T Nation

What Exercise is This?

I see a lot of decently built people at my gym doing this and I was wondering what it was… Basically they load a barbell up with weight as if they are going to do a deadlift, then grab a platform and grab the weight stand on the platform then bend all the way down as if they were trying to touch their toes and in the process they round their entire back and then go straight back up. Also they dont bend their knees at all. I always thought it was bad to round your entire back.

Sounds like an elevated straight legged deadlift. Rounding the back isn’t really desired per se, but it will happen if you are unaware of your mechanics or forcing range of motion beyond your current flexibility levels.

In short, don’t round your back with a heavily loaded barbell as it can cause disc issues over time!!!

Variation of deadlift that works the posterior chain strength in the first part of the classic DL movement - moving bar from dead position. Demands strict form and superior hamstring flexibility, for common use it is rather dangerous and not needed.

Avoid! However some coaches recommend it along snatch grip DL from platform if lifter has propostions (long arms coupled with short legs…)

I used to call it Spine Crackin’ DL.

If i chose to do the exercise would it help with building my lower back?

is it very good for the lower back, upperback and hamstrings

i actually prefer it to the conventional deadlift because of bad left knee pains, it makes it hard to bend

[quote]jck524 wrote:
If i chose to do the exercise would it help with building my lower back?[/quote]

or maybe destroy it completely

Jackassy, uncalled-for, injury-prone way of doing a Romanian deadlift. Usually, an attention-seeking idiot is doing it.

so what is the consensus on it?

The platform increases your ROM which is a good thing provided you have the flexibility to do so and correct form. If they are stiff legging a Romanian deadlift like that then they are being stupid as previous posters have suggested.

You can look up several articles on form for the romanian deadlift and if you have the flexibility, by all means use the platform.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
Jackassy, uncalled-for, injury-prone way of doing a Romanian deadlift. Usually, an attention-seeking idiot is doing it. [/quote]

1st-The Romanian Deadlift & the Straight Leg Deadlift are two different movements.
2nd-I have done ‘rounded back’ straight leg deadlifts on a platform at a height that prevents the plates from ever reaching the floor for over twenty years and consider it the best hamstring exercise (for lifters with the flexability and strength to execute the movement properly)period(much like Standing Good Mornings). Otherwise it’s an injury waiting to happen.
3rd-This is not a movement for everyone. If you can’t back-squat 2x your BW for reps and stand straight legged with your fist on the floor…work on that first.

Bricknyce- you have been very nasty lately. I had grown used to more thoughtful, balanced, and forward thinking responses from you?

[quote]testosteroniak wrote:

I used to call it Spine Crackin’ DL.[/quote]

We still do!!

Some supporting info:

Rounded Back Straight Leg Deadlift

Fleck and Falkel (1986) site a study that demonstrates compression forces are not excessive when the lumbar spine is flexed and the weight is held close to the body.

In addition, intra-abdominal pressures generated during heavy lifts reduce extensor movements, thus further reducing stresses on the lumbar spine.

These techniques are used in the execution of the straight leg deadlift. Notice the weight is lowered to the top of the feet and not just beyond the feet. Illustrations in articles suggesting destructive forces on the spine are quite different than the straight leg deadlift.

According to the ExRx description and animation the weight is kept very close to the body. Positioning the resistance away from the body subjects forces on spine structures much greater than the straight leg deadlift described.

I personally have not seen a higher incidence of injury to my clients on the straight leg deadlift as compared to other exercises. I certainly agree it would be a risk to perform the straight leg deadlift for individuals with certain low back disorders, or those who do not conform to the 4 adaptation criteria outlined on this site.

Although many individuals from industrialized countries suffer from lower back pain, if I were to remove the straight leg deadlift and other exercises based upon certain people’s idiosyncrasies, there would be few exercise to left to demonstrate.

For those who can not or do not care to perform this exercise with flexion of the spine see:

Barbell Straight-back Stiff-leg Deadlift
Barbell Straight-back Straight-leg Deadlift
Lack of recuperation is only one of four reasons of injury as outlined in the ExRx site. Like you, I once believed lower back pain was mainly caused by a weak abdominal, flexibility, etc. until I meet a researcher whose team published their findings referenced below.

The studies and accompanying papers strongly suggest other biomechanical factors contributed to the health of the lower back, specifically lower back strength throughout a complete range of motion. The artificial splinting of the lower back that so many professionals advocate is a short term solution.

The avoidance of full range of motion promotes deconditioning and consequently deterioration of the joint structures. (Nelson 1993, 1995) This short sightedness is in total contradiction of the most basic principles of exercise: specific adaptation to imposed demands (SAID).

I have supervised hundreds of individuals who have performed the straight leg deadlift and similar exercises with excellent results. Individuals with occasional lower back pain have reported dramatically less low back discomfort. One of my clients was 73 years old! For my clients with occasional lower back pain, I most often start them on the Lever Back Extension or Cable Seated Row with spinal articulation and perhaps later move them into Hyperextensions.

After a few months or so on these preliminary exercises, I introduce my clients to the straight leg deadlift with a 10-20 lb bar and progress them systematically (See Shorthand Log). When people stopped this exercise for a few weeks they report their old sporadic lower back pain comes back.

This went away after resuming their program. I often find it difficult to persuade some clients to try other exercises after a month on the straight leg deadlift due to their excellent results.

I perform the straight leg deadlifts working up to 495 lbs with complete spinal flexion with the bar touching the top of my feet. I can personally assure you I have little instability in the lumbar region after years and years of regularly performing this exercise.

The straight leg deadlift with a rounded back is suggested by other experts including Greg Shepard, the Author of Bigger Faster Stronger, pg 90-91. His program has been used by more than 9000 high schools over the past 30 years.

In first edition of “Strength Training for Young Athletes” by Kraemer and Fleck, the cover states "Includes over 100 safe exercises for 18 muscle groups and 16 sports. They include two exercise similar to the straight leg deadlift:

Page 96: Rounded-back Good Morning Exercise
Page 97: Rounded-back Stiff-Legged Deadlift
In their book, the illustration of the Rounded-back Stiff-Legged Deadlift appears as though the boy was using 135 lbs. Dr. Fleck and Dr. Kraemer’s credentials are impeccable.

Experts such as Fleck and Nelson, as well as the ACSM weight training guidelines all recommend implementing full range of motion resistive exercises.

The limitations of an exercise program should be customized for each individual, not the general population as some exercise professionals have proposed.

The individual’s goals, medical history, orthopedic health, etc. as well as the limitations of the exercise professional’s knowledge need to be considered. Obviously, certain exercises may be considered contraindicative for some people, at least until particular injuries and biomechanical deficiencies are corrected and the principles of specific adaptation can be observed.

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