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Powerlifting

The feeling and sight of the body gaining strength and power is highly satisfying.

What is frustrating is when these improvements plateau, or worse still, pain and injury get in the way of training. The common injuries in powerlifting are commonly caused by technique faults that can be prevented. These technique faults can also inhibit performance and are therefore the cause of plateaus in improvement progression.

Here are the top three and how to avoid them:

NB All pain must be fully diagnosed and technique adjustments must only be made under the guidance of your Physiotherapist or Osteopath

 

Low back pain and injury

This can range from muscular aches to more serious joint or disc injuries that can cause neurological symptoms like tingling, numbness and weakness in the legs.  This must be fully assessed by your Physiotherapist or Osteopath before continuing training.

COMMON TECHNIQUE FAULT AND HOW TO CORRECT IT: When squatting, deadlifting or anything involving bending the hips and knees the lower back should retain its natural concave curve. This can be achieved by visualising tipping the tail bone upwards behind you particularly as the hips move closer to the ground. Specific training of the deep abdominal muscles and back extensors can help to maintain this posture. See this video for an example of how to practice maintaining your spinal curvature whilst tipping from the hips. 

 

Shoulder pain and injury

These range from shoulder impingement syndrome to damage to structures such as the long head of biceps tendon, supraspinatus and the sub-acromial bursa, as well as problems with the acromio-clavicular joint.

COMMON TECHNIQUE FAULT AND HOW TO CORRECT IT: Technique can be improved by training the scapular stabilisers which hold the shoulder blade in the correct position and therefore allow the stability muscles of the ball and socket joint of the shoulder – the rotator cuff muscles – to work optimally. When doing any movements where the arm is not moved above shoulder level (pushing or pulling) the shoulder blade should not move forwards. When looking at the alignment of the shoulder from the front, its upper contour should form an upward curve (smiley face) not a downward curve (unhappy face!)

Neck pain and injury

The small intervertebral discs, facet joints, nerves and blood vessels in the neck can become irritated if this part of the spine is not held in the correct position whilst training, or sitting at your desk. This causes neck pain, headaches and symptoms such as pins and needles or pain in the upper back and/or arms.

COMMON TECHNIQUE FAULT AND HOW TO CORRECT IT: When doing any upper body or lower body resistance exercise the neck should be held in neutral, this is with a very slight concave curve. Most commonly the chin is lifted away from the body squashing the structures at the top of the back of the neck and stretching structures at the front. This can be corrected by gently tucking the chin in and elongating the back of the neck.

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    Common Injuries

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  • Clicking Back

    Clicking or crunching in the back can be caused by a number of things.Most people fear that the clicking is caused by bone hitting bone. However, thankfully nowadays this is rare. If you have this, it is likely that for many years you have been suffering severe pain and movement...

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  • Clicking Neck

    Clicking or crunching in the neck can be caused by a number of things. Most people fear that the clicking is caused by bone hitting bone. However, thankfully nowadays this is rare. If you have this it is likely that for many years you have been suffering severe pain and...

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  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

    This is often painful through the middle of the range of movement as you take your arm out to the side and then up to above your head. Try this test – stop as soon as you feel pain: stand with your arms out in front of you as if...

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  • Hip Clicking

    Clicking or crunching in the hip can be caused by a number of things. Most people fear that the clicking is caused by bone hitting bone. However, thankfully nowadays this is rare. If you have this, it is likely that for many years you have been suffering severe pain and...

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  • Disc Problems

    Disc injuries cover a whole spectrum of problems including disc degeneration, disc prolapse and a disc bulge, all in varying levels of severity. Minor injuries will feel like a localized ache over the spine; more severe injuries cause intense pain and immobility, with pain, pins and needles, numbness and/or weakness...

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  • Breathing and relaxation training

    Many spinal, hip and shoulder problems can be helped by retraining breathing habits and releasing the structures involved in breathing, such as the diaphragm and thoracic spine.

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  • Release latissimus dorsi (lats)

    Please click here to read how the shoulder works before reading the following. The lats are often tight and over active relative to the smaller shoulder muscles like the rotator cuff muscles.    

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  • Train deep core muscles

    The following exercise should be performed under the guidance of your Physiotherapist or Osteopath to ensure you are doing it correctly and prevent aggravation of your condition. Please click here to learn how the back works before reading the following.

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  • Stretching

      A note on static stretching v dynamic stretching I bet you can't remember the last time you saw elite athletes doing a static stretches pitch-, track- or court side pre-performance. That is because research now shows that static stretching is not advisable before exercise. This is because it slows...

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  • Train shoulder posture

    Please click here to read how the shoulder works before reading the following. It is essential to reposition the shoulder joint correctly, which you must do under the guidance of a physiotherapist to make sure you dont do more damage. The most common incorrect position is the shoulderblade being held...

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  • ITB and TFL release

    Please click here to read how the knee works before reading the following.

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