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lower back pain-deadlifts


whats up ppl. i've been incorporating deadlifts to my workout more and more lately. i typically train in a 5x5 rep scheme. my weights have been going up nicely, but all of a sudden my lower back (near the base of the spinal cord) has been hurting alot. i had worked myself to 5x5 at 335lbs, but now i can just barely force myself to do 295 5 times.
any recomendations on what to do? should i forget about deadlifts for a while? any more info needed to better understand the situation?
i appreciate the help


A couple of things that have helped me:

  1. Concentrate on keeping the bar as close as possible to your body at all times.

  2. Don't lock out your knees until the bar has passed them. In effect, there are two pulls: up to your knee, and then a lockout phase. Don't lock out your knees/hips until the lockout.

You may just want to switch to heavy goodmornings for a while to condition the back.

Granted, this is from a #450 deadlifter, so you may want someone more experienced to give you advice.



Provided you didn't injure yourself outright, take a while off the heavy deads. They can tear you up pretty good.

I'm sure you can find lots of ways to blow up your posterior chain in the off period.


Depends on soreness.

If you recall the article in this week's e-zine, it talked about level of soreness.

I'm assuming you are too sore, maybe you strained your back or it's just not healing quick enough before your next workout.
Sounds like it needs a rest to me


Give it some time to heal, and while doing so, take a good look at your form as well as overall volume for the muscles in question. There are plenty of training articles related to deadlifting on T-Mag, so that will be a good place to start examining how you can improve your form.


1- go see a good doc, try to find someone that knows ART. checkout www.activerelease.com to find someone in your area.

2- In the mean time do speed pulls
8-12x1 with 40-60% of your max.
Sounds like 200 would be a good starting point for you.

3- Ice up your back after workouts.
10min on 10-15 off.

4- Do pulldown abs before and after every workout. Make sure you also work your obliques [sp?].

5- Stretch your hams and hip flexors as many times as you can throughout the day.

6- Make sure you still workout your lowerback other then just deadlifting.
Pull throughs, back extensions, and reverse hypers if possible.

7- Have Cass give you a naked sponge bath.



don't do dl's.


The first queston that needs to be asked would be, is it a good pain or bad pain?

If it is a good pain, then good. It lets you know that you are working out your lower back and as long as you are not rounding your back, you are good.

If it is a bad pain, then it is your form. A rounded back will do it to you everytime. Try doing them sideways in front of the mirror to see if your back is arched(good) or rounded(bad). Also, it is a possibility that 5 reps at a certain weight is too much. By this I mean you may be using correct form for the first 4, and then bad for the last.


My thought would be to stop Deadlifting for a while and
work on some Olympic lifts. Adopt movements such as
Hanging-cleans, Clean-pulls and Snatch-pulls.

These three lifts are easy to learn!
Teach the body to pull in a straight line.
Strengthen the low back, mid back, upper back and traps!
Encourage explosiveness.

After an 8 week program of these lifts, your LB "should"
be totally recovered (provided there's no structural
damage)... and with some luck, you'll be handling
bigger numbers than ever on your DL.


check your form
get some one to video tape you doing your lifts(this is obviously to late for you but could be done in the future)
make sure you aint "usesing" you lower back to pull the weight up. once the bar gets to the knees, drive you hips forward as opposed to trying to pull the bar up. sounds like crap but it works and your lifts will go up straight away.
also dont switch to O-lifts if your getting fucked on Deadlifts. you'll be proper fucked then!


Everyone has awesome advice and I agree with going light, maintaining good form as well as the post workout therapy.

Going to a doc is always sound advice as well.

Also, along with the ab pulldowns, you may want to consider working the inner abs with the vaccum pose practice listed here on this site.

Good luck I hope it feels better.



you guys are pimps, i wasn't expecting this much valuable feedback. i think i'll go with some light-explosive oly lifts for the time being and see what happens. all my lifts had been going up really fast lately, i guess i might have been pushing it a bit much. when i get back to deads i'll add in all the technical poitns u guys mentioned. i'm believe i am using my back too much compared to my hips.


Whetu - When I suggested that he try some simple
O-lifts, I should have stressed that his LB condition
be stabilized and he be pain free first! Otherwise,
as you said "...you'll be proper fucked then!"

Because he would be using at least 60% less weight
on those lifts (Hanging-cleans, Clean-pulls and Snatch-
pulls), it would prove to be far less stressful on the LB.
(And he would still make gains.)


The good pain v. bad pain question is a good one, but sometimes it's hard to tell. I've had a couple instances with DLs that I thought I was hurting myself big time, but it went away quickly after with no lingering effects.


I have experienced this exact same thing. I am a tall guy (6'5") and have a weak back. I was as you've said using my back to pull more than I should.

Lighter loads fixed the problems, but when I want to go big I pull off pins instead of the floor as I was experiencing the back pain from the first part of the movement.



You might want to adopt Ian Kings deadlifting style:
You keep your back at the same angle to the floor until the bar passes yhe knees. Then you drive through with your hips.
The key to pain-free deads is to treat the lift as a hips and thigh lift, with your back acting only as a stabiliser. If you treat it as a back lift, you`re setting yourself up for a lot of pain.