T Nation

Deadlifts


#1

I notice that when I put down the weight on my deadlifts to end a set the bar is always at a really bad angle instead of parallel in front of me. I also notice that when I'm done I have a sharp pain around my tailbone. This has always been when I have done deads on and off over the last 4 years. I have always maintained the arch in my back, but I fear that I may be leading myself down the road to injury if I put up more weight than I do now. (A pathetic 250lbs 5x6 at 155lbs bodyweight.)

So, question is, am i doing something wrong with my deads? Also, I do mostly compound movements, deads, squats, bench, cubans, dips and pullups. Do I really need any direct ab work? And could my lack of ab work and excess back work be causing the pain in my lower back all the time?

mikeyali


#2

About bar placement - what sort of grip are you using?

And yes, (heavy) ab work will have a big impact on your deadlift form. Abs are arguably responsible for the first part of the pull and maintaining a good arch than any other muscle group.


#3

I use an alternate grip. As for the ab work, are you saying that I should do ab work then or that squats and deads pretty well have them covered?

mikeyali


#4

Mikeyali,I would not consider 6 reps of 250 lbs, at 155lbs bodyweight,"pathetic". Personally to keep a good form I prefer 2, 3 reps or singles. I use a shoulder width grip and feel more comfortable with a pronated grip. In your case maybe the pronated grip is better. Mantain the arch in your back . Look in front of you.In the concentric/eccentric parts, the barbell is always in contact with my shins/quads. The speed is controlled:at least 2 seconds to lower the weight. I use to deadlift in a power rack in front of a mirror to always check the overall simmetry of the lift. Start a new deadlift cycle lowering the weight about 15-20% adding 5% more weight each workout.


#5

do the additional ab work. the pain could possibly be from damage done at the insertion of the gluteals. as tha tailbone is fixed form may not have much to do with this injury.
Anyway, go see a physiotherapist/ OT/ ART practioner soon.


#6

How long is this pain lasting?

I get a pain in my lower back at the end of the set but it goes away immediately after the set is over.

If the bar is at a bad angle every time at the end of the set, then you might have to work on your form. I can't say my bar placement is parallel but it isn't far from it. You could reset the rep every time. This might help your form.


#7

Mikeyali,

I used to have a similar pain when deadlifting. Fortunately for me I train with one of the finest deadlifters in the country so he quickly corrected my form.

You are not putting your butt down far enough when you make the initial lift. Your butt is hanging up there and so your tail bone is taking to much of the stress of the weight. Otherwise, the muscles of the upper leg, hips and butt would be taking it.

Do you understand what I am saying? If not, let me know.


#8

I'm not an expert on kinesiology or anything but I used a mixed grip as well and it does place some torsional stress on your back (hence the bar being uneven when you drop it). I've never had any problems but an easy solution would be to switch grips from set to set.

As far as the ab question, by all means do heavy ab work - weighted sit ups, roman chairs, etc...Do you or have you ever used a belt? Know that feeling of intra-abdominal pressure you get when you really push your gut out against the belt - the stronger your abs are the more pressure you can exert (with or without belt) and in turn cut down on your back rounding out in early to mid-pull.


#9

man it's hard to say....multifidus attaches down there as does the fascial sheath of iliocostalis lumborum. so there's several things that could be going on. could be as simple as switching which hands you have supinated and which one you have prone...if you use the same setup everytime your pull angle can favor one side....typically the supinated side for me.


#10

Problem lies in the fact that I see NO ONE do deads in my gym but myself. I started doing deads when I was 18 (5 Years ago) when I was looking at a friend's Pavel book. He showed doing deadlifts with your legs almost completely straight. When I do mine now I can still maintain a good arch and drive my hips forward well, and I switch when I pronate and supinate each set. I don't have a problem putting my weight on my heels as my shins sometimes get cut up a little from the bar. I also do not use a belt.

I have had it suggested when I was in the fleet to just stop doing deadlifts by a few people but I really can't do that. I love deadlifts more than anything. It isn't even a bodybuilding thing for me. Deadlifting is like back in the caveman days to me. See that big weight? Go pick it up. Just like when you're a kid and you see who can pick up the biggest rock.

mikeyali


#11

Are you strengthening your back extensors at all. Your back might simply be weak. If properly performed, the deadlift is a hip extension movement therefore the brunt of the weight should be handled by the glutes and hams. Focus on training the lower back directly using other exercises in place of the deadlift for awhile. Your progress in the deadlift will not digress by not training it for 4-6 weeks, it will more than likely improve and your lower back pain will probably be a thing of the past.


#12

You may want to get checked out by a chiropractor. A year ago, I really messed up my back doing deadlifts, and it was all because my foot rolled slightly to the outside while coming up. I compensated and slightly twisted my back. I had to wait about a month for insurance and other reasons before I could get it checked out, but when I finally got to a chiropractor, it turned out I twisted my L-5 vert. So just be sure you're starting out with a healthy back to begin with.
Everyone else has pretty much covered everythough you would want to do...strengthen back extensors, abs, and just keep good form.