I think that the PUSH vs HINGE debate has a lot to do with leverages. It is not unanimously one way or the other, and many people have used different cues successfully.
DO NOT GET FIXATED ON ONE WAY OF DOING OR APPROACHING SOMETHING. TRY THEM ALL.[/quote]
I don’t think it’s really much of an either-or. It’s both. You push the ground away as you hinge with the hips. At the beginning of the lift there’s more pushing, at the end of the lift there’s more hinging, but both need to be there.
I try and visualise the lift as a leg press as opposed to a hinge. [/quote]
I was thinking more about the “push the ground away” cue. I think a better way to put it is “push the ground away with your heels”. That way you get the balance in the right place so the bar stays close to the body. If you’re pushing with the whole foot (so the weight is more midfoot), or even the balls of the feet, the bar can come forward… which will put the pressure right on your lower back.
So maybe try that. Try to push the ground away with your heels. Your upper body is going to have to shift so you don’t fall forward or back. Then when the bar gets to about mid or upper shin, focus on pushing your hips forward and up.
My low back fatigues very quickly when I pull, I think it’s because of my limb lengths, the angle that my back makes with the floor, is practically parallel and so my low back is the centre of the strain. Don’t get me wrong I never pull unless I’m confident I have my lumbar in a neutral position but is there any way to strengthen or rely less on my low back? As it appears to be the real weak link (or one of). [/quote]
Well, that’s why I mentioned the “lean back” idea. You seem to be leaned over forward in such a way that a lot of pressure is on your low back. I think the more you can get your torso upright, the better off you’ll be.
But to strengthen it, I think that’s where higher rep touch-n-go sets can come in. Use the eccentrics and the reps to get a lot of time under tension, and just stop when your back gets too rounded. Personally, for the past month I’ve been using touch-n-go mat/block pulls from mid shin, with chains, for 5-10 sets of 5, with 60 second rests.
Also from the other side, ab wheel rollouts, focusing on tucking your hips underneath you. So try to intentionally round your lower back while doing those. Makes them quite a bit harder, but shifts the emphasis.
All of this is based on what I’ve learned from others, and what’s helped me. And as I said above, my leverages are different than yours.
But irrespective of leverages, the more upright you can keep your torso, the less pressure there will be on your lower back. If you’re too upright, you won’t be able to apply enough force; if you’re too bent forward, you won’t be able to apply enough force.