I started lifting about 2yrs back and mostly focused on the compound lifts. I generally do a 3x5 program with a upper/lower split cycling through Mon/Tue/Wed. So this means my lower day is squats followed by deadlifts and then any other accessory exercises I feel like (GM, leg press etc). My squat/DL numbers have gone up to 275 and 365.
My last workout about 10 days back during my second set of DL I felt something squish/strain between around my lower back/left pelvis area just above the glutes once the bar was off the ground just before it passed my knees. I was not able to move/bend without pain for a couple of days but since then recovery has been very good, so I think it was probably a minor strain.
I am trying to rebuild my DL form now to avoid any further injuries and build back to my previous numbers and reduce the mental fear of another injury. Would appreciate any comment/critique on my technique below. I would very much like to get to 500 this year.
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IMO, especially if your back has given you issues in the past, you want to get your hips lower in the starting position so you can more effectively drive with the legs to begin the lift. I’d suggest setting up a little further back behind the bar with your feet to begin with. This should allow your knees to track forward a little more and thus allow you to drop your hips a little lower at the start.
Thanks for the tip about starting further back, I used to do that early on but read a lot of other advice to really be close to the bar for efficient lifting. Also I tried doing a few reps with a deadlift belt, so far however it feels somewhat unnatural to me. Probably a matter of getting used to. Do you think it is worthwhile to switch completely to belts and get used to it?
My biggest issue now seems to be getting over the mental fear of another injury… possibly more serious. I always thought I might get injured on the squat or overhead press rather than the deadlift… the logic being that the bar wouldnt get off the ground if it was too heavy.
You want to be close to the bar, yes, but if you begin with the bar too close to your shins at set-up, then it will impede your ability to get your hips down at the start of the movement and therefore you won’t be able to drive with the legs to get the bar past your knees and instead you’ll wind up stiff legging it up (which is pretty much what you’re doing). Some guys are very strong DL’ing this way, but if you’re concerned due to past and possible future back injuries, then you don’t want to DL like that.
Try starting with the bar about half way between your shins and the tips of your toes, that should allow your knees to track forwards and you to get your hips down at the start. Keep the lower back arched (at least naturally arched), arms straight, and head up and take the slack out of the bar by sitting the hips down and getting the shoulders up. Then begin the movement by driving your feet down through the floor to begin the movement until the bar passes the knees, at that point you want to extend the hips/bring the hips under the bar and finish straightening out the legs to “lockout”. Reverse the motion or just drop the bar depending on the equipment, training facility, and your goals.
Tried incorporating the suggestions and getting hips lower. The main issue I seem to find is that my hips tend to rise now a bit before the bar gets off the ground. So perhaps my natural form is hips higher?
Does it also make sense perhaps to keep deadlifts to another day rather than do it after squats… that would lower risk of injury I suppose.On the other hand I am toying with the idea of squatting/deadlifting every workout at lower weights to build up endurance while still having one intense session a week.
I have also attached a squat video on the same day I did just before the deadlifts… appreciate any critique on that as well.