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Lifting technique article upgrade 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Last week my article about back-safe lifting got shared around a lot... and I was deluged with feedback, especially from powerlifters, which inspired a major upgrade.

Many of my updates to articles and tutorials are very focused: a single new study, a key point, a specific correction. This one was wide-ranging and took DAYS of discussion, study, writing, and citing; it’s practically all I’ve done all this week. The article is like new. Although I didn’t actually change any significant positions, I did change the title, which had been a bit oversimplified and clickbaity.

OLD: “Lifting Technique Doesn’t Matter”

NEW: “Don’t Worry About Lifting Technique”

Not a huge difference, but an important one I think. Other changes:

  • added the idea that most good lifting technique is simple and intuitive and cannot be improved by teaching (full credit to Todd Hargrove for that refinement)
  • clarified the scope of the article (just about stoop vs squat lifting for most people, most of the time... no athletic extremes, no rehab, no special occupational challenges like nursing)
  • linked prominently to Greg Lehman’s more thorough and technical review of [both sides of the spinal flexion debate](
  • added [video of a strongman stone lift]( showing *extreme* stoop lifting (holy cow)
  • added evidence that there’s surprisingly little difference in forces on the spine in stoop vs squat lifting
  • revised the powerlifting section in a way that I hope powerlifters will think is more acceptable, but I did double down on the most contentious point: I think the evidence is clear that spinal flexion is impossible to avoid, and I added citations to shore that up

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