T Nation

Deadlift VS RDL

I suffered a lower back strain 5 months ago. I haven’t deadlifted or back squatted since, and just started front squatting a couple weeks ago (which I’m tolerating very well). Its been 5 days without even tightness in the area. I’ve worked on mobility (especially in the hamstrings and hips) and core work (mostly front/side plank variations).

Ive also been doing single leg RDL’s with extremely light weight for a couple months. Anyways my major goal is to get my deadlift back up to where it was, but also make sure I don’t re-injure my back in the process and build a solid base to prevent further injury. Would you guys recommend starting with RDL’s and then eventually transitioning to conventional deads, or starting with conventional deads.

Keep in mind I will start very light with both and build up very slow with a major focus being put on form. I am really concerned with reinjuring it so I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure form is spot on. Thanks for your time.

pull throughs would actually be a little better just to get used to the movement pattern again

when you do decide to use a bar, RDL but be VERY conservative with ROM at first.

I hadn’t considered pull throughs… Thanks for the input I’m glad I made this thread already. I’ve already taken 5 months off from dead lifting, so will taking even longer to get back to them by doing rdls cause further strength loss? Also how long should I continue with the rdls until it becomes a good idea to start conventional again

strength loss is a bitch but your main priority is getting yourself pain free. If you can get pain free and stay that way, your strength will come back quickly and will surpass where you were pre-injury.

I can’t say for sure how long you should stay at RDLs before trying to pull from the floor again, you’ll have to make that judgement call for yourself. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of months.

When you do pull from the floor again make sure your form is rock solid and don’t go anywhere even close to failure or your max weight.

Has there been a noticeable improvement in your back pain over the last 5 months?

Pain was gone after 2 months. Past 3 have been plagued by a constant tightness that just finally went away

get on all fours and rock, keeping the natural arch through the full range of motion. Fill the belly full at the bottom every few breaths, filling the belly out and visualizing expanding back to front and side to side. I would do this every morning and evening, and def b4 any lifting session.
also, if you haven’t done it in a while, crawl. Just simply crawl.

thanks for the responses, I appreciate your time. Anybody else have any input, or better yet personal experience? Also on the RDL’s I have a few questions… 1 is wouldn’t that put more stress on the lower back than a convnentional dead? I’m not trying to argue I am just trying to see exactly why those are being recommended cause I’m curious. 2 is I have never done RDL’s, should this factor into my decision? I’m not advanced, but I consider myself knowledgable enough to learn them on my own.

Any other input from others would be great, I’m basically gonna try and decide my next move as soon as possible so I have a plan going into this

What about light weight deads from a box? Wasnt there an article recently that suggested using them to help increase hip mobilty?

Nobody asked about your strain injury.

What was the injury exactly? One side? Do you feel it your whole back? Do certain positions hurt more than others?

I had a nasty back blowout, about 5 years ago now. It took me weeks before I could hardly walk straight. Spondylolisthesis, plus disc degeneration, and a stuck right S.I joint to go along.

I started out with bodyweight (then on to goblet) squats and broomstick deadlifts. When I started with weight, I did 1 arm suitcase DL’s with db’s. Then did 2 arms, etc. DB RDLS, BB RDLS, etc. Took weeks/months. Worked up to over 500 DL before I decided that DL’s just aren’t worth the pain they cause (or BB Rows and seated cable rows). I can handle SLDL’s and RDL’s. For me it just has to do with my particular body angle (bent) to do the full ROM DL’s etc.

That’s why I’d want to understand more about your injury before answering.

Either way, I would recommend you don’t rush it. Let it heal. You can still accomplish a lot in your training be it PL, or BB, or Oly, or #hawtabz without DL’s for a little while

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
Nobody asked about your strain injury.

What was the injury exactly? One side? Do you feel it your whole back? Do certain positions hurt more than others?

I had a nasty back blowout, about 5 years ago now. It took me weeks before I could hardly walk straight. Spondylolisthesis, plus disc degeneration, and a stuck right S.I joint to go along.

I started out with bodyweight (then on to goblet) squats and broomstick deadlifts. When I started with weight, I did 1 arm suitcase DL’s with db’s. Then did 2 arms, etc. DB RDLS, BB RDLS, etc. Took weeks/months. Worked up to over 500 DL before I decided that DL’s just aren’t worth the pain they cause (or BB Rows and seated cable rows). I can handle SLDL’s and RDL’s. For me it just has to do with my particular body angle (bent) to do the full ROM DL’s etc.

That’s why I’d want to understand more about your injury before answering.

Either way, I would recommend you don’t rush it. Let it heal. You can still accomplish a lot in your training be it PL, or BB, or Oly, or #hawtabz without DL’s for a little while[/quote]

It was diagnosed as a lower back strain, right side. no more pain anymore just this tightness and that has diminished as well. If you would like more information I’ll post a link to my thread in the injuries and rehab section. I have a few more quesitons,

Currently I am doing this on leg days, front squat, Lunges, single leg RDL’s, then plank variations. How would you guys suggest adding RDL’s to the program? I am currently front squatting twice a week and working up in weight slow, should I just have a “heavy” day for those and do RDL’s as assistance that day and then swap it the next day in week? Also what rep range would you guys reccomend doing the RDL’s in? I’m headed off to the gym in like 10 minutes but my plan is to do RDL’s with an unweighted bar for 5x5 then front squat up to 135x5 (same wieght I did last week so no increase) and then do lunges. I am gonna ditch the single leg RDl’s, not sure if this is a bad idea or not but I’d love to hear input. Thanks again for your time.

I would personally stick with the single leg RDL’s as the cause less stress on your lower back. Lower loading parameters.

I just don’t understand why the back won’t heal. I mean it’s taking quite awhile and I wanted to get to a certain strength level by a certain time. So frustrating and I’m kinda venting here so I’ll chill out haha. ANyways I struggle with the balance aspect of the singel leg RDL’s tremendously. I had been doing them with dumbbells and only use 15 pounders and my form still isn’t too great. It looks great from the side, but I’m rotating my body to create stability, which is quite obvious from the front as one dumbbell comes down about 5 inches lower than the other one.

An older ex powerlifter at the gym today talked me into pulling from blocks. It was a bitch slap in the face that my back isn’t better yet as I only did 135 and I could feel the area. Not pain, but like a tightness and just “feeling” that made me know its not ready. Hopefully I don’t wake up tomorrow 2 steps backwards…