T Nation

Deadlift Debauchery

Heya T-pals. I completed week 1 of Ian King’s “Limping into November” having done deads yesterday. Today, while my legs are pain-free, I have some discomfort in my lower back. I have deduced from this state of being that there is something awry in my form. Now, obviously it would be unreasonable to ask your comments on my form when you’ve not seen me deadlift, however I will request of my T-bretheren soem tips on keeping my spine in line when liftin’. Thank you as always. Lord, I feel like such a whore.

MBE: "Drunk off yesterday's protein pancakes since 1932."


When I deadlift, and I’ve been doing it for going on 2 years now, my low back generally has some discomfort if I’m on the edge of good form. If I keep the weight the same for a couple of workouts the discomfort doesn’t develop. Deadlifting does hit the low back, and glutes, like no other lift and it takes time for your body to adjust to it. Keep your ass low, shoulders high and square, and don’t pull too much weight until your weak area…low back for 99% of us…catches up.

I’m not sure if this applies to everyone - but I know for me, if I try to keep my head ‘too up’ then i have an excessive arch in my lower back. To the point where it is sore the next day even if everything else feels spiffy.
Judging from a lot of your other posts, you’ve got a great handle on the significance form, and know Ian’s ideas fairly well - it could just be that doing Deadlifts Ian King Style hit your lower back in a different and special way.

happy belated birthday monkey boy :slight_smile: When I dead lift, i put my feet a little more than shoulder width apart. I use (i think it’s called supinated / pronated grip) the one palm in, one palm facing out grip. When I start the motion, I make sure i can get low enough that my spine is straight, AND it’s not leaning too much forward. Then, while keeping the back straight, I lift off only with my legs. As you go up, do what feels natural; meaning, use your legs to go up, THEN start using your lower back a little bit (because it should be semi straight up all ready). I would consintrate on lifting with the legs first. I do hope this helps.

Steelyeyes, I beleive you’re right on, good call. Until recently I had the tendency to gravitate towards stiffed-legged Dead form, perhaps the new, King-style form is the catalyst. Most likely so. Franks, Thank you for the insight. I definitely keep my gaze straight on when Dl’ing, hence my head is always up (Thank Pavel’s influence). Furthermore, Franks, are you alluding to the fact that I’m “special”?

MBE: “Riding atop the 'lil yellow bus since 1950.”


If I remember correctly, heretofore you’ve been doing deads with dimbbells, yes? Are you now doing them with a berbell? If so, it’s a good bit that you’re having to lean farther forward than you’re used to in order to have the ber clear your knees. This will put more strain on your lower bock, even if your form is litter perfect. No whey around it.

char-dawg: It started as a typo; now it’s a Milton Bradley game. Playin’ the ol’ vowel switcheroo since 1333.

A little tip I picked up from Jason Norcross when I was having some deadlifting discomfort awhile back…try taping your lower back before the workout. If you feel the tape getting excessively tight during the lift, you are probably rounding your back a little too much. It’s pretty simple, but I never realized how much I was actually prematurely rounding until I tried this.

Have someone watch your heavier DL’s. Want to make sure your squeezing the bar off the floor and not jerking it. Make sure you tighten your whole body before you pull.

Damn, you beat me to the punch! I guess great minds think alike:)

MBE-Give the tape trick a try; it works wonders.

Thanks for the extremely precise feedback, pals. I have indeed begun to lift more with the bar, and as such feel that the new stimulus could play a role. Char, I’m not even going to ask if you want to buy a vowell. Lata.

MBE: “Wrapping himself in duct tape since 1315.”


anyone know any tricks to help keep your hips from moving faster than your back?

Adam Marshall

MBE - Not unlike you, I stung my low back doing
DL’s last week; it was the first time I had done
so in quite some time!

What went wrong? First of all, my LB wasn’t fully
recovered from a previous work-out 4 days before.
Yeah, I rushed it. Next, my hip-flexors were tight,
and I didn’t take the time to stretch them out properly.
Because of the tight hip-flexors, I didn’t get my butt low
enough which caused me to initiate the pull with too
much LB.

Important: Having had LB problems some years
ago, I adopted a method which helps me DL and
squat pretty much pain free. Before each rep, I “fill”
my diaphragm full of air; then, I forcefully crunch my
lower abdomen against that air. This acts like a natural
girdle which helps support the LB quite well. I begin to
release the air as soon as I get past the sticking point
on the ascent.

Last week, when I stung my LB, I was dead-lifting for
high reps. I threw them in after chest + back - usually
do them on leg day, but I neglected to maintain lower-abb
integrity because of fatigue. This, along with tight hip-flexors
and my butt riding too high, caused the problem!

Hope this is of some help, ya big garilla ya!

I occasionally have lower back issues also. Just make sure that you are not overdoing it. If you feel tight, or have any type of discomfort, lower the weight, or walk away.

Just to motivate you guy's a little, Patricia pulled 280 the other day.

I have been notified that I was incorrect regarding Patricia’s deadlift #. It was actually 285.