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  • Writer's pictureLorenzo Basso

Returning to Deadlifting After a Slipped Disc: What You Need to Know to Get Back in the Gym Safely

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Deadlifting is a popular strength training exercise that targets several muscle groups, including the back, legs, and core. It's an excellent way to build strength, improve posture, and enhance overall fitness. However, a slipped disc can cause severe pain and limit your ability to perform this exercise. Returning to deadlifting after a slipped disc can be daunting, but with the right approach and guidance, it's possible to get back into the gym safely.

man deadlift

What is a Slipped Disc?

A slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc, is a common condition that affects the spine. The spinal discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae (back bones) and allow for movement of the spine. When a disc slips, it can put pressure on nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the affected area. The most common location for a slipped disc is the lower back. Symptoms may vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. Some people may experience radiating pain in the buttocks, hips and legs. Most cases of slipped disc resolve spontaneously between 6 weeks and 3 months.

The Importance of Rest and Rehabilitation

After a slipped disc injury, it is important to take a period of rest from strenuous activities in order to give time to your body to heal. A physiotherapist will work with you through a rehabilitation plan. In the initial phase, the goal will be to relieve the pain and improve mobility. Once the pain has subsided, you will be guided through an exercise program to regain strength in your back muscles.

Returning to Deadlifting Safely

Before returning to deadlifting, it's crucial to consult with your physiotherapist to ensure that it's safe to do so. He will assess your condition and advise you on the appropriate course of action. The following tips can help you safely return to deadlifting after a slipped disc:

1. Start Slowly

It's essential to start slowly and gradually increase the weight and intensity of your deadlifts. Begin with light weights and focus on proper form and technique. As you progress, gradually increase the weight and number of repetitions, but avoid pushing yourself too hard too soon.

2. Focus on Form

Proper technique is critical to ensure you don't put unnecessary stress on the spine and increase the risk of injury. Work with a physiotherapist or trainer to ensure that your form is correct and that you're lifting in a safe and controlled manner.

3. Warm-up Properly

Warming up before any exercise is essential, but it's particularly important when returning to training after an injury. A proper warm-up can include dynamic stretching, such as lunges or leg swings, and sets with light weights to increase blood flow and prepare the body for the workout.

4. Listen to Your Body

It's crucial to listen to your body and pay attention to any pain or discomfort. If you experience pain during or after deadlifting, stop immediately and consult with your physiotherapist or doctor. Don't push yourself too hard or ignore warning signs, as this can lead to further injury.


Returning to deadlifting after a slipped disc can be a challenging and intimidating process, but with the right approach and guidance, it's possible to get back into the gym safely.

Lorenzo Basso physiotherapist

Stride Fitness & Clinic

Telephone/WhatsApp +65 8882 4325

Address: 3 Shenton Way, #12-08 Shenton House, Singapore 068805

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