The 5 L’s of Lifting

Have you ever noticed how babies have the perfect squat and deadlift form?

When watching a baby pick up an object off the ground, you can watch how they bring the object close to them as they come upright and maintain a neutral spine throughout the ascending and descending phase. Our goal as adults is not necessarily to go back to squatting or deadlifting like babies, but to maintaining 5 important aspects when picking things up and putting things down. (No Pun Intended)

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The 5 L’s of Lifting

Whether you are an avid athlete in the gym, a powerlifter, cross fit athlete, full time mom or a laborer who requires picking up heavy objects from the floor there are 5 important aspects to lifting that you should always keep in mind to protect your back from injury and stabilize your core properly.

The One with the 1st L (Load)
The first L is for Load and reminds the person of the importance  of testing the weight that is being lifted- this can mean trying to tap or roll the object a few inches to assess how heavy the load you are picking up will be. Obviously always seek out mechanical or manual assistance if necessary.

The One with the 2nd L (Lever Arm)
The 2nd L is for Lever Arm and refers to the work LOAD. The further the distance away from the body that an object is lifted, the greater the lever arm and therefore the greater the work force or LOAD on the back.

The One with the 3rd L (Lordosis)
This refers to the position of the lower back while you are lifting. You want to keep your back straight or in the most neutral position and have an educated instructor guide you on drawing in your transverse abdominis or lower core to stabilize the spine. This will help alleviate the stress on the back.

The One with the 4th L (Legs)
The 4th L is for Legs which refers to your legs being the most important part of lifting. It is extremely important that you lift the weight by using your legs instead of your BACK. 

The One with the 5th L (Lungs)
The 5th L is for Lungs and refers to proper breathing techniques while you are lifting. Do NOT hold your breath. Inhale prior to the lift and exhale during the lift through pursed lips, slow and controlled.

Dr. Christiana Marron is Happy to Help!

  • Are you trying to improve your deadlift/squat personal record?
  • Do you have severe back pain that limits you from your household chores?
  • Does your lower back tend to flare up during any lower body activities?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, contact us below. If you have any questions in regards to proper squat and deadlift form or simply lifting objects off the ground at home to avoid chronic repetitive back pain, contact Dr. Marron! She will take you through a thorough evaluation and assessment of your functional squat and deadlift form along with a proper plan of care.

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