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Old 04-21-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
Arturo Garcia
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Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

Notes:

1. I'm pulling from a 1.5" deficit, center of the bar is at 7.0" off the ground.

2. I came into this session very scared. A couple of sessions ago I got all reps but my low back was sore for 2-3 days. I'm doing linear progression, but I decided to repeat the weight after that soreness. The day before this video I went to have a massage, sort of a deep tissue massage by people who deal with athletes, and the woman said my low back was inflamed. She felt it with her hands and I could feel a tenderness (a little pain, but "feels so good"-pain) in two spots down by my low back, symmetrical spots I guess.
So I said to myself for this session, "if I feel I'm rounding more than normal I'm aborting" and that's what happened in the 5th rep. I could've grinded it (100% sure of this) but it didn't "feel" right and it was gonna be a slow pull so I aborted it right away without fighting it. Doing reps with that feeling (feeling of a rounded low back) is what caused me that soreness a couple of sessions ago so I wasn't sure, didn't wanna risk my back (too much?).

3. The hardest point for me is the first half of the ROM, lockout feels very easy. The biggest problem I seem to have is keeping the low back tight. The massage woman said my low back muscles are small.. maybe I need to do accesory work?

WFS: Last warm-up, 295x2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQJ765x-Dh0
WFS: Work set: 345x4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=267shFGSPsE
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
Michael Dowling
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

i'm a novice lifter so i won't offer any advice, i just want to subscribe because a deadlift is one of those things where i have no clue if i'm doing it correctly, i've read all the material, feels fine, but i have no confidence that i'm atually deadlifting correctly. i'm always just waiting to hit the floor and three weeks in traction (do they still do that?)

i've tried DL with my butt higher like yours and it killed my lower back (or maybe just worked it and that's how it's supposed to feel), i dropped my butt a bit and switched to lifting shoes and it seems to be almost all legs now (which i still don't know if it's right). but the lower back pain isn't there at all anymore.

also i didn't notice but did you switch to an over/under grip? i had to switch over at 285 work set from the double overhand, not sure if that's way too soon.

Last edited by Michael Dowling; 04-21-2011 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:26 AM   #3
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

I should add another note.

4. Today (day after those videos) my lower back feels perfectly fine. It also felt fine yesterday after the workout.

That day when it was sore for 2-3 days afterwards, it also felt "stiff" the rest of the night after I did them. Maybe, just maybe, had I grinded out that 5th rep, it would be a bit sore today? I'll never know but I'm kinda glad I dropped it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #4
Colin McLafferty
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

Arturo,

It looks to me like you start with your hips really high and your torso is parallel to the ground during the pull. It looks like you have lumbar extension on most of the reps but I think it would be a lot easier for you to keep it if you started with your hips lower and with your torso less parallel to the ground.

IMO you should look more like this: http://****************.wikia.com/wi...e:Deadlift.jpg WFS
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:18 AM   #5
Chris Walls
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

In the first rep (and it improved with each rep) your hip shot up first, so it was a 2 stage lift, legs then back. Was still happening a bit at the end, but not as much as rep 1.

Also at the very top when you lock it out, you seem to relax and sort of plunk back into the lockout, instead of staying tight and squeezing the hips open. It looks almost like you relax and let your spinal discs maxing out their range catch the weight. (might not be whats happening but looks like it from here...)

Starting position looks fine to me. Just try to get the shoulders rising at the same rate as your hips (back angle remaining constant until the bar passes the knees)

eta: Just watched the warmup video and the shoulder/hip rise looked better here.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #6
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Walls View Post
Also at the very top when you lock it out, you seem to relax and sort of plunk back into the lockout, instead of staying tight and squeezing the hips open. It looks almost like you relax and let your spinal discs maxing out their range catch the weight. (might not be whats happening but looks like it from here...)
Holy crap, good catch, I think I do relax at lockout. What should I be thinking of at lockout? Tight abs or something? ... those videos of Konstantinov whistling with the weight at the top have made me believe you only need a firm grip at the top. I can see how this would be awful for the spine. Thank you.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
Chris Walls
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

Absolutely keep your trunk tight and locked in. I think about squeezing my butt to get the hips all the way open as opposed to leaning back to get the bar high enough to open the hips... if that makes sense.

I tweaked my back a few years back deadlifting because I snapped it out a bit too aggressively at the top, with that same relaxed trunk. Now it's all about squeezing the hip open and not leaning back. Subtle difference as it pretty much looks the same.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Deadlift form check. Am I killing my back?

Arturo, I think similar advice applies here. Could be straighter, but depending on experience with it I wouldn't be overly worried. Widen your stance a bit (not sumo, just a few inches) and get the hips a bit lower. I'd also like to see you squeeze the bar off the floor instead of yanking. Deadlifts are slow - if you yank too fast something has to give - chances are it will not be the 400 pounds of iron. For the lockout, squeeze EVERYTHING.
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