T Nation

Low Back Pain with Good Form on Deadlifts


#1

This is a video of my deadlift formHey guys. Ive been lifting for a little over 2 years but just recently have been getting into powerlifting. I have always done squats and bench but i have always struggled with the deadlift. I have been trying for a while to get my form down… everyone i talk to or have check out my form seems to say that i have good form and i really am just getting frustrated with the low back pain. It seems like one day i can pull 315 with no belt with zero low back pain but this morning i couldnt even pull 225 without getting a sharp pain in my low back. On thursday i deadlifted in the afternoon around 4:00 pm and this morning when i could barely pull 225 was at 5 am. I usually lift in the morning… could it be maybe i was too stiff? Had 2 days off over the weekend? Any input would be greatly appreciated because i am getting frustrated. I know i have the overall strength to pull heavy and i would like to eventually compete


#2

Pretty sure that if you’re suffering from what sounds like chronic lower back pain and you’re 99% sure that it’s coming from the deadlifts, you don’t have ‘good form’. Good form would be what works for you, in this case it would be keeping you injury free and lifting heavy ass weights.

That being said, I think its possible you might have a little lower lumbar rounding when you deadlift, at least that’s what I suspect from looking at the video. What is you daily life like? Do you sit around alot and do you have a history of back pain/injuries before you started lifting/etc? Answering this questions might give us a rough idea what you’re going through? If worse comes to worse, you might have to seek a professional’s help.


#3

You like your rounding when put the weight back down (upperback anyway). See a doctor. You could try wearing a belt . I know it is uncomfortable. You should always be awake an hour or 2 before lifting(according to Pavel Tsatsouline) to allow your back to hydrate. Try taking more days off a little soreness is normal , as the back gets worked after all.


#4

Looks like you set up totally neutral, go into slight flexion as you break the floor, then back to neutral, lock it out but then round over as you go back down to the floor.

On top of that, tight hip flexors also cause back pain. They are one of the most common causes. Look into myofascial release.


#5

My daily life is actually pretty rough on y body. Im a welder fabricator so i am constantly bending over/leaning over etc. I think that is a part of the problem also.


#6

I do own and wear a belt. I just wasnt wearing it because it was only 225. And on this day my back felt great. Didnt feel any pain what so ever in my lower back.


#7

I noticed back pain a lot more when I was concreting after lifting. Fabricating is very rough on the upper and lower back.


#8

Drop your hips on the descent man. Think about your form. You start a deadlift with your hips down, and you pick the bar up.
Why would you not drop them on the descent? You are only hinging your upper body down, increasing the distance between the bar and your legs, exponetionally increasing torque on your lower back.
Control your descent, don’t let the weight drag your torso down without dropping your hips with it. Drop the weight if you’re unable to do so.


#9

As far as I understand, it’s more common to cause damage on the way down, which is where most people slack on the form - I’ve had problems with lower back pain on deadlifts (and I’m susceptible to it due to an old snowboarding injury) but found that really concentrating on a neutral back on the way down cleared up the problem.


#10

Along with what everyone else said, you should probably avoid deadlifting early in the morning right after you wake up. After years of struggling with back pain I’ve learned that I need to wait at least 2 hours (preferably 3) after I wake up until I lift, and I try stand/walk for most of that time as sitting can be harmful in the morning too. Also, make sure you are doing some core activation drills before hitting deadlifts - look up the McGill Big 3 for these.


#11

Your back stays neutral/slight rounding in the upper back during the whole lift. Slight hyper extension at the top. You shouldn’t be getting any pain from either. Your form does get sloppy on the descent, try bending your knees the moment the bar gets past your knees when you are lowering it.

Also try stretching your hip flexors, it should take some pressure off of your spine and might help with the rounding off of the floor issue if it’s because of mobility/tightness.


#12

Thanks for the info guys. It was 100% a mobility issue… ive started doing 15-20 minutes of stretching before i do anything and it helps tons i would always get to the gym throw 135 on the bar and think i was good… ive always been really stiff so it makes sense just cant believe it took 2 years to figure that out hahaha


#13

First - if your lower back hurts after deadlifting your form sucks.

  1. Your pulling off your toes. You need to set up with a slightly higher, flat back and the shins more towards a vertical position. Every inch forward of the center of gravity counts for 25% of bar weight.

  2. Stop tightening the upper back. Just before the pull starts you need to relax the shoulder blades and let them hang down, treating the arms like ropes. You want a tight grip but relaxed arms.

  3. When you set the bar down after the first rep, DON’t loosen up. Breathe at the completion of every rep and hold that breath during the setup of the next rep.

  4. Ditch the chuck taylors. They are too soft in the bottom. You need something flat and as hard as possible. For conventionals I tend to prefer wrestling shoes, or Sabo Deadlift shoes.

  5. Finally learn to use a belt. If a 4" belt bothers you use a tapered one. Breathe in through the chest first, hold it then breathe into your stomach. Try to blow yourself up like a baloon. If you feel comfortable in the bottom position you’re doing it wrong.

This is the best I can do from a video. Good luck