T Nation

My Deadlift is a Disaster

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I can avoid APT while lifting just by staying really tight, but when passively standing I’ve got it pretty bad. [/quote]

hey man, if you could start a thread with a side profile pic of you in tight underwear, as well as a vid of your squat, and I could come up with a routine that would seriously help, I had some bigtime posture problems from hockey and fixed them all up.

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Try stretching your ankles (knees out over toes), setting up with the bar a bit more forward and closer to toes, and back more horizontal. I think your setting up way too upright with your hips too far back, and unable to properly break the bar off the floor.

This is technique issue, and has little to do with stretching, mobility or any of that crap. If anything is tight, its your ankles and you can’t get your knees forward enough.

Try pendlay rows to see how it should feel. [/quote]

Hey man, I really like your idea of pendlay rows.

but, why would u think it has nothing to do with mobility?

I personally went with mobility as even at light weights he rounds… just made sense to me. But I also did think it was a technique issue as well, I see both of them being an issue.

what do you think?

Your upper back could also be weak and unable to hold the proper position. Anytime my form starts to slip in the upper back area, I just head over to the local rack and do heavy rack deadlifts for reps, racked at or slightly above the knees, focusing especially on keeping the back arched and pulling backwards. If you do it right, it should improve your glute strength.

[quote]Larry10 wrote:
hey man, if you could start a thread with a side profile pic of you in tight underwear[/quote]

no hetero

I find you’re bending your neck a great deal and cocking your head upwards while you’re lifting. Have a look again at your videos, it’s even apparent in the light sets. Not sure if this will have a major impact on your lumbar issues, but, in addition to the advice given by the posters above, I’d recommend trying to tuck your chin in order to encourage an overall more neutral spinal alignment.

If you’re training with a mirror, try to face in the other direction. This worked well for me; I stopped “initiating” the movement with my head and hyperextending my back too much at lockout. Narcissus syndrome. :wink:

Ok thanks for all the replies guys! Yea i knew my technique had gaping holes in it as well as muscle imbalances. So far what I gather is everything is weak except my lower back. Since its better to focua on a few things rather than everything all at once should I focus more on bringing up my strength off the floor first or my lockout/upper back strength? For the record I am already squatting heavy and doing my fair share of volume for hams, glutes, and quads.

I agree with some poeple in this thread and disagree with others.

What I would say is that I don’t think the amount of rounding is that horrible, IF it was a max set. Problem is it isn’t. What I see is that your legs are weak so your using your back to get it up. a 275 x 3 squat and a 455 dead is a huge disconnect. Here’s what I suggest.

  1. get your squat up. Focus on this for a while, and your deadlift will improve. If you can squat 365 x 3, then I guarantee you you’ll be able to pull 405 with your back flat as a pancake. then maybe you’ll round at 495… but then you get your squat up to 455. stronger you get your legs - quads ass and hamstrings - the less of the load your back is going to take.

  2. do a shitload of light deadlift work with a perfectly flat back. Speed pulls all the time, don’t go any heavier than when you can keep your back perfect. This will help cement perfect technique and explosiveness while you get your squat strength up.

  3. eat a fuckload and gain as much back mass as you can. Kroc rows and pendelay rows and whatever heavy back work you can do. Mass on the back will keep you from rounding.

personally I’d immediately do the warm up I shared.

Then I’d also follow the deadlift portion from sheiko 29 for a month, with pendlay rows as assistance, and keep taping your form to bring awareness to the problem, but also to know when you’re donig right and on the right track.

Best of luck man, and I’m impressed with how you’re handling this, there’s a lot of info on this thread and you’re not freaking out about it.

[quote]kjmont wrote:

[quote]scottkoscielniak wrote:
core is definatly not tight. Suck you air into you belly and push out against the belt. It seems like the first thing that moves in your lower back. The lower back should stay rigid. You probably have weak hams and glutes so to compensate you transfer the weight to your lower back instead. [/quote]

Can a small waist be part of the problem on keeping the core tight? I have had a very narrow frame and bone structure and my waist only measures a 31/32. I have been trying to fill it out quite a bit though. Up from a 28 when I started lifting. Still ways to go though.

What is some glute/ham work that I can do to prevent my lower back trying to do the work? I don’t have access to a ghr. [/quote]

No, a small waist isn’t the problem. Several people I coach have tiny ass waists, both girls and guys, and they can maintain proper back posture on everything but max attempts (to be expected naturally)

As for my personal advice, that warm-up is awesome.

Also I am shocked that nobody has mentioned front squats yet!

Dude in the strength department, you neeeeed leg strength. And you need upper back work. And how do you work on both of those at the same time? You front squat really deep! 1 exercise, two week points. You have to keep the back tight and elbows up to keep the bar racked, so if you start rounding badly the bar is going to dump. So it is a somewhat self-correcting exercise in that sense.

If your front squat max is less than say 75% of your back squat, that’s a big problem. I don’t firmly believe in the whole ratios thing because people have individual leverages and weaknesses, but as a rule of thumb your front squat should be about 80% of your back squat.

One of the favorite things I do is I ramp front squat > back squat in a session. Stole it from CT, and it works. When you do max effort on squats, warm-up with front squats, then transition to back squats for the max. I will personally ramp to between 85 and 90% of my front squat max before switching to back squat. You basically do two max work ups. So for example:

front squat: warm-up, bar, 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, 275 x 3, 315 x 3 or 1, 350 x 1,
back squat: 350 x 1-3, 400 x 1-3, etc etc to max squat attempt.

I would front squat 2x a week frankly. One day as I described above (like an extended warm-up for squatting ME work), and your next leg day as reps of 6 or so, 5x5 or 4x6, something like that. Then do whatever else you have for glutes, hams, and back strength.

Another tool I like for upper back work reverse band front squats. I don’t typically do back squats if I do this on a day, cuz it’s hard and it sucks, but it feels good when you’re done and you get used to unracking big weights with your back tight.

Basically, I work up to ~90% 1RM for front squat, then use reverse bands and work up to another heavy 3 (conservatively). The next week I will try to get more reps at that reverse band triple (which is why I don’t post an all-balls-out triple attempt). Doesn’t matter if they’re another set of three or just a couple singles, or what. Just total reps count. I’ll do something like wk1: 3, wk2: 4-5 total reps, wk3: 5-6 total reps, etc. then either try for a better triple, or take a deload on week 4

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
As for my personal advice, that warm-up is awesome.

Also I am shocked that nobody has mentioned front squats yet!

Dude in the strength department, you neeeeed leg strength. And you need upper back work. And how do you work on both of those at the same time? You front squat really deep! 1 exercise, two week points. You have to keep the back tight and elbows up to keep the bar racked, so if you start rounding badly the bar is going to dump. So it is a somewhat self-correcting exercise in that sense.

If your front squat max is less than say 75% of your back squat, that’s a big problem. I don’t firmly believe in the whole ratios thing because people have individual leverages and weaknesses, but as a rule of thumb your front squat should be about 80% of your back squat.

One of the favorite things I do is I ramp front squat > back squat in a session. Stole it from CT, and it works. When you do max effort on squats, warm-up with front squats, then transition to back squats for the max. I will personally ramp to between 85 and 90% of my front squat max before switching to back squat. You basically do two max work ups. So for example:

front squat: warm-up, bar, 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, 275 x 3, 315 x 3 or 1, 350 x 1,
back squat: 350 x 1-3, 400 x 1-3, etc etc to max squat attempt.

I would front squat 2x a week frankly. One day as I described above (like an extended warm-up for squatting ME work), and your next leg day as reps of 6 or so, 5x5 or 4x6, something like that. Then do whatever else you have for glutes, hams, and back strength.[/quote]

great post

You deadlift 455 with a 275 x 3 max squat?

That’s crazy!

425 is about my max DL but I squat 420.

I also perform Front Squats in a ramp as far as I can go and then switch to Back Squats. I also cycle in Band Squats. I totally agree that he needs to get his Squat strength up using good form and therefore keeping a very tight back. Good mornings with proper form could also help. I like doing RDLs and Dimels as well. Pendlay Rows are a staple for me prior to doing Deads.

Anyway, I am just concurring with the advice. Posterior chain needs to be hammered here and indeed speed Deads should be done to reinforce proper form. I would put super heavy Deads on hiatus while doing this other work.
I can see what he is doing leading to a ruptured disc at some point if this is not corrected soon.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

If your front squat max is less than say 75% of your back squat, that’s a big problem. I don’t firmly believe in the whole ratios thing because people have individual leverages and weaknesses, but as a rule of thumb your front squat should be about 80% of your back squat.

[/quote]

I was going to post about this, actually. I’m not a huge fan of the ratios either, but was going to ask what people’s opinions about front squat to back squat ratio should be.

I need to add about 120kg or more to my front squat now. Thanks.

[quote]DaveForner wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

If your front squat max is less than say 75% of your back squat, that’s a big problem. I don’t firmly believe in the whole ratios thing because people have individual leverages and weaknesses, but as a rule of thumb your front squat should be about 80% of your back squat.

[/quote]

I was going to post about this, actually. I’m not a huge fan of the ratios either, but was going to ask what people’s opinions about front squat to back squat ratio should be.

I need to add about 120kg or more to my front squat now. Thanks.[/quote]

Hahaha. Yeah, not a valid ratio for equipped squats lol. Please, don’t sweat that haha

I will say though the combination of front to back squat ramp and especially the reverse band ramp I posted has seriously grown my upper back and made squatting “easier”. Definitely easier to stay upright. If you can unrack 500-600 with a front squat rack, it doesn’t matter how much the band take off at the bottom because your upper back has gotten a fuck-ton stronger as have your quads.

I wish I was talking about equipped…

I plan on hitting 240kg in January. I DOUBT I could front squat 120kg right now.

There’s a lot to go through w this thread for suggestions. you obviously know what shit form looks like, and mentioned that your RDL and GM look rough too.

A few things here.
To have a more optimal deadlift, ya you need stronger legs. but that doesn’t mean shit if you cannot maintain good position in your torso.

your entire core is falling apart. I’m betting that you have both problems of, general weakness in the erectors and the other core muscles, as well as something pulling on the hip structures that causes the tilt.

The first good thing to point out is that you can get into position without issue, so it’s not a capsular issue as mentioned before.

How does your squat form look in comparison? RDL weight? GM weight? trap bar deadlifts wt? glute bridge wt? how much and how heavy is your other core work?

Hows your stretching regime look? How do you perform or feel different in your problem areas after stretching hard?

[quote]VTTrainer wrote:
There’s a lot to go through w this thread for suggestions. you obviously know what shit form looks like, and mentioned that your RDL and GM look rough too.

A few things here.
To have a more optimal deadlift, ya you need stronger legs. but that doesn’t mean shit if you cannot maintain good position in your torso.

your entire core is falling apart. I’m betting that you have both problems of, general weakness in the erectors and the other core muscles, as well as something pulling on the hip structures that causes the tilt.

The first good thing to point out is that you can get into position without issue, so it’s not a capsular issue as mentioned before.

How does your squat form look in comparison? RDL weight? GM weight? trap bar deadlifts wt? glute bridge wt? how much and how heavy is your other core work?

Hows your stretching regime look? How do you perform or feel different in your problem areas after stretching hard?[/quote]

My squat is pretty good (relatively speaking I guess lol). Knees don’t cave in and push out the entire time, lower back doesn’t tuck under, upperback stays tight 80% of the time. My main issue in the squat is sometimesmy hips shoot up first, but thats greatly been reduced as Ive been working on my technique. Also I have a hell of a time remembering to push my stomach out the entire time, I’ll do it than forget to redo it on rep work. Also tight unracks are another hit or miss.

RDL weight - Best I can remember was 255 for 6 reps? But there was another 4 in the tank

Goodmornings - Been a solid 6 months since I’ve done any because I hate the way it feels on my back (really hits my lower back hard in a not so great way)
But my Records were
275 x 1 suspended from chains at a height were if I hung my hands down theyd be right where they would be if I deadlifted
265 x 1 free weight in briefs
165-185 x 3? raw
Usually yoke bar x 20

Trap Bar dead - Record is 495 x 1 but this turned into being uglier than my conventional dead! total stiff legged it, and catbacked it up. Good form? Maybe 275 for a solid triple. Don’t do these because I feel its to easy to fall into my shitty dead form.

Glute bridge - best set was 155 x 10. Don’t do these because I dont feel it hitting the glutes at all. I really have to have my toes angled out to feel these without my hips feeling locked up

Core - Yikes I don’t do nearly enough of this. I haven’t trained it in atleast 3 months. I have to force myself to do this more. No joke

I haven’t stretched in a long time either. I really am terrible when it comes down to the small stuff and I have a feeling it’s been making the biggest difference.

I do notice when I am able to roll a baseball on my glutes that they are beyond tender. When I roll those I usually feel pretty damn good but I can’t roll them. I am a type 1 diabetic and always have an insulin site in 1 side so I feel like it’d do more harm then good if I only rolled 1 glute before training.

For the record my hamstrings are very tight. I can feel them stretch by just arching my back hard.

To Aragorn and N.K.

I am pushing my squat up hard and it is moving. I am eating to grow and I am already up 7 lbs in 8 weeks without being fatter so thats a plus. If I remember right my best front squat was 205 x 3 w/ good form, and 245 x 3 with a yoke bar with ugly ass form.

at Matt.

My best Deadlift was a 475 dead but that was with a psych up and being on a good day. 455 is what I can pull on any given day with a psych up. I feel right now even if witch this scared cat like form I could pull atleast a 10 lb PR.

Larry
Well it helped knowing going into this it was probably going to be a long and hard process to making it good. I mean what am I going to do, quit? lol