Eddie Hall lifting 500kg with a flexed spine
Preamble: Why forces on the low back are about the same regardless of how you lift
Read the research:
- Jaap et al. (1999) Stoop or squat: a review of the biomechanical studies on lifting technique
- Kingma et al. (2014) How to lift a box that is too large to fit between the knees
Part 1: Pig spines in a machine are injured by flexion… or are they?
Read the study: Callaghan & McGill, 2001
Part 2: Pig spines in a machine are injured not by flexion, but rather by LOAD
Read the study: Gooyers et al., 2015
Part 3: Studies on lifting biomechanics in live humans
Part 4: Combining live human studies with cadaver studies shows discs are subject to LESS load as the spine flexes
Read the study: Dolan et al., 1994
And, just for good measure, Legendary Moments In Deadlift History.
Many, many world-record deadlifts done with LOTS of spinal flexion. As we saw in the Dolan et al. paper, humans can generate much higher forces with the spine in flexion. Here are many examples of that.
These people built up load tolerance gradually over many years. It’s not the alignment, it’s too much load too soon that is the important risk factor in lifting.