Let’s face it. We need to bend over to pick things up from the floor. That is a normal function of life. But what do we do when we are experiencing pain like sciatica? As adults, we have responsibilities as parents, dog parents, and just normal human function to bend over when we: have to pick up our children, pick up after our dog, or even pick up that pen that just fell on the floor.
Bending over can be a really scary movement because in the past it may have caused pain, and you’ll see on the internet how you should “never bend over” because it is bad for your pain.
The great news is that it doesn’t have to be. It is time for you to break free from the fear that pain brings with bending over. We need to create a safe space for your body to tolerate and feel confident when doing this normal every day activity. And it does not have to be complicated.
In fact, the more simplified we make this movement the better. It is called the deadlift (which should actually be called the “life lift” because it is so important for function). The deadlift was given the name because an object is being picked up from the floor from a “dead stop”.
So how can we do it safely? It is all about hip movement. I challenge you to think that moving forward (starting today) that every movement begins at creating tension at the core (aka bracing) and when you are in fact moving the majority of motion will occur at the hip. Here’s how you can find your hip axis (aka, the pivot point). Simply stand up and lift one knee up (with your hands, or just your muscles). The crease that forms in your hip identifies your pivot point.
Next, we need to focus on ensuring that the hips move back (and maybe a little down) when we’re doing this motion. Now at this point, a lot of trainers, physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors will tell you to keep the chest up when doing this movement. It is meant to protect your back, but it can often lead to pinching and tensing up of the hip flexors.
Contrary to popular belief, you are allowed to lean the torso forward. This allows your abs to engage and truly pivot at the hips. At this point, the hamstrings (back of your thighs) should be tensing up. This is your force and power generator. If you don’t feel tension, stand back up and reset. Your hamstring and hips will do the work, your back will be stable as long as you lean that torso forward slightly.
If you need a visual, here’s a video explainer on how to do it.
If you would like a longer explanation on the benefits of this movement, you can check our our podcast episode here.
You don’t need to be scare of picking things up from the floor. It is a normal part of human function.
If you need help breaking free from the fear and pain so you can go back to living your life, book a free strategy call with us today. We’ll come up with a plan together. You can book here.
If you want to try some of this on your own, check out our Sciatica Protocol. It’s entirely text based, so it is convenient, effective, and you can do it anywhere. We have a free 3 day trial, and then it is only $9.99 per week after that. You can cancel it anytime. Check it out here.