Hello, life enthusiasts! Welcome to Lake Effect Chiropractic. We understand the importance of squats and deadlifts in your life's journey, but we also recognize the challenges they can pose, especially when it comes to lower back pain. In this comprehensive guide, we, as your dedicated chiropractic team, will walk you through common faults and smart modifications for both squats and deadlifts, ensuring you can achieve your fitness goals while prioritizing your spinal health.

Common Faults in Deadlifts:

  1. Rounding of the Back:The first and perhaps most prevalent fault is rounding of the back when lifting the bar from the ground. This compromises the neutral spine, putting excessive strain on the lower back. Maintaining a straight back throughout the lift is crucial to prevent this issue.
  2. Bar Path Error:Another common fault is an error in the bar path. Many individuals allow the bar to drift too far away from their body during the descent. Keeping the bar close to your body ensures a more controlled and efficient lift.
  3. Hips Rising Before Legs:The third fault involves the hips rising before the legs during the lift. To address this, focus on initiating the lift by pushing up both the hips and legs simultaneously, maintaining a synchronized movement.
  4. Overextension of the Lower Back:The fourth common fault is overextension of the lower back, where someone may have excellent form throughout the rep but relies on the lower back for hip extension. This places undue stress on the lower back and should be avoided.

Common Faults in Squats:

  1. Rib Flare:Address overextension of the lower back, known as rib flare, by tucking your rib cage down at the start of the squat.
  2. Good Morning Squat:Prevent the "good morning squat" by keeping your chest up as you go down, avoiding the tendency to push your hips backward.
  3. Quad Dominant Squat:Avoid a quad-dominant squat by focusing on keeping your heels on the ground and not allowing your knees to push too far forward.

Modifications for a Pain-Free Experience:


  1. Box Squat:Modify the depth of your squat using a box. Touch the box and come back up, gradually lowering the box as you become more comfortable with the movement.
  2. Change in Tempo:Alter the tempo by going down for three seconds, holding for three seconds, and then ascending. This modification eases the load and allows for better control.
  3. Change in Equipment:Ditch the barbell and use a kettlebell for counterbalance. Push the kettlebell out as you squat to engage different muscles and alleviate pressure on your lower back.
  4. Switching Exercises: In some instances, switching to alternative exercises like split squats or lunges may be necessary to address persistent issues while still working on lower body strength.


  1. Box and Kettlebell Modification:Utilize a box and kettlebell to modify your deadlift. Place the box between your legs, ensuring a proper hinge movement, and gradually decrease the box height as you become more comfortable.
  2. Change in Tempo:Modify the tempo of your deadlift by lifting the weight over a 3-second count and lowering it slowly over another 3 seconds. This modification eases the strain and improves control.
  3. Single-Leg Deadlift:Change stability requirements with the single-leg deadlift. This modification challenges stability muscles and reduces the load on the lower back.
  4. Gradual Weight Reduction:As a last resort, consider lowering the weight if other modifications haven't resolved the issue. Explore alternative options first, but reducing the weight can be effective in minimizing strain.


At Lake Effect Chiropractic, our mission is to empower you on your fitness journey while prioritizing your spinal health. Whether you're passionate about squats, deadlifts, or a just another human who has to use a toilet daily and pick thing up, implementing these modifications can make a significant difference. If you're experiencing persistent issues or want personalized guidance, don't hesitate to reach out.

Call us at (989) 686-6808, and let's work together to optimize your workouts and keep you moving pain-free.

"Empowering Motion, Enhancing Life: Lake Effect Chiropractic – Where Fitness Meets Function!"

The Lake Effect Chiropractic Team

Ashley  Jordan

Ashley Jordan


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