All You Need to Know About SI Joint Pops During Deadlifts

April 14th 2019

Are you a beginner or an experienced lifter facing unusual joint pain during the deadlift?

Is pain affecting your ability to lift?

The deadlift is a unique physical activity that has been evolving over the past couple of decades.

It involves your entire body to be engaged to execute the lift.

A slight mistake during deadlift can cause inconsistent pains and aches which may also interrupt your normal routine.

And so, you should work to correct it immediately.

Let's address the case of SI joint pops and pain occurring during deadlifts.


Here is all you need to know!


SI joint popping during deadlifts are not normal and can be caused by having bad form (incorrect setup or awkward twisting) or a bad posture. Taking time off and having a health professional evaluate you are two very great methods to speed up SI joint pain recovery.

Deadlifting is a technical barbell lifting that may cause excessive pressure to the spine when done incorrectly.

And a sore experience to the joints a day after the workout may sound common.

However, it is important to know that it is NOT NORMAL to experience SI joint popping during deadlifts.

It means something is not right either with the exercise you are doing or even it can be an injury to the joint.

Most of the time, those who experience SI joint pain for the first time may take it as normal, but to understand the soreness that is involved with the entire process of the deadlift, lets, therefore, look at several factors:

And how do you fix SI joint popping?

In order to stabilize the pelvis, you will need to strengthen all the muscles that attach to your hips, which include your glutes, core, and lower back.

It also makes sense to stop doing what causes you pain and to focus on strengthening the supporting muscle groups.

Single Leg Deadlifting

It is an excellent exercise that will train your hamstrings, glutes, and the core, besides creating stability and balance of your pelvis.

Making sure the weight is light enough so that you can work on your form and not cause any SI joint pops.

But PLEASE NOTE that in case you don't have the hip mobility or balance to do single leg deadlifts, try to elevate the dumbbell or even kettlebell by putting a small step below the bell or even a yoga block below the bell just by the side of the foot until you don't bend so far.

Just don't pressurize your spine. It's a simple exercise.

Planks, Ab work

Doing light core work with high repetitions can be a great way to give your body a rest from heavy deadlifts while strengthening your abs.

Your abs are an important stabilizer to maintaining a neutral spine for safe deadlifting.


You may be tempted to pull heavy; as strength athletes, we all have that itch to pick up something heavy and show our strength.

I am saying that you need to tame this itch and focus on relaxing and healing.

Be smart; you know what will happen if you pull too heavy when you are not ready.

This means when you have suffered an SI joint injury, make sure you do not come back to deadlifting until you are fully healed.

Then, start off at a very modest percentage from before;

It is very easy to strain your newly recovered muscles if you go for 80% of your previous working set 6 weeks ago.

Fix your posture

Some lifters have reported that they had lordosis, which is an increased inward curve of the spine close to your buttocks, which caused them to experience SI joint pops and pain.

With your spine now in a compromised position, you will have a difficult time managing symptoms without first trying to correct your spine position to develop better posture.

Working on strengthening your abs and hamstrings are usually recommended in order to improve your posture.

Some of these exercises include:

  • posterior pelvic tilts
  • posterior pelvic tilts with ab crunches
  • dead bugs, which involve leg and arm movement for spine stabilization
  • hamstring curls
  • hip extensions

So, what do you after experiencing si joint pops during deadlifts? Ignore or let it go away on its own?

It is best to stop deadlifting and to rest.

If you insist on working out, focus on doing pain-free movements that do not cause you any discomfort or tenderness.

Sacroiliac Joint pops that come after deadlifting is often a signal that your form is incorrect.

Deadlifting can be challenging when your supportive SI joint popping.

While you will take it as a common experience, there is a need to have a solution in case of occurrence.

There are different ways of correcting the SI joint pain cause of the pain.

Whereas the exercises improvised at home can only involve form rolling, piriformis stretching, as well as clamshells, which can eventually be effective, deadlift trainees should seek more effective avenues for them to get back to the exercise as quickly as possible.

Is it an SI joint disorder?

Firstly, let's understand the way your SI joint moves.

Just as any dedicated section of your body during a deadlift, the pelvis as well as the SI joint turns in the 3-dimensional axes.

But how can we isolate the axes individually, and based on functional movement?

Take for instance walking.

While one foot is forward, another foot will automatically remain behind, and the trunk will be rotating just like the pelvis with one of the sides lifting as the other drops.

The muscle will form the "slings" around your pelvis which will work on the following axes: the horizontal, longitudinal as well as oblique to create the closure of the force also known as stability during the deadlift.

How do you screen for SI joint popping effectively? Here is the best idea for you!

At first, make an appointment with your doctor.

During deadlifting, SI joint pops can be as a result of something serious.

The symptoms can result in the pain offset right from your lower back, immediately above your hip as well as the buttock.

Are you experiencing something unusual that you want to correct?

Pain can occur above your buttock, on the top of hamstring, or around the hip.

Do not ignore these signs.

These symptoms can even worsen where you are sitting for prolonged periods of time.

If these symptoms are directly affecting your spine and the pain is shooting through your leg and down your knees, that is something you cannot ignore.

Are you feeling either of these symptoms during and after your last deadlift exercise?

Don't brush it off!

Why Does SI Joint Pain Occur?

Just as many of the other joints in your body, SI joints have a cartilage layer that covers your bone.

This allows for movement and serves as a shock absorber.

And when you do deadlift exercise in a wrong way, it may end up damaging these cartilages.

That will eventually lead to the bone rubbing on each other and even wearing away.


Do you also suspect that you may be having arthritis?

This is a condition that affects the SI joint and may result in pain during the deadlift.

Do you know that psoriatic arthritis, gout, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as ankylosing spondylitis can be the problem causing SI joint pain?

These leads to stiffness, which can stifle your deadlift progress.

What Is The SI Joint And How Is It Related To Deadlift?

This will serve as a guide for the new entrants to deadlifting.

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is that joint located in the pelvis and lies between the sacrum as well as the ilium of your pelvis, and it is joined by powerful ligaments.

Normally, the sacrum offers support to the spine which in return is held strongly by the ilium on the sides.

So, the SI is a very weight-bearing, strong synovial joint that has depressions — producing the interlocking of two bones.

Also, it has irregular depressions that occur during the deadlift.

And the human body has two SI joints whereby, one is normally on the left with the other one on the right-hand side, — which always matches each other and slightly varies from one person to another.


Deadlifting is a great exercise that works best when you do it rightly.

Are you having any joint pain since you last did a deadlift exercise?

Note that it is not a normal experience.

You need to know what is the cause of your problem.

Is it because you are doing it in the wrong way.

Make adjustments to train pain-free and make your experience the best.

Good luck with your training!!

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