracic, lumbar and sacral spine. Data from three different positions were analyzed; habitual posture in standing, and start and stop positions of the deadlift, i.e. bottom and finish position respectively.
Results: During the deadlift, spinal adjustments were evident in all three planes of movement. From standing habitual posture to the start position the lumbar lordosis decreased 13° in the upper and 20° in the lower lumbar spine. From start position to stop position the total range of motion in the sagittal plane was 11° in the upper and 22° in the lower lumbar spine. The decreased lumbar lordosis from standing habitual posture to the start position was significantly greater among men.
Conclusions: Men and women adjust their spinal alignment in all three planes of movement when performing a deadlift and men seem to make greater adjustments from their standing habitual posture to start position in the sagittal plane.
Level of Evidence: 3