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Dropping Straight Bar Deadlift for Good?

Trying to get opinions here. My lower back a few months ago in the lumbar region became so tight and sore from doing anything I could barely bend over to pick stuff up off the ground. I’ve never had shooting stiff lower back pain like this before in my life, I’ve always been able to deadlift a straight bar w minimal soreness. My best dead is a 512 in competition. It got better about 5 weeks ago and I’ve been deadlifting straight bar fine, but 2 days ago I went to deadlift and woke up yesterday with the same shooting stiff pain as before. I bought a trap bar back when the pain began and used it for 6 weeks or so while the back soreness was there and had no issues w pain. I guess I’m asking if I should consider being done with the straight bar deadlift in favor of the trap bar because at 32 there are still more things in life that I want than a heavy deadlift to brag about while I hobble along the rest of my life in pain. I have a 4 year old and 2 year old and want to be capable of playing with them and maybe one day lifting with them. Is it such a bad thing to go this route? Squats don’t bother it so much when it is feeling good, although front squats bullet proof my chances of having no lower back pain when squatting.

I dropped them. I use a trap bar (the combo bar from Crepinsek). I did it because ever since I had both hips resurfaced in 2012, my squatting and deadlift mechanics changed. I would always feel pinched in the left hip when DLing with a straight bar after the surgeries. Prior to the surgeries, I could barely walk, let alone SQ or DL.

The combo bar handles are about 3" higher off the ground than a straight bar/trap bar with handles at the normal height. I’m OK with it. That extra height helps obviously but I don’t care. I only compete against myself.

The trap bar deadlift feels much more natural. I don’t have any issues squatting after I adjusted my stance because my new anatomically correct hips wouldn’t let me squat wide or with my toes forward. Medium width, toes out is what is natural feeling and pain free for me.

You gave yourself the answer you seek - Yes, it is OK to drop the straight bar DL because you are only 32 and have young children.

I would swear I read Jim posted a trap bar deadlift is preferred for the general, non-powerlifting athlete. Maybe I’m making that up. His kids do trapbar DL in Krypteia I think.

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I would ask myself what the Straight Bar Deadlifting does for me that the Trap Bar deadlift doesn’t. If the answer is nothing or the Straight Bar actually hinders me (as it appears it is doing for you now) then drop it.

I used to think I had to straight bar deadlift, I had to back squat, I had to _____(insert a number of exercises). Now I Front Squat because it feels 100x more natural. Now I Trap Bar Deadlift because I’ve yet to hurt myself doing it. So on and so forth.

Unless you plan to compete again, what’s the point of sticking to the straight bar?


The straight-bar deadlift is my absolute favorite exercise…but I fully agree with all of this.

The value of any exercise has to be weighed against the cost for the specific trainee.

If you are not a competitive powerlifter, there is no reason you ever have to straight-bar deadlift. As usmc said here, if you are able to find other exercises that provide all of the same benefits without the downside / injury risk, then go for it.

I think one of the reasons this dogma emerges re: the big barbell lifts is that many of us forum veterans see an endless stream of noobs that want to get jacked and come up with nonsensical split routines that make no sense, so it’s easy to say “Do 5/3/1 and focus on the compound lifts.” Lost in there is that “the compound lifts” can be modified (i.e. front squats for back squats, trap bar deadlifts, etc) if that’s better for an individual trainee.