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Lower Back Tightness with Deadlifts


Through all the very valuable reading on this forum I have started to do deadlifts for many obvious reasons. Its not an excersize I have included before. Ive Worked out all my adult life and ver seriously the last 2 years.

Mt concern is that my lower back got very tight during the deadlifts. I believe its probably just my weakpoint in the lift (weakest muscle). Just want to make sure that there is no concern is possibly having bad form to cause this.


PS. Ive finally hit my goal of 210lbs from 175 since last year. Trying to hit a goal of a 300lb bench. (dumbells not barbell). 2 weeks ago I hit 135s 3x. You guys are great!


You are training your lower back in the deadlift. It being sore is normal. If you want a form critique, you'll need to post videos.


yes, vids would help, preferably side on.

hip extension involves the lower back.

knee extension doesn't so much, it trains your legs more.

a lot of people set up their deadlifts with their hips a bit high and / or start using hip extension before the bar makes it past their knees. you can reduce the workload on your lower back and increase the workload on your legs by using knee extension until the bar is past your knees and then hip extension to lock it out.

this helps your legs get stronger than your lower back (as they should be - since you can obviously carry more muscle mass on your legs than your lower back) and helps you live to train another day. can be humbling with respect to the weights moved at first, though.


alexus - thank you that makes a lot of sense. I was trying to use the legs and hips at the same time. Yea i was sore for sure the next day. legs are in better shape than the lower back I guess.


greg everett has an article on the difference between pulling for the clean and snatch vs pulling for the deadlift. that is where i got the knee extension vs hip extension stuff.

he says that the lower back always will be the first area to fatigue / the area one needs to be most careful of overtraining. there isn't a great deal of muscle mass on the lower back so it always will be vulnerable. of course one does want to work to strengthen it - but one also needs to be really very careful to let it recover properly between training sessions so that one does not injure it.

apparently the knee is in a bit of a disadvantaged position at the bottom of a pull. so what most people do is let their ass ride up a bit into the air before the bar separates from the ground. what that does is deload the legs - the quads in particular. most people find they can pull more weight with their ass up in the air (more of a stiff or straight legged deadlift) than they can if they really keep their hips down low and initiate the bars separation from the floor by using knee extension / their quads.

in a max effort deadlift... the hips typically will rise a bit early. however, the thought is that you want to train for your legs to get stronger as much as possible so they are capable of contributing more on max efforts. also, using the legs more and the back less allows you to train deadlifts a bit more since you won't fatigue your lower back as much and your legs are quicker to recover.

so... um... the thought is that the lumbar spine overtraining / fatigue isn't because the lower back is weak (from a 'must train it more' pov). um... it is more that the legs are relatively weak so aren't contributing their proper share and the back is the victim of needing to do more work than is good for it.

hope this makes some kind of sense.

really vids will help see what is going on with your deadlift.