T Nation

Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Anyone ever gets these? I got one yestereday at the gym. Man do they hurt. When I say hurt I can’t even even walk sometimes. It took me like 10 mins to get out of bed this morning.

They seem to happen when I do movments that use the lower back, dead lift, tee-bar rows, clean and press. It’s kind of depressing because I don’t even dead lift anymore. For fear of getting one

It’s not like I have a weak lower back. In July I hit a personal record with a straight legged good morning for 285x3 (I know it’s not a world record but my GM is stronger than some of those who pull 100-150 pounds more than me.

Any ideas to keep this from happening? Or if you have them how do you cope or train?

Yes, I also have this problem.

What helps is to get the blood circulating, and doing flexibility work and stretching.

Perhaps also train with lighter weights for a period.

You could also see a therapist to get some deep tissue massage.

Best of luck!

– stallion

I would watch your form in the mirror during cleans and deads. If you are tail tucking (even slightly) at the beginning of the motion you are putting the lower back in a bad position, and probably feeling it because of this.

Also, personally, I find that it takes a few weeks to get into the groove deadlifting and cleaning to the point where my back is strong enough to play the isometric role it is being asked to. Then I start increasing the weight so the posterior chain gets more work…

You may have just jumped back into deadlifting and cleaning at a weight you were used to, try backing off a few weeks with 135 or less, your back should come around…

I can attest to that too. I was on a 5x5 program recently, and was pulling 315 for 5 by the end.

This week was my active recovery. Did 3 full body, 1 set of each exercise, high rep, not to failure workouts, just for blood flow and stuff. Pulled 135 for a set of 20. My lower back was sore like I’d never done a deadlift in my life the next day. But good sore, not injury sore. Higher rep work definitely has it’s merit, I suppose.

Kubo

stretch ab wall, hip flexors, hip mobility work, get your inhibited glutes firing again

works for me. I finally got rid of my lower back tightness and tension, now that my glutes are firing properly again
and that also got rid of my knee aches when getting out of a chair

if you sit down and hunch over as much as I do, that’s a good bet…

see Eric Cressey’s Neanderthal No More 5 part series articles

only downside is that my glutes are feeling tired now, they haven’t been used this much in a while :slight_smile:

the biggest bummer is I just broke 2 squats PR (front and back). I’m sure squats will have to take a 2 week break now. Thanks for the post…I am considering the massage to get the blood moving again.

AK

I agree with the massage and higher rep work to get blood flowing in there.

Also, how stiff-legged are your stiff-legged GMs? Are you starting the movement by pushing your ass back rather than bending forward first? This version would probably let you use more weight and distribute the load more evenly on your glutes and hams.

-MAtt

[quote]Matgic wrote:
I agree with the massage and higher rep work to get blood flowing in there.

Also, how stiff-legged are your stiff-legged GMs? Are you starting the movement by pushing your ass back rather than bending forward first? This version would probably let you use more weight and distribute the load more evenly on your glutes and hams.

-MAtt[/quote]

I’m not sure if I was doing the GM “correctly”. I would place my feet about squat stance and focus on using the lower back, with my knees locked. I did this because my objective was to stregthen the lower back.

I remember after training for only 6 months(about 3 years ago) I could stiff leg DL 325x3 which to me seemed high for only training 6 months. But no longer perform these for the sinple fact I see no reason in doing them if I don’t have a weak hamstring or lower back core.

The goodmornings on the other hand I haven’t done sence july or so because my back was starting to feel tore up.

Any logical critism or insight is welcome.

Thanks
AK

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
I would watch your form in the mirror during cleans and deads. If you are tail tucking (even slightly) at the beginning of the motion you are putting the lower back in a bad position, and probably feeling it because of this.

Also, personally, I find that it takes a few weeks to get into the groove deadlifting and cleaning to the point where my back is strong enough to play the isometric role it is being asked to. Then I start increasing the weight so the posterior chain gets more work…

You may have just jumped back into deadlifting and cleaning at a weight you were used to, try backing off a few weeks with 135 or less, your back should come around…[/quote]

I think your right about the tail tucking…might have been part of my problem.

[quote]AK47 wrote:
Matgic wrote:
I agree with the massage and higher rep work to get blood flowing in there.

Also, how stiff-legged are your stiff-legged GMs? Are you starting the movement by pushing your ass back rather than bending forward first? This version would probably let you use more weight and distribute the load more evenly on your glutes and hams.

-MAtt

I’m not sure if I was doing the GM “correctly”. I would place my feet about squat stance and focus on using the lower back, with my knees locked. I did this because my objective was to stregthen the lower back.

I remember after training for only 6 months(about 3 years ago) I could stiff leg DL 325x3 which to me seemed high for only training 6 months. But no longer perform these for the sinple fact I see no reason in doing them if I don’t have a weak hamstring or lower back core.

The goodmornings on the other hand I haven’t done sence july or so because my back was starting to feel tore up.

Any logical critism or insight is welcome.

Thanks
AK
[/quote]

I think the two main ways of doing GMs is arched back or rounded back. I personally don’t see any reason round the back on purpose as it just poses too great a threat to the spine.

Although, there are guys who are strong as shit who have and probably still do it this way. A ton of guys at WSB might do it like this so I’m not going to tell them otherwise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCWx6GUf-nU

The above is a good example of the rounded back form. The guy GMs much more than I squat so I wouldn’t tell him what to do unless asked for my opinion.

But nonetheless, I would never do GMs or Still legged deadlifts (rather do RDLs) with straight or stiff legs because unless you’re bending at the knee, you really have no way of preventing the lower back from rounding over.

Just like with a RDL, hips move back first and chest stays in “beach posture” with a tight arch in the lower back as the torso moves downward.

Here’s a clip of me doing a GM with what I think is pretty decent form. It’s near the end of the thread.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=986305&pageNo=66#1379174

Just my thoughts.

-MAtt

[quote]AK47 wrote:

Any ideas to keep this from happening? Or if you have them how do you cope or train?[/quote]

Don’t take so much D-Bol or whatever you’re on. :wink:

Blue Heat works pretty well

HA HA

Hey Matt thanks for the link man! I guess I’m all fucked up when I do the GM. No wonder my freaking back start hurting. I’ll give your stlye a shot.

A “personal trainer” showed me the way I was doing them…ha ha ha serves me right for listening to him!

Sure, man…no problem.

In terms of my own technique, I use a bit more of my legs than I probably should here when I’m working with weights that are heaviest for me.

For lighter work and assistance, I’d probably keep moving my ass backwards and bend the legs a little less.

Just my thought.

Keep me updated, I’m interested to here how this works out.

-MAtt

[quote]AK47 wrote:
Hey Matt thanks for the link man! I guess I’m all fucked up when I do the GM. No wonder my freaking back start hurting. I’ll give your stlye a shot.

A “personal trainer” showed me the way I was doing them…ha ha ha serves me right for listening to him![/quote]