Powerlifting Injuries

Powerlifting revolves around three primary lifts:

  1. Bench Press
  2. Squat
  3. Deadlift

Whilst the ultimate aim of training is to lift the most obscene amount of weight as physically possible in each of these lifts, powerlifters will include other movements in their training program (“accessory exercises”) to assist in achieving this goal (e.g. shoulder press, front squat, RDL’s and variations of the primary lifts).

Primary lifts share a common injury risk factor – Compressive Stress. 

Bench Press – Mainly creates compression through the shoulder joint

Squat and Deadlift – Produce large amounts of compression through the spine.

Powerlifting Injury Prevention

The body is designed to withstand this type of loading.  However, if this force is repetitive, high load AND performed under poor biomechanics there is increased chance of both acute and chronic (“wear and tear”) injuries. 

A 2018 study (Strömback et al) showed that 70% of sub-elite powerlifters were currently injured, and 87% had experiences injury within the past 12 months.  That averages out as 0.3-2.1 injuries per year, or 1-5.8 injuries per 1000 hours of training.

In this study the most common sites of injuries, for both male and female, were lumbopelvic (lower back region), shoulder and hip. 

Common Powerlifting Injuries

Torso: Hip and Lower Back

Upper body: Shoulder and Rotator Cuff

Lower body: Knee and Groin/Adductor 

When interviewed, most reported that injuries did not stop them from training or competition, however it did alter the content and focus of training.  Studies show at least 2 weeks of altered training, however in some cases there is a longer period of modified training, or in some cases complete rest from training.

How Physio Can Help!

  • Assess and treat muscular weaknesses
  • Injury assessment and diagnosis
  • Addressing the cause of the injury
  • Manual therapy or dry needling and other specific injury treatment
  • Exercise rehab and return to training plan
  • Training modifications to prevent you from stop training
  • Helping you remain injury free
  • Assess technique optimisation to maximise the weight you can lift

East Perth Trained Physio Can Help You!

Our East Perth Trained Physio’s can provide a thorough assessment of your current and previous training, taking into account all lifestyle factors that may be adding to your injury or pain state. A full body and movement assessment will identify any weakness, imbalances or loading issues and can provide you with movement retraining and strength and conditioning programming and load management advice to keep you training and prevent or resolve any current pain or injuries.

East Perth Trained Physio

Did you know at Trained Physio we have a fully equipped rehabilitation facility?  Check out the details here.  Physiotherapy has several goals including promote healing, reduce pain, avoiding aggravation, optimising physical function and global strengthening to restore normal movement patterns.  To see how I can help you BOOK ONLINE TODAY

Written by: Olivia Strelein

BSc. Physiotherapy (Honours)
BSc. Exercise and Sport Science
Personal Trainer