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Old 03-31-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
Christian Holm
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Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

I've been doing Starting Strength for two months and have increased my back squat to 200lb 3x5. However, I seem to have been having problems since the beginning with my Deadlifts. Right now I have worked to a 205 deadlift, pretty bad considering it is barely more than my squat. The problem is that my back seems to be rounding as I pull. I keep my head looking forward, and pull the bar up my shins, and set it down the way I've seen in Rippletoe's videos. My friend said my back also seems to be rounded even when I first take my position, so it might be a flexibility issue, even though I've never had a problem in that area before. My back has been a little bit sore for several weeks, I don't know if that contributes to my problem at all.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
Nic Kirkland
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

Back off the weight until you can get form right. And yeah, if you're not setting up right, that needs to be fixed first. Chest up and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:09 PM   #3
Christian Holm
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

I can't exactly see what I'm doing wrong, but my friend tells me my back is rounded even with lighter weights. He said he would post his description in a bit. I wish I could send you guys a vid, but I work out at 24 and I don't think they allow that.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:31 PM   #4
Aidan Macdonald
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

I am the friend, let me expand

First off, his deadlift weight today was 205 for 5 reps while he squated 200 for 3 * 5 reps. So his weight is very low for deadlift. I don't watch every squat, but the ones I see are always below or at parallel.

I have tried to correct his form on two different occasions. First time, it looked like his lower back would round, I tried everything to fix this. Then I had him pull his shirt up so I could watch his back, and it turned out that the bump was just flexed spinal erector muscles. And his spine was good. Although before realizing this, I had him reset his weight by 10% (200lbs to 180lbs).

On the second occasion, the one today at 205lbs, his back went a slight but full round. Meaning his whole back was contributing to the roundness. This could be do to the fact that I was rushing him, kind of. He developed the habit of deadlifting by: getting set, pulling, going down (not drop), letting the bar go, standing up and starting all over again. I didn't like this, because when I see videos of other strength athletes pulling, they just do rep after rep, only pausing to slightly adjust hands and hips. This is what I made him do today, no standing up between reps.

I don't think the lack of standing and relaxing should have messed his form. I am under the impression that he lacks flexibility in the back and hamstrings. If I try to push his hips down while he is just holding the bar (on the ground), he can't sit down.
Personally, when I hold the bar I can sit down, hyper extend my lumbar, shove my chest up to heaven. Of course in doing any of those, I loose other aspects to form but at least I am flexible enough to do them and I am 200 lbs not a yoga man.


Comments, Questions, I want him to get this form down before I can no longer lift with him (~1 week)

Also I have no formal training other than watching people lift when other kids would play video games, I am quite obsessed with it. I have read Starting Strength cover to cover, but refer me to parts if you know they would help.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:48 AM   #5
Ramon Gomez
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

I think we'd really need to see a video, but I'd have him do the lifts with just the bar for 5 reps and verify that the form is correct all the way through. If he can't do it with no weight, he won't be able to do it with weights added.
Ask him to visualize the deadlift not as a lift, but a lean back. He's going from a squatting position to a gentle lean backwards. Most of the work occurs in the hips (with contributions elsewhere).
Chances are that he's thinking "pick the bar up, keep it close to the shins" which his body is translating to "round the back so that I can pick this up and still keep it close to my body." Instead he needs to think "stand up as straight as possible" which, if he's set correctly at the bottom, will naturally keep the bar close to the shins.
Video is needed.
And, this should be moved to the coaching area.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
Chris Mason
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

Is it the lower or upper back that is rounding? Upper back rounding a bit isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

Vids would be best.

Could be mechanical limitation... such as tight hammies.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:06 PM   #8
Christian Holm
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

I really wish I could give you guys a vid, but I can only work out at a globo at the moment. I'll ask my buddy if it is upper or lower back, and work on trying to get it right with a lower weight. It just seems so weird that I can't pull much compared to my squat. Are there any exercises or stretches I could do to help out my flexibility while deadlifting?
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
Chris Mason
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Holm View Post
I really wish I could give you guys a vid, but I can only work out at a globo at the moment. I'll ask my buddy if it is upper or lower back, and work on trying to get it right with a lower weight. It just seems so weird that I can't pull much compared to my squat. Are there any exercises or stretches I could do to help out my flexibility while deadlifting?
I seriously doubt it is a flexibility issue. I think it is a weak back, glute, and hamstring issue. You should incorporate some good mornings into your training as well. Do them in lieu of deadlifts every 2-3 sessions.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:19 AM   #10
Michael L. Bechtel
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Re: Rounded back while doing light Deadlifts :(

keep your chest spread (big) it locks the lower back like Nicholas has said drop some weight to learn to do the technique and form correctly.
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