T Nation

Lower Back- Christmas Tree?


What does everyone like to do to get that christmas tree?


deadlifts. lots and lots of deadlifts.


parial deads.doing full deads will just thicken your waist, while helping your traps, and forearms. Ino longer view it as the all-over back exercise that the magazines would have you believe.



you forgot legs in there lawl, abit more important then forearms :wink:


I've hurt my lower back on deads a few times and stopped doing them. I just can't keep good form. Do you think this would be easier on those partial deads that you do? I'd like to start doing them again. How low do you put the stoppers on partial deads?


an impressive lower back


When you do your partials, where do you set the pins to start the movement? Above the knees, or below?


I think waist size is mostly genetic. I know im very luck to have a small waist, but I've been doing heavy deadlifts for 2 years and my waist has stayed the same. Lots of bodybuilders/powerlifters still incorporate deads into their routine and have very small waist.


I know most guys will use a rack and set pins to do parials. I prefer a reg BB, or even DBs (which I find myself using with more and more frequency laely). If you can set pins in a rack (or even a smith, as a buddy of mine uses, and goes well over 500 on it, and he's in his 60'!) you will be able to handle a lot more weight.

I don't worry so much about the poundages at the moment, prefering to hit my lower back at the end of my session, after it's already been worked a bit with BB rows and T-Bar work.
If using a BB, I will not go above 3 plates (which is light considering what I used to pull).I start with the bar on the squat rack (waist height), unrack it, and will slowly lower to just below my knees.

SOME PEOPLE WILL FIND A LOT OF STRESS ON THEIR BACKS. If so, don't go down so far. If my own back is hurting, I will definiely shorten the motion.
If using DBs, I actually like to retract my scapular a bit at the top portion of the movement, and get an extra little squeeze in my upper mid portion.

Each person will have to see how far they can go ROM-wise. Again, some folks will experience more discomfort from doing partials, most likely because they're trying to move weight they previously did, except that now they've eliminated a lot of the 'helper' muscles from the equation.



i've been doing partial deads for a couple of months and all is well so far. with my previous lb injuries, regular deads are out..or at least reasonably heavy ones are. it's that lower stretch where i run into trouble. so adjusting the rack to come down just maybe an inch below my knee caps is working well. weight is SLOWLY increasing and my lb isn't bothering me at all..knock wood. next day i get a satisfying soreness in my lb, glutes, hams and obliques.


Good point on the partials.
I love rack deads for bodybuilding... You don't have that low starting position where your low back can so easily round (be that due to tight hamstrings or simply weakness).

I also get more backthickness out of them (due to the sheer difference in weight) than what I get from full-range deadlifts (though those hit the hamstrings as well, which partials don't do.. Or at least not much).


Good mornings.


My mid back has been ballooning with rack pull deads. I try to do a few sets of leg curls beforehand to activate the hamstrings, but I think I will throw in sumo deads on a different day just to fry every non-back muscle.


When you are doing your rack pulls, do you guys prefer to start from a dead stop or touch and go, or keep the bar off the pins?


When you get to a certain weight you won't be able to consciously make any decisions in that aspect anymore :wink:

8+ reps on rack pulls for me these days feel like a stream of max singles with short breathers in between.

Also, since I have to re-fasten my straps after almost every rep, I'm pretty much forced to pull from a dead stop each time.

Although it wasn't like that a few years ago where I could still do touch and go...Always preferred to go as heavy as I could though and just basically do a sort of rest-paused set (not like actual Rest-Pause, just the same thing you would do on breathing squats... Set down, re-group and get some air in, 1-5 sec pause or whatever, the further along in the set you are the longer the breaks become.

I personally don't like the idea of not setting the bar down and basically stopping the motion with your lower back... Especially not once you are moving serious weight.

To each his own I guess, but I prefer rack pulls over full-range deadlifts because they allow me to keep form/arch easier(among other things). Not letting the bar touch the pins between reps sounds like it's defeating that advantage of rack pulls.


May I ask why it's called a christmas tree? I can sort of see an upside down tree if try to look for it but that's it lol

Maybe that's just a bad example of the 'christmas tree' look. Very good lower back though.


Maybe your screen is upside-down?

[b] -


Christmas tree shape. Or do Christmas trees in New York normally grow the other way round ?

Ok, I edited this post a couple of times but that didn't seem to go through. So here you have half a Christmas tree.
Deal with it lol


Lol when I heard christmas tree and saw the muscle striations "pointing" upwards I was thrown I guess. I see the triangle shape ... but then why not call it a triangle. In that picture the "bottom" of the tree is no wider than then middle SO HAH your little diagram fails... lol

I guess I was just taking it too literally.

Sid132 sent me a PM with a better picture .... I just never heard the term before now.


Now you did it, you made me cry. I edited my previous post about 4 times to try and get it to display the tree the way I'd drawn it.

All this work for nothing sniff.


I'd call it a leaf-like shape, actually. Seems to fit more in his case.


Here's something that looks more like a christmas tree.

(if I can attach the image correctly)