T Nation

Fixing Lordosis or Swayback with Max Effort Work?


#1

A guy at my gym who I seem to trust for some reason on this…
he says…

you cant fix your lordosis with maximal effort.
I thought I was doing max effort. Only recently I found out that 3x6 isn’t max effort.

I also hear people you can fix lordosis in no time in about a month…

I like powerlifting but other than the fear of a slipped disc after certain age or even with more years under my training expert belt, and the fact that I have lordosis … are very important considerations. On this topic I’d like to hear your thoughts on lordosis. I think I have lordosis genetically. or whatever that is. I was born with it.

Has any of you fixed a decent amount of it while on powerlifting ? How?

Thanks !


#2

I’d also like to here the community’s thoughts on this. I actually injured a disc doing deads with too much lumbar extension, so it’s good you’re concerned about this topic before sustaining an avoidable injury like I did. There are some good articles on this site about fixing lordosis, kyphosis and APT (anterior pelvic tilt, which contributes to exaggerated spinal curves).


#3

cjsofsky, I’m sorry you had to go through what I fear(ed) I was about to go through. And I had thought I had great form. Your response made me see that maybe we are going too fast. Maybe these strength programs need not to progress so fast. Lifting 200lbs in a matter of three months is insane! And that’s what beginner programs give you. The competitiveness of the 21st century culture is just too damn hurtful.

I read some articles here. And there was a ONE everybody was pointing out to.I’ll try contacting the author of that. The discrepancy of knowledge is pretty sad too. I read online or see videos where people claim they fixed lordosis in weeks. So I disregarded that. I bet you had the same problem… And sadly, the reason why I’m now seriously looking into this is a concern of aesthetics; I stopped as of yesterday doing strength training. OR gave it a rest at least. It is so much fun but without supervision it can go awry.

I also think I’ll see a doctor specialising in the spine—don’t know what they are called in english. I’ll post what the doc says here if I actually see him. By the way, I just did a search on a yoga forum on the word lordosis and a load of topics on different spine numbers etc. came up. Drastically much more information than I found on weight forums.


#4

There really isn’t much information here to go on to make a specific suggestion. For all I know, you could be talking about some spinal congenital issue for which I have no advice other then see a medical specialist.

If what you’re talking about is anterior pelvic tilt with excessive lordosis in the lumbar spine combined with excessive kyphosis in the thoracic spine and maybe even forward head posture, then there’s actually a lot of info on this site.

The power lifts done properly with appropriate assistance exercises and volume for balance won’t in and of themselves cause this issue.

I used to have swayback when I squatted and deadlifted myself. I thought it was proper form. It was not

You have to flex and push out your whole mid-section while anchoring your torso to your pelvis and extending your middle and upper back hard while tucking your chin.

Let’s put that into practical cues you can try right now. This will work better with a lifting belt set a notch or two looser than you normally would but not totally necessary.

  1. Stand up
  2. Suck in all the air in your room. Impossible, I know, but imagine it while you pull air in. Start by filling your belly with the air and then expanding the rest of your midsection with your air once you can’t fill you belly anymore.
  3. If you have a lifting belt on, push out on ALL sides of it. Even if you don’t have the lifting belt, try the same thing.
  4. Imagine pulling your sternum into your pelvis.
  5. Extend your upper back hard.
  6. Pull your chin back and down. Some will call this “packing your neck”

If you do these things, I bet you’ll have a different outlook on lifting.


#5

He’s right. You can’t fix it with max effort work. Lordosis/anterior pelvic tilt are things that result from a combination of ingrained motor habits, alignment/tissue length/tension issues, and instability or inactivity in certain other areas. You don’t fix that shit while you’re trying to not get crushed by a max double.

The other people are also right–sometimes–you can fix it in 4-8 weeks if you work at it as a priority every single day. 8 weeks is typically about the magic mark for non clinical based issues WITH 100% focus on it. To be clear that doesn’t mean you can’t lift or get stronger. It does mean you have to prioritize the issue 100% every day.

And no, 3x6 is low volume/higher intensity assistance work.


#6

Hello all. Thanks for the replies. They were helpful.

I have an update on the issue. I went to see an orthotics doctor because of an injured ankle (soccer game) the other day. I thought I would ask him about my lordosis I thought and I did. He ordered an x-ray.

By the way, I’ve been off of powerlifting or virtually the barbell for a month or so. Did some machines and dumbells training for a while before I got a cold and then this ankle bs. And just that… people tell me I’m longer, did I get taller :slight_smile: I did! Less pressure on the spine: taller you. And less of a stressed lordosis (same cause) I think.

Anyway I took the xray… went back up. First thing I notice with a shock is that I have a tiny scoliosis. He said let’s check it again in 4-5 years, it won’t evolve further. But the lordosis… ZİP. Almost a textbook perfect healthy, strong, proper spine. Except for the neck part (Above the torso)… looking down on a computer screen instead of looking ahead. Will fix it somehow I hope.

But! I was shocked to see and hear almost a perfect spine. I don’t know why the butt sticks out or looks like it does though…

I will get back to powerlifting once my ankle gets better I think.
To the reader who reads this with a concern for powerlifting messing the spine…


#7

You might find this helpful. I’ve been working my way through all of Alan’s videos and I just watched this one. He gives specific stretches and isolation exercises at about 7:00 but really, watch the whole thing. Worth your 11 minutes. Toward the end he talks about why DLs can actually make your problem worse if you don’t address it.

Just working on posture when I started lifting helped. When you have anterior pelvic tilt, you “feel” like you are standing up straight, but as you look in a mirror from the side, you can see that you need to adjust your pelvis to a neutral position. At first, it feels like you’re doing a camel, but as you adjust your posture repeatedly, you will start to rewire your perception of what feels “straight.”

I hope that’s helpful.
Puff


#8

Puff, anything honest is helpful :slight_smile: if not for me, for some others…

im not currently training but will check this or this way of looking into things out. I look at the mirror and my spine seems fine, but then again… more work will be done on these :slight_smile:

thank you for your post.