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Lifting from the GroundA common task for tactical athletes is lifting heavy equipment from the ground. Tactical athletes need to train their bodies to approach the object they are lifting, achieve a strong starting position, and lift using proper lifting techniques.Why is Proper Lifting Technique Important?67.8% of the medical evacuations to the pain management centers from Operation Iraqi Freedom were for back pain (2). Between 2004–2007, musculoskeletal injuries - not combat injuries - were the leading cause of medical evacuations from war zones (3). Non-combat spinal injuries were the leading cause of evacuations for both military (31%) and civilians (19%) from war zones from 2004–2007 (3).
Only 16% of military personnel and 22% of civilian personnel returned to duty after medical evacuation for a non-combat-related spinal injury (3). Incorporating a conventional barbell deadlift into tactical strength and conditioning programs is a great way to teach tactical athletes proper lifting mechanics and can possibly reduce the risk of musculoskeletal or back injuries. The conventional deadlift will strengthen the gluteals, quadriceps, hip adductors, and the spinal erectors (1).
Future articles will show how to adjust the technique if your tactical athletes cannot achieve the start position shown below. Tactical athletes without the ability to get a low start position with their hips should elevate the barbell for a higher start, as well as work to improve the range of motion in their hips and ankles. Proper deadlift technique is shown in Figures 1–3.
Tactical Strength and Conditioning