T Nation

Lower Back Tightness?


Every so often, during weighted reverse hypers, deads, bent over rows, etc., I get struck with a cramping/tightness in my lower back that can be pretty painful for a minute until it subsides shortly after, usually all within a few minutes time.
I've heard the term "lower back pump" before, and I guess that can describe it pretty well, but ive only heard it in regards to effects of ph or steroids, niether of which is the case as ive had this happen to me since i started lifting.
It dosent seem to be a true injury as it dosent happen until i push myself just a bit too far with particular exercises, its almost like there is a one rep threshold from feeling the cramp come on, to actually getting overcome with it.
Ive always been very cautious with form on advanced lifts, like deads/squats/bb rows, and have done reverse hypers since I started training so lower back problems wouldnt be an issue.
Any ideas what it could be?


Try the following assesments for tight hip flexors and lordosis. Also read the "Neanderthal no More" series on this site. Weak abs/core can also be an indicator. Order the Magnificent Mobility DVD. You won't regret it.

The Wall Standing Test - Standing with the heels, buttocks and upper back in contact with the wall. The client slides their hand into the gap between the lower back and the wall. The fingers should slide behind the back to the level of the knuckles and no further. Mike might find that he can get his whole hand behind his back due to his anterior pelvic tilt and subsequent increased lumbar lordosis.

I may have failed this test as I have quite the Squatters ass. It keeps me FAR away from the wall.

Hip Flexor or Thomas Test - Lying on his back on the edge of a table with his opposite knee drawn up to flatten the lower back. The hanging leg should remain in contact with the table. In Mike?s case his thigh sits up off the table with an extended knee indicating tension of his rectus femoris and possibly his hip flexors.


I definitely experience this lower back tightness the couple seconds right after i let go of the bar after deadlifting, hack squats or RDL. I was wondering what it was as well... Wasn't sure if it was form-related or not?


Do you stretch regularly? I used to have lower back tightness and sometimes pain. I started stretching my hamstrings (and quads, and everything else to prevent imbalances and other injuries) and it went away in a few days.

I'd say spend about 20 minutes during the day to stretch out and it will at the very least help a little. Sure as hell wont harm you.


The next time you finish deadlifting, grab a 25lb dumbbell, and hold it between your feet as you chin-up 5-8 times. You will not believe how effectively this stretches out the lower back and relieves any tightness. One of the best tips I ever got off T-Nation.


Thanks man, I'm going to try that next time I deadlift (later this week). I'll tell you how it works.


ditto, and thanks for the suggestions. although i dont think this could have anything to do with it, as i remember getting this particular muscle spasm immediatley after my first set ever of reverse hypers, long before i started squatting and my ass got hyoooge.

Im more concerned with this being an indicator of improper form, although im hoping its just a combo of never stretching beforehand, and possible weak spinal erectors? is that even the muscle in your lower back?