T Nation

Back Rounding at Deadlift Start


#1

Whatever cue I use, I cant get my back to not round at the BEGINNING of my deadlift. Yes I’ve taken lighter weight and also deloaded just to be safe and I dont want to not push myself and be stuck at one weight for eternity so whenever I even add 5 pounds or even 2.5 pounds, the rounding happens. Also another question is, whenever we attempt moderate or high rep deadlifts, how does one maintain a straight neutral back especially towards the end where even if you try to keep your back straight you get some rounding?

My first time deadlifting today after 4 months of not really doing DL.
Today for DL i did 225 for 3 sets of 5 and if I recall, I did 275 for 6-8 for like 5 sets 4 months back and all that… so even this "deadlift deload " along with actual deload didnt really help me.

It sounds simple to progressively overload but it’s much harder to do than words themselves.
How do you guys break through plateus if deload fails


#2

Deloading after a stall and going again exactly the same is pointless IMO. Nearly everyone gets stuck at around the same spot.

You need to work in new variations, change intensity/volume/frequency or some other change. I quite like the pivot/bridge idea where you do a short stint (2-4 weeks) of something very different to your usual programming before getting back to things.


#3

Ok, so a few points:

4 months is not a deload. It will make you weaker. You’ve seen that. Don’t try it again.

If your lower back is rounding as you near heavy (for you) weights, it is not strong enough. Get it stronger.

You can break through plateaus by keep plugging away at a sensible program. In my opinion though, you are too weak to have hit a plateau and its more likely your approach is fundamentally flawed and you therefore have to change it. That’s fine, you know know one thing that doesn’t work and you’re one step closer to finding something that does.

I would suggest a sensible 5/3/1 program (ie. One that Jim wrote himself, that meets your goals), although I’m also a fan of ROM progression or the daily dose approach for deadlifts. @T3hPwnisher has a blog which details ROM progression, or check @ActivitiesGuy log for how daily dose deadlifts work.


#4

Yeah, this is the first problem, OP. Taking 4 months off isn’t a “deload” - I have no idea how you expected your deadlift to improve by just not training it (unless you had a well-structured plan to really hammer a bunch of other weaknesses, but that’s a rather more advanced approach, not something I’d expect to be necessary to get past 275 pounds).

Second, you give absolutely no details about your training history, current approach, or basically anything we could use to help you. The post is just “I’m having trouble progressing my deadlift.” To give meaningful advice, we need meaningful information.

Third, back rounding is a more complex topic than most folks think and (IMO) some folks are a little too worried about a perfectly straight/neutral spine (to the point that they’re hyperextending just to feel like they’re “neutral”) but there’s no way we can evaluate this without a video of you deadlifting, preferably with a weight heavy enough that you have to work (at least 75-80% of your max). Form check videos with 135 don’t do any good, because they don’t show what you look like under some strain.


#5

Sometimes it could be tight hamstrings too
And yeah, a video would be nice


#6

Try RDL’s, dimel deads, or elevating the bar just enough so the rounding subsides, and work it all until you build necessary strength.


#7

I’ve never found this particularly important.

Is it your upper back or your lower back that’s rounding?


#8

Yea I like the idea but that’s what I did. That’s why I dead lifted first time in 4 months


#9

To clarify I meant 4 months off deadlifts. I did rack pulls and other back builders as well


#10

Your lower back may be strong enough, but lack of mobility in your hams and glutes may be resulting in the rounding of the back. It’s hard to tell without a form check video.


#11

Ankle mobility too, as well as upper calf/hamstring tie in. Worth mentioning mid-back mobility is not important at all. The only thing that shouldn’t be rounding (much) is your lower back.


#12

ROM in DL seems pretty small compared to squat for poor ankle mobility to be a factor. Is it that significant for the deadlift? Care to enlighten me? Thanks


#13

My reading of the original post was that the rounding started at higher weights and was limited to lower back. It’s not that clear though, care to elaborate OP?


#14

Could just be a factor, though unlikely compared to hips and hamstrings. The OP might just need to work from blocks or train the shit out of dimel deads or RDL’s. It worked for me.


#15

Nobody here mentioned quad weakness - if you can’t drive the weight off the ground by pushing with your legs, your back and hams will take over and you’ll end up doing a SLDL.


#16

Yea my hamstrings are always tight from things such as stiff leg deadlifts and other things. No matter what stretch I try they still remain tight forever…
Also on my squat and deadlift someone told me that weak glutes also cause rounded back and poor mobility… could this be it?

And my gym doesnt have a hip thruster so what sets and reps and exercises should I do for it?


#17

I somehow just tend to lean forward and I use like 90%of my energy trying to balance and keep the weight lifting vertical to the floor.

What I mean is that it’s hard to balance in squat probably because one leg is stronger or it’s my poor mobility like mentioned. Ass to grass is only something I can somewhat do if I round my back.

Any mobility exercise?

Also I am considering weak quads but that might be unlikely since I leg press nearly 3 or 4 times the amount I squat.


#18

It’s okay to pull up AND back.

I’m not sure you know how much you can leg press, because this is a huge window.

Contrary to popular belief, being able to leg press a lot doesn’t necessarily equal strong quads. People are always hearing “sit back” and “no knees over toes”, and everyone has developed some fear of excessive knee flexion, and people avoid it. Surprise, surprise - the major knee injury we hear of is the ANTERIOR cruciate ligament. Show me a top-tier Oly lifter whose knees don’t go past their toes.

Do some hack squats and high-bar squatting. Practice bracing. Increase your DL frequency. Don’t ever take 4 months off. Practice bracing.


#19

OP, can you get into appropriate positions with 40kg/95lbs? If so, mobility is not the problem, strength is the problem.


#20

I feel like it’s my entire back but probably I’m guessing since it’s more common the lower