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Should Tall People Do Deadlifts? Is it Bad for their Backs?


First of all, being tall is no excuse not to deadlift. Secondly, being in the tall category doesn’t necessarily make someone more at risk to hurt themselves when lifting something. The deadlift is arguably one of the best ways to build strength. It’s also one of the most functional lifts we do at the gym and the skill transfer is invaluable. As CrossFit states, “It is unrivaled in its simplicity and impact while unique in its capacity for increasing head-to-toe strength.” The deadlift can not just make you stronger, but increase your capacity for running, jumping and throwing. Needless to say, it’s so good for you! 

Fun fact – in the late 1800s, it used to be called the “Health Lift”. I wish we kept that name! Check out this article for more history on the deadlift. 

All sorts of lifting does pose risks. With any sport, there is always a chance you will get hurt, whether it’s golf, soccer, weightlifting or baseball, it happens. Injuries come with the territory. However, avoiding a sport or a movement you enjoy because of some physical limitation you have or fear isn’t going to help you. As an athlete, I encourage you to always yearn to grow – physically and spiritually. Life will always throw setbacks your way, but how you persevere through them is what builds your character (and muscles!). There are folks out there who can power clean with one arm, and swim with one leg. Would you tell them to stop? 

The human body is incredible, and to not deadlift because you’re “tall” is silly. With practice and good form, any body can perform a deadlift (at a weight they can handle) safely. Tall or short, you should deadlift, period. If you need more instruction on this, or have additional questions email one of the coaches. We’d be happy to walk you through it. 

Written by: Liz Moran, Coach, JCFit

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