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Old 02-21-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
Grant Martin
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Weird deadlift/clean experiences recently

All-right- Bottom line up-front: This past week I did deadlifts and cleans after not having done them for 2+ years after injuring my lower back. I now have ZERO back pain and feel better than I have in years. Is it linked to the deadlifts/cleans? I can't for the life of me think of anything else I've done differently.

Background: In 2006 I injured by back. I had just started doing Crossfit and did 50 back extensions that day- and they felt good, although I rarely, if ever, worked my back muscles like that. That afternoon I went home and dug three holes and planted three huge trees in my yard (I'm a terrible shoveler, btw). I woke up the next morning in extreme pain and the pain has never really left.

Went to the doctor and they recommended motrin (Vitamin "M" for the Army) and back excersises.

I went to Afghanistan in 2007 and attempted to do deadlifts when Crossfit called for it. I stopped after the lower back pain got more intense. It came to the point that I couldn't bend over at the sink in the morning to shave.

Fast forward to 2008. Continued with Crossfit- except for deadlifts and cleans- which I replaced with the physical therapy-recommended back exercises.

This year, I have a buddy working out with me and I was explaining to him how to do the deadlift. I couldn't do it, though- it was too painful. Then, watching him do it made me realize I might have been doing it wrong. I was attempting to squat when I did the deadlift- and going back to the vids, it looked more like a back exercise than a legs exercise like the squat. I tried to imitate what I saw on Crossfit's vids- and lo and behold, was able to deadlift with no problem. The next morning my back felt great.

A few days later I did some cleans. Low weight- but I tried basically the same stance as I had earlier with the deadlift. It was great. I added more weight. No problem. Since then I have, for the first time in 2+ years slept without back pain, woken up in the morning without back pain, walk around without back pain. It is amazing!

My workout buddy thinks I "loosened" some calcium in my back and moved it by doing the deadlifts/cleans and that's why I am out of pain. Whatever it is- I feel it is because of Crossfit and specifically the deadlifts and cleans. I am really ecstatic too- since watching Coach's speech about the deadlift being a part of our DNA- I have felt that I am missing something.

Any ideas? Regardless- and although I'm biased- I am crediting Coach and Crossfit with my recovery.

- Grant Martin
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
Jose M. Perez
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Re: Weird deadlift/clean experiences recently

It sounds like your deadlifts were more like straight leg deadlifts. Your initial injury abused several muscles in your back; the back exercises you have been doing strengthened them. And, yes, the deadlift is more like a clean.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Weird deadlift/clean experiences recently

Generally, you get pain when you do something with incorrect technique...

So if you ever encounter that again, get some vids or analyze what you're doing... so you don't go through the same thing again.

What Jose said is probably approximately what happened.
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