Lifting Techniques: How Weight Lifters Should Lift

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

Do you try to avoid lifting because you suffer from lower back pain?

 

Do you believe you need to keep your lower back straight when you do have to lift something?

 

Research shows that the lifting techniques we’ve all been taught are WRONG.

 

Many Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Associations still recommend lifting with a straight back. 

 

How can this be? You would think chiropractic and physiotherapy associations should know best about the lower back, right? Well, research published in 2007 by Stuart McGill definitively showed that lifting with a straight back puts more pressure on the discs and ligaments.

 

Then why do they recommend lifting with a straight back? I believe nobody bothered to read the research. It is just conventional wisdom passed down through generations. The US military does agree with this research and recommends lifting in accordance with these new findings.

 

What should we do then? Keeping the natural curve called lordosis, while lifting, reduces pressure on your spine and discs. This keeps the pressure from rising to dangerous levels.

 

How do you keep the curve in your lower back while lifting? Well, by sticking out your BUTT and Chest.

 

It’s called butt lifting.

#1:  Butt Lifting? For Stuff Small Enough To Straddle.

Butt Lifting Technique With Proper Spinal Curve in Green

Butt Lifting Technique With Proper Spinal Curve in Green.  Perfect posture for lifting can be tested by putting a broom stick where the red line is.  The buttock, middle back and head should always be touching.

Perfect posture for lifting can be tested by putting a broom stick on your back so that it  lines up with the buttock, middle back and head, where the red line is in the photo above. The broomstick  should always be touching from the standing position and all the way down as you bend your knees to lift, like the picture above.

 

In this case, the construction worker in the above picture, let his head go a little too far forward as he bent down.

 

Everyone should practice lifting with a broomstick at his or her back – 10 times for 3 sets. Then you will be able to do Butt Lifting perfectly and it will soon become a natural part of your movement pattern.

 

In other words, you grooved the movement to stick out your butt. An easy way to remember that is your butt needs to be groovy to lift.

SEE ALSO:  6 Things You should Look For In A Chiropractic Clinic

 

How do I do Butt Lifting Technique?  

 

  1. With a wide straddled stance, move as close as you can to the load.
  2. Bend from the hip and stick out your butt – to keep your spinal curve. Your spine should be curved as depicted by the green line in the photo above.
  3. Get a good firm grip on the load
  4. Keeping your arms still, using your large leg muscles, simply straighten your legs
  5. Exhale as you lift
  6. To Turn: Turn both feet first, and your lower back will follow.

 

Use a full bend of the knees to 90 degrees to pick something up off the ground or  when looking under the kitchen sink. Use a half-bend of the knees  when brushing your teeth.

 

 This is how Weight Lifters make their lifts. 

 

Weight lifters 1  Chiropractors 0

#2:  Power Butt Lifting Technique – For  Stuff Too Large To Be Straddled

How do I do the Power Butt Lifting Technique?

 

The main difference between Butt Lifting and Power Butt Lifting – one leg is a little more forward than the other in Power Butt Lifting

 

See Also: The Definitive Guide To Back Belts & Supports

 

  1. Move as close as you can to the load, with a wide stance, put one foot forward and one to the side of the object
  2. Bend down from the hip and stick out your butt – this keeps your spinal curve. Your spine should not be straight, it must be curved.
  3. Get a good firm grip on opposite corners.
  4. Use your large leg muscles by simply keeping your arms still and straightening your legs
  5. Exhale as you lift
  6. To Turn: Turn both feet first, and your low back will follow.

 

Weight Lifters don’t stagger their legs but they do stick out their butts.

 

Weight lifters 2 Chiropractors 0

#3:  Bag Lifting Technique Is For Stuff Like Heavy Bags of Cement or Sand

Bag Lifting Technique For Heavier Loads

1. Slide the bag onto your thigh———————- 2.Transfer the bag to the other thigh.

  1. Get down on one knee next to the bag make sure you stick your butt out to make the spinal curve.
  2. Get a good firm grip on the bag and slide the bag onto the kneeling thigh.
  3. Look straight ahead and lift the weight onto the other thigh.
  4. Stand with the load supported on the knee keeping the curve in your back.
  5. Hold your breath as you lift

 

Weight lifters and chiropractors don’t lift like this. Score remains the same

 

Weight lifters 2 Chiropractors 0

#4:  Golfer’s Lift For Lighter Objects And One-Handed Lifts

Golfer's Lifting Technique

Golfer’s Lifting Technique used to pick-up light stuff.

  1. Forward leg is slightly bent.
  2. Lift one leg while bending at the waist. The weight of your back leg will counterbalance the weight of your upper body.
  3. Use a table for support or if playing golf, use a golf club for support. If you have great stability, you can do this without a support; I encourage you work towards that goal.
  4. Grab onto the ball or anything else you want to pick up.
  5. Look forward and  lift the ball while dropping your back leg.

 

Golfers are smarter than chiropractors are. They don’t put a lot of pressure on the spine.

 

Weight lifters and chiropractors don’t lift like this, but golfers do.

 

Weight lifters 2 Chiropractors 0 Golfers 1

#5  Lifting From The Trunk (Boot) Of A Car

Car Lifting Technique

Lifting from the trunk (boot) of a car.  Notice the knees are braced against the trunk of the car and the curve of the back is maintained.

  1. Stand, right against the bumper, with your knees slightly bent
  2. Stick out your butt
  3. Look forward. Lift by using your legs and hold your breath as you lift.

 

Weight lifters stick out their butt like this.

 

Weight Lifters 3 Chiropractors 0 Golfers 1

#5B  Lifting From The Trunk (Boot) Of A Car Golfer’s Style:  For Light  Stuff Deep in the Trunk

Car Trunk Lifting Technique For Light Stuff Deep in the Trunk

For Light  Stuff Deep in the Trunk

  1.   If the object is deep in the trunk (boot), lift one leg like the golfer’s lift, and hold onto the object.
  2.  Let the leg you are holding up go down, the object will come toward you

 

Weight lifters and chiropractors don’t lift like this, but golfers do.

 

Weight lifters 3  Chiropractors 0 Golfers 2

#5C  Lifting From The Trunk (Boot) Of A Car:  For Heavy  Stuff Deep in the Trunk

Car Trunk Lifting Technique For Heavy Stuff Deep in the Trunk

Car Trunk Lifting Technique For Heavy Stuff Deep in the Trunk

  1. Put a leg on the bumper and stick out your butt.
  2. Grab the item and bring it towards you as closely as you can. Now the object is in the same place as in exercise 5A.
  3. Repeat  the steps of 5A.

 

Weight lifters,  chiropractors, and golfers don’t lift like this. Score remains the same

 

Weight lifters 3 Chiropractors 0 Golfers 2

#6 Lifting a Baby Out of the Car-Seat

 

  1. Rest one leg on the seat of the car beside the car-seat
  2. Stick your butt out
  3. Bring the baby to your chest and hug the baby.
  4. Lift with your legs.

 

Weight lifters and chiropractors don’t lift like this. Score remains the same

 

Weight lifters 3 Chiropractors 0 Golfers 2

#7 Lifting a Baby Out of the Crib

  1. When lifting the child up out of the crib, put the crib side down
  2. If the baby is awake, if they are old enough, get the bay to come toward you.
  3. If you have good stability, try lifting using the 5b lifting technique of the trunk golfer’s style. (check with your chiropractor or physiotherapist first)
  4. Stick out your butt to keep the curve in your spine.
  5. Do not bend over the side of the crib and lift the baby over the top.

 

Weight lifters and chiropractors don’t lift like this

 

Weight lifters 3 Chiropractors 0 Golfers 3

 

So in the end, weight lifters are smarter lifters they beat chiropractors as a whole. Golfers are smarter lifters than chiropractors and weight lifters and Golfers have about the same lifting IQ. Just to prove a point here is a really smart weight lifter/strength coach Elliot Hulse .

 

Tell us what you think in the comments below and like us on Facebook. This Toronto Downtown Chiropractor will answer all questions in the comments section.

 


Author

Dr Ken Nakamura

Who is Dr. Ken? I’m a father, spouse, chiropractor, and I love what I do! I created Bodi Empowerment to bring you and everyone-else safe and effective methods for self-treatment by basing my articles on research to everything I can. Still many parts will be based on 18 years of experience, seminars, and collaboration with other health experts; which means you will get opinions as well. Sometimes my articles won’t agree with what is currently accepted, but I am not here to please everyone. I’m here to empower you through the knowledge that I give you. Dr. Ken works at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown, Toronto.

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