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Old 04-06-2010, 06:35 AM   #1
Anthony Giurato
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My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

My lower back strength has always been lagging way behind my legs in terms of strength. The signs are obvious whether I am deadlifting, cleaning, or even rowing. I thought that I was doing better (and maybe I am) but now I finally taped myself and have proof that it's weak. Nearly every rep I did, I was thinking "tight back, don't shoot my butt", and sure enough, every rep I shot my butt up first thing.

Here is my WFS video of me deadlifting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7YnnnyunxA

Seeing that, can anyone identify exactly where my weak point is?

I'd REALLY like to fix this once and for all. It's just asking for me to strain my back again.

Right now I'm not on any set training plan. Since someone often follows up by asking "what are your goals" I'll go ahead and beat them to the punch.

Main goals:
- Make my lower back strong enough that it doesn't severely hamper my other lifts.
- Perform 1+ muscle ups
Secondary goals:
- Become more powerful (focusing on the power clean)
- Increase foot speed on 10 to 800m distances (both max effort and multiple intervals)


Tertiary goals:
- Improving low rep strength
- Improving short Meta-con type ability
- Maintaining or minimizing longer distance endurance (I have a rowing background)


Can someone suggest either supplemental work or even a full workout plan I should use? My weak lower back greatly affects many of my other goals. I know this is probably asking too much, but I'd like to be able to go into workouts thinking that my upper or lower body strength is going to hold me back, not fear of lower back injury.

Last edited by Anthony Giurato : 04-06-2010 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

It seems like it's just an issue with your starting position. Get your hips higher before you start the pull.

Bar over mid foot.
Grab the bar.
Chest up.
Pull.

Looks like your bar is way out over your toes and not your mid foot when you start the pull, causing your hips to be lower in your starting position.

Also, you're goals are extremely vague.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:50 AM   #3
Steven Webster
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

You're not making full use of your muscles to deadlift.

The main thing I see is that your back is not set properly. As a result you're not getting a good stretch in your hamstrings.

With a much tighter back, hips in the correct position, sitting right back, you will gain more tension and subsequently recruit more muscle necessary to lift weight.

Sort your form out, and if you like try good mornings, romanian deadlifts, ghr's, back extensions, pullthroughs, and that sort of thing.

Fast forward to 31 mins- hopefully this should give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

WFS
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...1301858251744#
WFS
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
Sean Dunston
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

Another way to say what Steven is saying -
Your hips are rising first, prior to the lift, which means you are straightening your legs too early and you only have a few inches of extension left prior to your back doing the rest of the work/lifting for you. To be effective and to use the glutes and hamstrings for the deadlift, your body needs to work in concert when lifting the bar off the ground. If you move an inch, the bar should be rising by an inch. The knees and hips should be reaching full extension at approximately the same time -- everything you do should be making the bar rise off the ground, no wasted movements.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:22 AM   #5
Ryan Loethen
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

I have the same problem, My back is my giggest problem, also I was getting to low in my deads
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
Steven Webster
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
Your hips are rising first, prior to the lift, which means you are straightening your legs too early and you only have a few inches of extension left prior to your back doing the rest of the work/lifting for you.
Yes, this is definitely going to put the back in more of a prone position, and increase the risk of injury. My knowledge is a little shaky on this point, but I believe in starting strength Mark Rippetoe mentions something along the lines that center of gravity is thrown forward. Mechanically the lifter is at a disadvantage here. While some lifters do get the weight up like this, there comes a time where hitching the weight becomes a possibility, something I would not recommend for safety reasons.

In other words I don't think that you back is weak, Anthony, it's just a safety issue that needs addressing here.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
Anthony Giurato
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Webster View Post
You're not making full use of your muscles to deadlift.

The main thing I see is that your back is not set properly. As a result you're not getting a good stretch in your hamstrings.

With a much tighter back, hips in the correct position, sitting right back, you will gain more tension and subsequently recruit more muscle necessary to lift weight.

Sort your form out, and if you like try good mornings, romanian deadlifts, ghr's, back extensions, pullthroughs, and that sort of thing.

Fast forward to 31 mins- hopefully this should give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

WFS
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...1301858251744#
WFS
GREAT video. I just watched from minute 31 on. Now I'm going to go back and starting from the beginning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Júlíus Magnússon View Post
It seems like it's just an issue with your starting position. Get your hips higher before you start the pull.

Bar over mid foot.
Grab the bar.
Chest up.
Pull.

Looks like your bar is way out over your toes and not your mid foot when you start the pull, causing your hips to be lower in your starting position.

Also, you're goals are extremely vague.
You're right, I am starting with my bar way out.


I'll fix the bar position and use that video as a guide for now and post an update later. Thanks Júlíus, Sean, Ryan, and Steven.
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Last edited by Anthony Giurato : 04-06-2010 at 12:18 PM. Reason: I got more replies while I was typing. Thanks
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
Anthony Giurato
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
Another way to say what Steven is saying -
Your hips are rising first, prior to the lift, which means you are straightening your legs too early and you only have a few inches of extension left prior to your back doing the rest of the work/lifting for you. To be effective and to use the glutes and hamstrings for the deadlift, your body needs to work in concert when lifting the bar off the ground. If you move an inch, the bar should be rising by an inch. The knees and hips should be reaching full extension at approximately the same time -- everything you do should be making the bar rise off the ground, no wasted movements.
With the starting position I am using now, I can't keep the lower back angle when I start to pull, thus the butt goes up. Do I need to be starting with my rear higher in the air than I am? Not super high, just at the same height that it is going to now?

I.e., Let's say my starting position is A, and my position I get to where my rear goes up before the weight moves is B. Should I be starting from B to begin with? I watched the video that Steven linked to. Is the position that the guy gets into at 33:45 the position I should be in (adjusting for my height/flexibility of course)? In the video, the legs aren't very bent, he has a straight back, and a there is a lot of tension in his hamstrings. That looks and sounds a lot more like how I am once I start getting the weight off the ground. Should that be my starting position for deadlifts?

Attached is the power position from the video.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:01 PM   #9
Sean Dunston
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

I haven't watched the video, so I'll have to check it out.
However, the picture you attached does not show the lifter with the bar in the starting position - it is already at, or slightly above, the knee and he's in a snatch grip, ready to do an OLY, not a deadlift
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Last edited by Sean Dunston : 04-06-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:35 PM   #10
Mike Mallory
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Re: My lower back is weak (deadlifts)

lower your weight until you can keep your form in check, then progress
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