Hey, it’s Dr. Jake Berman!
Let me ask you: what’s the last thing you picked up off the ground?
Maybe it was a golf ball on hole 18. Maybe it was a full laundry basket, or one of your children/grandchildren. Maybe it was the newspaper off your front step this morning.
Whatever it was, you probably didn’t stop to think about your form, did you? You just picked it up and went about your business.
But there are multiple ways to pick things up! Maybe you don’t think about your form when you’re not at the gym, but picking up a golf ball is, in many ways, exactly the same as picking up a dumbell!
Let’s talk about some of the right ways to pick something up off the floor. The two most common: the deadlift and the squat.
Squatting vs Deadlift
Deadlift: Chin down, chest up, butt back, and knees rotated outward.
The deadlift has a lot of advantages over the squat:
Deadlift involves decreased hip anglesDeadlift requires less mobilityDeadlift increases hamstring activationDeadlift lets you reach your target quickerBut of course, the squat has advantages of its own.
Squat: Chin down, chest up, butt back and down, and knees rotated outwards
Squats allow for increased quad activationSquats use an increased hip angle, alleviating stress force on the lumbar spine (This is a BIG DEAL! We do NOT like stress on the spine!)Squats do not require much hamstring flexibilityWhich technique do you think you use on the golf course, or with the laundry, or picking up the newspaper?
Does it look more like this?
I hope not!! That’s the type of improper technique that leads to back pain!
We here at Berman PT prefer the squat as the “go-to” method for lifting, due to decreased forces on our back. The deadlift is a great alternative-as long as you’re able to perform it correctly!
Sometimes our bodies do not have the mobility or stability to perform an upright squat. We ALL should be able to squat, so if you have trouble, I highly encourage you to get an assessment from a physical therapist. There could be something wrong.
The next time you need to grab something from the floor or ground, make sure you’re using the right form!
That’s all for this time! Stay tuned for next week’s blog!