Insights into Deadlift progressions

Understanding and Overcoming Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: A Comprehensive Guide to Deadlift Progressions

Proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT), also known as high hamstring tendinopathy, can be a debilitating condition. But it doesn’t have to be a life sentence of pain and discomfort. In this podcast episode transcript, we will delve into the world of deadlift progressions as a means to effectively manage and recover from PHT. We will bust common misconceptions and provide you with a step-by-step guide to incorporating deadlifts into your rehabilitation program. Whether you’re an athlete or not, this information can empower you to take the right steps towards overcoming this condition.

Introduction to Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy

Proximal hamstring tendinopathy is a condition that can cause significant discomfort, particularly when sitting for extended periods. Brody Sharp, an online physiotherapist and PHT sufferer himself, brings you valuable insights into managing this condition.

Setting the Stage

Before we dive into the world of deadlift progressions, let’s address a few key points:

  1. Deadlifts Are Not the Enemy: Many people with PHT believe that deadlifts worsen their condition. However, deadlifts can be an essential part of your recovery program when done correctly.
  2. Understanding the Deadlift: A deadlift is an exercise that involves lifting weights from the ground while maintaining proper form. There are variations, including the classic deadlift and the Romanian deadlift, which place different demands on your muscles.

Starting with the Basics: Isometrics

If you’re struggling with PHT and can’t tolerate any form of deadlift, it’s essential to start with the basics. Begin with isometric exercises:

  • Hip Hinges: This exercise involves bending at the hips while keeping your back straight and holding the position for a few seconds. You can gradually increase the duration and repetitions.

Progressing to Romanian Deadlifts

Once you’ve established a foundation with isometrics, it’s time to progress to Romanian deadlifts. Here’s how:

  1. Begin with lightweight dumbbells (around 5 kilos or 10 pounds) to minimize strain on your hamstrings.
  2. Perform isometric exercises by slowly lowering the weights to just above your knees and holding the position.
  3. Gradually increase the duration and repetitions as your hamstrings tolerate the load.

Adding Movement: Full-Range Deadlifts

As you become more comfortable with Romanian deadlifts, it’s time to incorporate movement. Follow these steps:

  1. Continue with your isometric sets but introduce movement sets.
  2. Start with half-range deadlifts by lowering the weights just past your knees and returning to the starting position.
  3. Gradually progress to three-quarters of the range and finally full-range deadlifts, depending on your symptoms and comfort level.

Increasing Load and Repetitions

Now that you’ve built strength and tolerance, it’s time to increase the weight and repetitions gradually:

  1. Begin with a weight that challenges you but keeps pain levels at a 2 to 3 out of 10 during the exercise.
  2. Increase the weight conservatively, and make sure your symptoms remain manageable.

Introducing Speed and Power

To address the demands of your specific sport or activity, it’s essential to add speed and power to your routine. Here are some recommendations:

  • Kettlebell Swings: Incorporate kettlebell swings to introduce power and speed into your deadlift action. This exercise can be performed occasionally to maintain balance.
  • Speed Sets: Within your regular deadlift sets, add speed by performing a slow eccentric (lowering the weights) followed by a fast concentric (raising the weights quickly).

Customizing Your Progression

Keep in mind that these progressions can be tailored to your individual goals and needs. Your specific sport or lifestyle demands will influence how you structure your deadlift progressions. The key is to stay consistent and gradually challenge yourself to improve strength, tolerance, and resilience.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you find the progression challenging or are unsure about the right path for your rehabilitation, consider consulting a health professional or physiotherapist. They can provide expert guidance and create a personalized plan to help you overcome PHT.

In conclusion, proximal hamstring tendinopathy doesn’t have to limit your quality of life. With a systematic approach to deadlift progressions, you can build strength, resilience, and regain control over your symptoms. Remember that consistency and patience are key on the road to recovery.