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Deadlifting with a rounded back

In Ian Kings Bucking the trends article he talks of deadlifting with a rounded back.
What exactly defines a rounded back?
Curving of the lower back?
curving of the entire spine?
curvinf of the entire spine and rounding of the shoulders?

Crawford: That’s one that confused me for a while! When someone speaks of “rounding of the back” (in Kinesiology terms), it’s the lower, lumbar area of the back. The spine in this area has a natural, gentle curvature INWARD (concave), that has it gently curving TOWARD the abs. “Rounding” of the lower spine means to bend it OUTWARD, away from the abs, (sort of like the an angry, humping cat).I should note also that in these articles whan authors say “keep the back flat”, that is usually the UPPER back, while keeping that nice, gentle cuvature to the lower back.


Good Mornings are always a good exercise for illustration; Upper back flat; maintain the natural curvature of the lower spine. The FIRST movement in Good Mornings should be pooching the butt out, NOT a lowering of the barbell because you bent the upper back. Hope this helps!

Deadlifting with a rounded (kyphotic) back? I’m gonna have to disagree with Ian on that one. Does he want us all to come away with a herniated disk?

I went back and read Ian’s article…I’m a little confused on the point (if any) he was trying to make. He wasn’t really saying DO deads with a rounded back, but that at some point people began to say that doing them with a rounded back was bad for you…and???


Can anybody clear this one up?

The point was that you should/could round your lower back for stiff-leg deads, not normal deadlifts. It wouldn’t make much sense to round over your back in normal deads since your not really ever bent over that far to begin with.

Remember, the lumbar spine curvature WILL always round on a deadlift. That means the foward curve will decrease under any appreciable load. You should attempt to keep the curvature as Mufasa stated. This would prevent back injuries from occurring. If anyone would like to check on this get a copy of Facts and Fallacies of Fitness by Mel Siff. The good doc can be a little cranky, but he has an excellent explanation in the book.