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Spinal Hinge During Deadlift

I’ve noticed I give in the same spot during each heavy DL. I recently videoed a DL workout from the side to see what was going on and it looks like a hinge in the thoracolumbar region. I do not know what to do or how I can fix this. I do lots of ab, low back, and lat work and the hinge area is pretty hypertrophied compared the the rest of my spine. If I can learn how to stabalize this area I think my DL would improve greatly.

Thanks for the help, and if you see anything “technique” wise you think I should work on let me know.

I’ve been able to improve a similar issue by doing a lot of paused work. Paused good mornings (in the bottom) and pause deadlifts and squats. I think this strengthened everything that holds my torso nuetral in that position, as well as developed the hip stregnth to substitute for the back movement. I also concentrated on doing pendlay rows. It’s not yet fixed, but it is better.

i’ve got that same power rack. i really should add that platform to it as well. i hate the pull up bar that comes with it though, way too thin and too much knurling… that is all.

I think it’s technique more than anything, I believe forcing your chest up more and getting your weight on your heels would put you in a better position to pull back more thus engaging your hamstrings better.

[quote]thirdnalga wrote:
I’ve been able to improve a similar issue by doing a lot of paused work. Paused good mornings (in the bottom) and pause deadlifts and squats. I think this strengthened everything that holds my torso nuetral in that position, as well as developed the hip stregnth to substitute for the back movement. I also concentrated on doing pendlay rows. It’s not yet fixed, but it is better.[/quote]

This is probably the only way to go. I do a lot of pauses already, but I’m going to give the rows a go. I’m just trying to figure out what is mechanically wrong in a spinal hinge during a DL or picking something up. Is this something that will always be there, just masked by gradual strength increases? Or is there some strength and/or flexibility imbalances that could fix the problem? Maybe nobody here can answer this, but it’s what I’m looking for lol.

do you do a lot of upper back work? seems like that might be lagging too.

[quote]alocubano1110 wrote:
do you do a lot of upper back work? seems like that might be lagging too.[/quote]

Yea. Facepulls and pull aparts almost daily.

I have this issue as well!!

I am a noob though so bare with me…

When you do paused DL’s, where exactly are you pausing/holding it?

And same thing for me, I do upper back work like crazy and it hasn’t improved anything (yet).

A lot of people mentioned to me it was a core thing though.
I wish I had a professional DL instructor at my gym because this is really frustrating…

  1. Get your damn head up.
  2. Kroc rows, face pulls, barbell rows, meadow rows, shrugs, and anything that targets your lower traps. Rack pulls and block pulls as well.
  3. Hips lower.
  4. Come Wednesday if you can to MBB and we’ll work on this in person.

Personally I don’t think the paused work is necessarily going to be what will fix this. You get your shoulders too far in front of you and put yourself in a bad position from the start. Fix that and this is likely to go away.

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:

  1. Get your damn head up.
  2. Kroc rows, face pulls, barbell rows, meadow rows, shrugs, and anything that targets your lower traps. Rack pulls and block pulls as well.
  3. Hips lower.
  4. Come Wednesday if you can to MBB and we’ll work on this in person.

Personally I don’t think the paused work is necessarily going to be what will fix this. You get your shoulders too far in front of you and put yourself in a bad position from the start. Fix that and this is likely to go away.[/quote]

Agree here. Your chest is pointed down and your eyes are fixed on the floor in front of you. All you really need to do is flex your upper back and force your head up

[quote]frankjl wrote:

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:

  1. Get your damn head up.
  2. Kroc rows, face pulls, barbell rows, meadow rows, shrugs, and anything that targets your lower traps. Rack pulls and block pulls as well.
  3. Hips lower.
  4. Come Wednesday if you can to MBB and we’ll work on this in person.

Personally I don’t think the paused work is necessarily going to be what will fix this. You get your shoulders too far in front of you and put yourself in a bad position from the start. Fix that and this is likely to go away.[/quote]

Agree here. Your chest is pointed down and your eyes are fixed on the floor in front of you. All you really need to do is flex your upper back and force your head up[/quote]

I understand all this, and used to use all of those cues. Why put your neck in that sheering position? Does it really help as much as it could potentially hurt? And anyway, this position actually does hurt my neck, which is already always tight.

If you look at my recent test day, I bring my hips down significantly lower only to DL 20lb less. And my back still gave (worse really). So one thing I’ve always tried to do is keep my spine COMPLETELY neutral. I’ve always tried to bring my shoulders behind the bar (noticed some of the best DLers do this) but it just didn’t work for me. A sumo stance would probably be a better position for me, but that’s cheating ;).

As far as the paused work. The way I see it is, TUT in the position which needs stability would strengthen that movement directly, no?

All great advice and I appreciate it. LM, I’ll probably take you up on that and come up there wednesday. It’s my spring break this week so I guess I should treat myself to some kind of fun right?

Packing the neck helps increase spinal stability, not reduce it. You’re not just sticking your head back but you’re packing it down and in as well. Doing so doesn’t cause a lot of shear. Doing what you’re doing is causing a lot more shear and compression in your lumbar region than any damage you could be doing to your cervical. Until you do this and rotate your angle more vertical you’re going to be placing higher stress on your body without pulling the weights you want.

Definitely get up here Wednesday and we’ll work with you. We’ve made some changes in my pull and really really made some huge progress (when my back isn’t messed up). 7:30 is start time.

[quote]Spock81 wrote:
I have this issue as well!!

I am a noob though so bare with me…

When you do paused DL’s, where exactly are you pausing/holding it?

And same thing for me, I do upper back work like crazy and it hasn’t improved anything (yet).

A lot of people mentioned to me it was a core thing though.
I wish I had a professional DL instructor at my gym because this is really frustrating… [/quote]

For the pauses you really can’t beat pausing right off the floor. I have seen some people pause at weak points (near the knees), but right off the floor will hit the core hardest.

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:
Packing the neck helps increase spinal stability, not reduce it. You’re not just sticking your head back but you’re packing it down and in as well. Doing so doesn’t cause a lot of shear. Doing what you’re doing is causing a lot more shear and compression in your lumbar region than any damage you could be doing to your cervical. Until you do this and rotate your angle more vertical you’re going to be placing higher stress on your body without pulling the weights you want.

Definitely get up here Wednesday and we’ll work with you. We’ve made some changes in my pull and really really made some huge progress (when my back isn’t messed up). 7:30 is start time.[/quote]

Do you have any extra information on this packing technique? I’ve heard it too many times to not know about it. And is there any studies showing the increased spinal stability? From what I’ve read from McGill and heard from Kelly Starrett you should always keep the spine neutral, and Kelly is always stressing the neck.

Ima switch my DL day to wed. and come up there. I was planning on some speed work (x2 @7) then woking up to a heavy x2 @9-10. Then some squats and glute bridges. Or whatever yall have planned lol.

Mike Robertson and Alwynn Cosgrove put together some stuff on packing the neck and Thomas Deeble as well I believe. I’ll look around for the articles, they’ve been up on EFS and even on here if I recall.

Yah it’s more what the group has planned out though we’ll all target various things that need to be fixed. Either way you’ll get some good technical work done.

[quote]chazdaman wrote:

[quote]thirdnalga wrote:
I’ve been able to improve a similar issue by doing a lot of paused work. Paused good mornings (in the bottom) and pause deadlifts and squats. I think this strengthened everything that holds my torso nuetral in that position, as well as developed the hip stregnth to substitute for the back movement. I also concentrated on doing pendlay rows. It’s not yet fixed, but it is better.[/quote]

This is probably the only way to go. I do a lot of pauses already, but I’m going to give the rows a go. I’m just trying to figure out what is mechanically wrong in a spinal hinge during a DL or picking something up. Is this something that will always be there, just masked by gradual strength increases? Or is there some strength and/or flexibility imbalances that could fix the problem? Maybe nobody here can answer this, but it’s what I’m looking for lol.[/quote]

You could also make sure your hip flexors are really stretched out, and your psoas too, then activate the hips, maybe hold at the top and flex the glutes real hard to get better at locking out.
Some people have funny form forever, but I think if you mask it hard enough, then it’s gone, right?
I had to do my pauses ridiculously light to be able to keep what I felt was perfect form. Like, barely over 50% for set of 3-5. Big weakness, right?

Keep your head up. When you deadlift you should almost be throwing your head back. Do a shit load of back work (GMs, Reverse Hyper, Back Ext, Rows, Pullups). Make sure you are flexing your lats hard when you deadlift. If you did it right, deadlifting should almost feel like you just did a shit load of rows.

[quote]GruntOrama wrote:
Keep your head up. When you deadlift you should almost be throwing your head back. Do a shit load of back work (GMs, Reverse Hyper, Back Ext, Rows, Pullups). Make sure you are flexing your lats hard when you deadlift. If you did it right, deadlifting should almost feel like you just did a shit load of rows.[/quote]

You know I do get a pretty good pump in the lats after DLing. I don’t do much rowing though, just light lat work for reps on off days. I wish I had a reverse hyper, I used one tonight and it felt like it hit the spot pretty good. I do a lot of heavy back extensions which was my first line of attack on this issue. So heavy rowing seems to be my next go to thing. What’s a good row as a percentage of the DL?

I don’t think many people track rows as % of deadlift. You gotta realize that those with shorter arms (not built for deadlifting) are going to have better rowing ability than deadlifting ability. Just get some solid work in and build some damn thickness to ya.

After watching last night arched back GM’s are going to be your best solution - preferably with a SSB. Gotta get some thickness on you. Also heavy front squat holds.