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My Lower Back is Killing Me!


Does anyone else's lower back fatigue very easily? I seem to have a difficult time doing more than 3 sets of lower back work before the tightness/soreness makes it too difficult to continue.

Right now, I'm doing a 6-day/week program called Big Beyond Belief, and the phase I'm currently on calls for one back and one leg exercise every day. I've set things up to where I'm doing a back width exercise and quad-dominant exercise on M/W/F and a back thickness exercise and hamstring-dominant exercise on Tu/Th/Sa.

Today, I did 3 sets of corner rows (back thickness) and 3 sets of straight-legged deadlifts (hamstring-dominant). However, after my 1st deadlift set, my lower back got so tight that I had to drop the weight and take a longer break than prescribed. I couldn't even finish my third set due to the tightness/discomfort.

Am I just being a bitch, or is there a greater issue here that I should resolve ASAP? For what it's worth, the deadlifts are my only hamstring-dominant exercise that recruits the lower back, so today's exercise selection is the only one that really sucks. Should I just throw out the deadlifts and replace them with another hamstring isolation movement? My other two hamstring exercises are glute-ham raises and lying leg curls.

Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


you could also swap corner rows for chest supported t-bar rows. I'm not sure why you didn't put this in the BBB thread as a bunch of guys are going to be telling you that you shouldn't be doing back and legs on the same day. I personally am doing all compund lifts with the program and am not having any lower back issues, but we may be at different stages of developement.

If it is pain that you are feeling and not just fatigue it may be another issue


Are you possibly arching your back too hard in an effort to keep it straight? I mildly compressed a disc once doing that. Or, maybe you're rounding your back on the way up and don't realize it. Or, maybe your posture is bad when you're not training or when sitting if you do that a lot.


don't live with pain,

consider not doing straight leg deadlifts, for some they would be a recipe for disater...i would never do them. Try Romanian deadlifts instead. also, if the pain perceeds id suggest buying Magnificent Mobility from the store here and also a foam roller from anywheres like www.elitefts.com.


I did. No one responded (see top of pg. 28). I suppose I could bump my post.

Ramp 2 has back and legs every day, unfortunately.


@trav123456: I don't know why I didn't think of doing chest-supported rows or seated rows. I think either of those would minimize lower back strain. Thanks for the tips!

@Tiribulus: Now that I think about it, it might be the latter. I do have the tendency to round my back when I'm sitting. I do this occasionally at work, and I seem to do it quite a lot at home. My chair at home sucks big time (doesn't lean back, is at a 90% angle, no back cushion). Maybe that's another reason. Also, I think the discomfort is more tightness rather than pain. It's comparable to really bad quad tightness/discomfort after doing a lot of squats/leg presses/leg extensions. The tightness subsides over time.

@GrindOverMatter: What exactly is the difference between SLDLs and RDLs? I used to do DB RDLs until the DBs were getting too big (read: annoying to work with, especially if I had to drop weight), so I switched to a barbell. The movement feels the same. Maybe I'm just calling it something different? I'm also strongly considering buying MM because I also have hip and knee issues. Better to be safe than sorry.


You are obviously lifting with shit form and hurting your back. If you do back less often you may get away with it, or else check your form. Just sayin.


yea check your form. it kills 75% of weightlifters.


My form seems to be pretty spot on. I check my form in the mirror occasionally to make sure I'm not rounding my back. Other lifters have also commented on my proper form on squats and deadlifts. Maybe the lower back rounding occurs later in the set when I'm getting fatigued?

I'll try to make a video of my lifts next week when I do them again.


yeah dude if you're getting back pain its more than likely due to how you're lifting. everyone thinks their form is perfect but it takes a long time to actually get that way.

wear a belt if you have to.


Ramp 2 - Week one
Day 1
DB Rows 3x13-15 (150s)
Hack Squats/Leg Press 3x13-15 (150s)

Day 2
Wide RAck Chins 3x13-15 (150s)
Laying Leg Curls 3x13-15 (150s)

Day 3
Dead lifts 3x10-12 (150s)
Leg Press 3x10-12 (150s)

Day 4
Wide BN Pulldowns 3x8-10 (150s)
Standing Leg Curls 3x10-12 (150s)

Day 5
DB Rows/Chest Supported Rows 3x8-10 (150s)
Squats 3x8-10 (150s)

Day 6
Close Grip Rack Chins 3x8-10 (150s)
Seated Leg Curls 3x8-10 (150s)

Here is an example to save your lower back. You wil still get in deads and squats and more than enough back thickness,width and leg curl work.

BTW-You can use the same leg curl everytime if you want and also the same with back width...


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Maybe you're losing form at the end of the workout? Are you going all out on deadlifts/ rows etc every single day? I'd be pretty tired if so. Or are some days lighter?


I used SL deads towards the end sessions previously and had to stop due to my lower back being so exhausted that the exercise becoming redundant for hammies.

I found that it was not uncommon to achieve extreme fatigue in your lower back from other exercises using the same muscle group (T-Bars, Corner rows, back squats, front squats etc) to the point where you just need to use less weight on the straight legged deadlifts or do them first or earlier in the program if they are a priority.

Another killer is front squats after deadlifts... almost impossible.


MM is awesome and does exactly what it sets out to do, totally improves hip mobility which can be a cause of back pain

whats the difference between straight legging deads and romonaians, well come on man. In a straight leg deadlift you have to keep your legs straight, which makes me wonder how anyone could do the excersize with full range of motion without rounding their back and having the lumber discs shoot out of their spine. For a proper explaination of the romanian deadlift find the Mike Robertson article about it on here


I began this way as well, just work through it and you will fatigue less as your back gets stronger.


Yeah, after reading that huge thread I'm doing the BBB program too. After than first week of three sets of 15 rep deadlifts, my back has been fatiguing really easily on anything that puts a little stress on the back. I can't even jog three laps on the track before needing to stop and stretch out my back.

I figure that the best thing to do is ease off on the lower back for at least a couple of weeks before doing deadlifts again. Maybe we really shouldn't do 15 rep sets of lower back exercises to failure.


lol you were just looking for your name weren't you :stuck_out_tongue:


I think the low back muscles take the longest to recover from a good workout. put some days between the movements that stress the low back or decrease the volume. That is if you are sure your form is acceptable,