T Nation

Lower Back Deadlift Stress

I’m fairly new to deadlifting in terms of incorporating into my program.

I’m using a light weight and proper form (keeping the bar close to the legs at all times, using the abs and not rounding the back, looking up and keeping a proper posture), but I’ve been getting a lot of stress in the lower back (that small area right above the butt).

I wouldn’t call it pain, rather a lot of muscular tension during the exercise and a fair bit of stress/tension in that area during the days after.

I know it’s hard to tell without me actually posting a video, but does anyone have any suggestions or feedback. Does this happen to anyone else?

Thanks in advance

SG

Well, first, let me say that I’ve had two lower back injuries in the past year, and despite fromerly pulling 5 plates a side, I will no longer come close. My more serious injury involved torqueing my sacrum, and let me say that I still occassionally find some pain in the area you just described. I have now relegated my deads to last in my training, when I am pretty darn fatiqued already. I utilize mostly dumbells, stress the mid range of motion - really trying for continuous tension, and move pretty slowly (as opposed to my old explosive/PL style of doing 'em.
I do find some ‘good’ soreness the next day in my erectors, and it doesn’t seem to aggravate my existing situation.

S

Don’t worry about it too much, I get that too. If you’re pulling a lot of weight off of the ground, you should probably feel it in your lower back over the next few days.

What you are describing could is usually due to two different causes, or a combination of both. If you are very new to deadlifting your lower back may be so weak that it gets this sensation after having deadlifted. More likely, is that you are not keeping as flat a back as you think or you are using a weight too heavy for your back to maintain the correct position. By the way, I wouldnt concentrate on squeezing your abs, just think of keeping your entire trunk tight. Overconcentrating like that is no good.

Probably normal. If it feels like “bad” pain, be careful. Muscle soreness is very normal. It last for days with me when I haven’t deadlifted in awhile.
It probably wouldn’t hurt to do some isolation for the low back to bring up the strength there. Good luck.

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
By the way, I wouldnt concentrate on squeezing your abs, just think of keeping your entire trunk tight. Overconcentrating like that is no good.[/quote]

Good point, Shadow.
For years, I’ve found that deadlifting in the strict “textbook” style had caused me pain where my pelvis meets the spine. I assumed this was acceptable and I’d have to live with it as a lifter. But one time I casually lifted a loaded oly bar and realized that less leg bend actually felt much better! Since then, my style has been a cross between a strict DL and a straight-leg DL. No more chronic back pain!

I think that sometimes our own leverages do not gel with prescribed instruction. Moving at a safe speed (no jerking) while finding your own groove wins out, IMHO.

I agree with painkiller.

However, get some guy who “knows” to check your form. Just ask. Then you can ask a more specific question :wink:

Joe

If you are training it as a back exercise you can try rack pulls instead. I don’t know your height but i’m around 6 ft. In the beginning I felt more comfortable with rack pulls. This allowed me to further work on my form before graduating to a deadlift.

Gerdy

If you are training it as a back exercise you can try rack pulls instead. I don’t know your height but i’m around 6 ft. In the beginning I felt more comfortable with rack pulls. This allowed me to further work on my form before graduating to a deadlift.

Gerdy

Don’t ignore the pain. That’s exactly what I experienced, and 6 months later ruptured several discs.

You could be overly recruiting the lower back and stressing the ligaments, while under-recruiting the glutes. If so, any lower-back strengthening will make the problem worse.

Try Cook hip lifts and do single-leg deadlifting only for awhile until you are sure you are recruiting the glutes properly.

Also, “using the abs” may actually cause the pelvis to flex at the bottom position of the deadlift. Not good.

First off, make sure to read the mastering the deadlift articles on here. They give you everything you need to know.

Then make sure to do some glute activation. The deadlift is supposed to work your lower back, but if your doing it wrong, then your lower back may be the only thing working.

Lastly, sumo deadlifts stress the back much less. Try them, but you still have to do regular width, or your back will still be weak.

Hope this helps.

I also have the same thing. I will feel the deadlift in my lower back and hamstrings but nothing in my glutes…however pullthroughs i def feel in my gluts and i feel like im using the same form

It can be hard to feel deadlifts in glutes. Could be for a few reasons, one being the lower back cannot hold a weight heavy enough to create glute soreness.

Another very possible option is how you descend. If you stick your ass out and lower the weight somewhat controlled could be in for more glute soreness, but most deadlifters pull the weight and basically drop it while holding on to the bar instead of doing any type of eccentric.

Excellent point shadow. The DL is not meant to include a controlled eccentric movement. It’s all concentric and drop. Lift, drop. Your hamstrings may be short and weak for the weight you’re attempting to lift. The back will unfortunately take over if this is the case. I’d drop the intensity, stretch the hammies on a regular basis throughout the week, and work on focusing your squeeze on the glutes and hams while pushing through your heels.