For decades we’ve been brainwashed to believe this poster.

What if this poster is WRONG???!!!

There is in fact ongoing debate regarding the optimal posture during lifting. This study used motion analysis and EMG to evaluate 3 different lifting postures.

  1. Maximal extension (lordotic)
  2. Mid-range (flat-back)
  3. Fully flexed

They concluded that, “A flexed-back posture is associated with increased strength and efficiency of the back muscles compared to a lordotic posture.”

I know that one may argue and say, “But Bahram, many people hurt their back while bending to pick up a heavy box in a flexed posture.”

My counter-argument would be that they simply lifted an item that exceeded their tolerance and that the posture was not the issue. In fact, they need to lift using a flexed posture MORE often in order to become more resilient to lifting in a flexed posture.

One could argue that the avoidance of lifting with a flexed posture could place one at a greater risk of low back injury related to lifting.

Reference: Mawston G, et al Flexed lumbar spine postures are associated with greater strength and efficiency than lordotic postures during a maximal lift in pain-free individuals. Gait Posture. 2021 May;86:245-250.

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