Dead lifts

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    Feb 05, 2012 11:28 AM GMT
    Ok, lately I've been working out my back a lot with my trainer. The issue is this, I have really long arms so it's difficult for me to get the size that I want in that area of the body. So my trainner suggests we focus on back and shoulders. In doing a lot of dead lifts and squats, I've been prone to injury. My concern is this, I can push myself so far until I feel tightness and a strain. I'm not improving and I want to push myself. It's easier for me to workout my shoulders and back than it is to define my arms and chest. We still workout all muscle groups and I try to train 4-5 times a week now. I'm doing roughly 6-10 reps of 1.25 times my body weight for dead lifts and squats, 4 sets. I assume my 1 rep max is 270-300 lbs. Does it make sense to focus so much on dead lifts. I don't exhaust myself doing dead lifts but I'm paranoid that I'll once again become bed ridden if I injure myself again. Is there a reason why I injure my lower back so often? Forgive me for sounding like a total tool. I'm debating whether or not I should stop doing the exercise altogether.
  • quirkyquirk

    Posts: 71

    Feb 05, 2012 2:38 PM GMT
    Wait... I'm a bit confused. You have a trainer who has tweaked your back so bad that he/ she put you in bed? If this is the case then RUN! Your trainer is likely increasing loads too quickly, doesn,t know how to correct form on complex lifts, didn't do a full medical/rom workup on you or is just an ill educated meathead. (Here endeth the rant.)

    From a personal level... I love deads and squats. But I have found that as I age my body needs more recovery time between performing these taxing movements. If I pack them together with little recovery my form goes to shit and I invariably tweak something. I've had great luck cycling loads and reps if that is something that interets you.

    Above all... Take care of your back. I've been through two disc surgeries and the recovery is tough. Err on the side of safety. Arthritis in the lumbar spine is no fun!

    Good luck acheiving your goals!
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    Feb 05, 2012 2:45 PM GMT
    ChangeofName saidOk, lately I've been working out my back a lot with my trainer. The issue is this, I have really long arms so it's difficult for me to get the size that I want in that area of the body. So my trainner suggests we focus on back and shoulders. In doing a lot of dead lifts and squats, I've been prone to injury. My concern is this, I can push myself so far until I feel tightness and a strain. I'm not improving and I want to push myself. It's easier for me to workout my shoulders and back than it is to define my arms and chest. We still workout all muscle groups and I try to train 4-5 times a week now. I'm doing roughly 6-10 reps of 1.25 times my body weight for dead lifts and squats, 4 sets. I assume my 1 rep max is 270-300 lbs. Does it make sense to focus so much on dead lifts. I don't exhaust myself doing dead lifts but I'm paranoid that I'll once again become bed ridden if I injure myself again. Is there a reason why I injure my lower back so often? Forgive me for sounding like a total tool. I'm debating whether or not I should stop doing the exercise altogether.


    No offense intended, but you have a trainer who's expertise is supposed to be sufficient to answer all of these questions. If you're coming here because you think your trainer doesn't understand your problem, you either need to communicate better with your trainer, or get a new trainer.

    There are a lot of reasons why you could be injuring your lower back so often, none of them are ones that can really be dealt with in a forum type format. Anyone who gives you a straight-forward cookie-cutter answer like, "Work on your core" or "So more soft tissue work" doesn't know what they're talking about. You need to be assessed in person by someone who knows what they're doing.
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    Feb 05, 2012 2:49 PM GMT
    bryanc_74 said
    ChangeofName saidOk, lately I've been working out my back a lot with my trainer. The issue is this, I have really long arms so it's difficult for me to get the size that I want in that area of the body. So my trainner suggests we focus on back and shoulders. In doing a lot of dead lifts and squats, I've been prone to injury. My concern is this, I can push myself so far until I feel tightness and a strain. I'm not improving and I want to push myself. It's easier for me to workout my shoulders and back than it is to define my arms and chest. We still workout all muscle groups and I try to train 4-5 times a week now. I'm doing roughly 6-10 reps of 1.25 times my body weight for dead lifts and squats, 4 sets. I assume my 1 rep max is 270-300 lbs. Does it make sense to focus so much on dead lifts. I don't exhaust myself doing dead lifts but I'm paranoid that I'll once again become bed ridden if I injure myself again. Is there a reason why I injure my lower back so often? Forgive me for sounding like a total tool. I'm debating whether or not I should stop doing the exercise altogether.


    No offense intended, but you have a trainer who's expertise is supposed to be sufficient to answer all of these questions. If you're coming here because you think your trainer doesn't understand your problem, you either need to communicate better with your trainer, or get a new trainer.

    There are a lot of reasons why you could be injuring your lower back so often, none of them are ones that can really be dealt with in a forum type format. Anyone who gives you a straight-forward cookie-cutter answer like, "Work on your core" or "So more soft tissue work" doesn't know what they're talking about. You need to be assessed in person by someone who knows what they're doing.


    Right on both counts... why the hell have a trainer if he isn't answering all these questions?
  • crewseth

    Posts: 8

    Feb 05, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    here is my two cents.

    I am an avid dead lifter. And by design of the movement deadlifts are a glute/hamstring/hip movement. The back should be kept flat and all power in the movement comes from the glutes and hamstrings. You arms are merely straps to hold the weights. If your lower back is hurting from deadlifts its possible you are doing something wrong.
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    Feb 05, 2012 4:00 PM GMT
    crewseth saidhere is my two cents.

    I am an avid dead lifter. And by design of the movement deadlifts are a glute/hamstring/hip movement. The back should be kept flat and all power in the movement comes from the glutes and hamstrings. You arms are merely straps to hold the weights. If your lower back is hurting from deadlifts its possible you are doing something wrong.


    I agree 100% My trainer has me do dead lifts and 3/4 dead lifts and you have to work up the weight slowly. Even as strong as I am, when we started we wer only doing from 135# up to 225# for a few reps at the high weight. And now I am up to hitting six reps at 365# on the dead lift and 405# on the 3/4 dead lift though we still warmup at 135# or so to make sure form is correct and everything is in working order.

    And one more thing the guy I'm quoting didn't mention: Don't jerk the weight up, it's a slow pull as if the floor has a magnet hold onto the weight, you just keep applying force in the opposite direction with your legs pushing up and the weight will come, slowly at first and then it will slide up the rest of the way easy. Never ever jerk or wrestle the wieght up, you will hurt something!
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    Feb 05, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    You didn't mention anything about working your core. Do you have a core routine? If your core isn't in shape you're going to compensate for it in your back.
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    Feb 05, 2012 6:54 PM GMT
    Slyblue saidYou didn't mention anything about working your core. Do you have a core routine? If your core isn't in shape you're going to compensate for it in your back.


    My massage therapist said the same. To be honest I had to take a hiatus from training for awhile and now I've been working with this trainer for a year. I like him, however some days my legs and back are really tight. I have extremely long legs and long arms. I know proper form for dead lifts, been doing them a lot however mentally I am terrified of tearing something again. It took me months to heal. I should probably focus more on core during the off days. We typically run circuits that incorporate some core work but as a whole I don't have a set date for abs.
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    Feb 05, 2012 10:32 PM GMT
    I would definitely recommend doing that.
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    Feb 05, 2012 10:41 PM GMT
    I have the dodgiest lower back around (and scoliosis of the spin) yet I still do deadlifts. If you take don't rush into them, go up in the weight at a comfortable pace and only when you get perfect form with lower weight, then you'll be fine. If you're tall, then you might want to start with the weight higher off the ground, which I do - I pulled my back lifting the weight from the ground, but if I start with it on a bench or a rack them I'm fine.
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    Feb 05, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    I'm confused. The wires in your workout appear to be crossed. You have difficulty adding mass to your arms and chest... have long arms... back strain... and you are focusing on doing deadlifts. None of these facts are connected, man! Why are you doing deadlifts in the first place?
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    Feb 05, 2012 11:19 PM GMT
    Deadlifts (in some people's views) are a true test of strength.

    Shorter people (from what Im told) can develop their arms and chest better than longer people. Im a big guy, and based on my frame I should technically be able to train my larger muscle groups more effectively (according to my trainer), also Im looking for a complete body transformation.

    The distance I have to extend my arms for a chest press is greater than someone that is smaller, therefore they put on muscle in those areas faster. Muscle burns fat. I suppose it makes sense to build a solid foundation with squats and deadlifts. I dont think deadlifts are hard, but I have "pulled" my back out in the past which concerns me because it hurts like fuck.

    Also the bar rubbing against my knees hurts and Im more likely to curl my back (which is when injury occurs more often than not) because I have a longer distance to go.

    I dont know if that sounds ignorant or blatantly simplistic.. but that's my reasoning / thought process from what Ive been told.
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    Feb 05, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    I'm not tall but I have super long arms and legs as well. I like doing squats and deadlifts, but that's because I want bigger legs and the hormone boost.

    Your OP read to me as though your arms and chest were the muscles you wanted to build.
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    Feb 05, 2012 11:32 PM GMT
    I do actually but thats for aesthetic reasons. my trainer probably doesnt get that im a vain homosexual and id feel silly for making that known to him.

    im really trying to avoid injury especially with the back, its a scary thought to be put in a position where I dont have the mobility i use to.

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    Feb 05, 2012 11:48 PM GMT
    How is your flexibility? You said the bar rubs against your knees, which makes me think they are bent when they should not be. Can you touch your toes? You need hamstring flexibility in order to keep your lower back straight throughout the movement and to take pressure off of it.
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    Feb 06, 2012 12:06 AM GMT
    i stretch a lot but [my legs and i guess hamstrings] are habitually tight. i stretch my hamstrings religiously, but because of the previous strain on my back it hurts when i try to touch my toes.

    i thought you were suppose to have a slight bend in your kness when the bar goes past that point

    ??

    my back is always flat, my hips are out... etc etc
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    Feb 06, 2012 12:15 AM GMT
    These exercises make a huge difference when my lower back is feeling out of sorts. He says don't do them on deadlift days. Maybe ask your trainer if they'd be good for you?



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    Feb 06, 2012 12:24 AM GMT
    ChangeofName saidi stretch a lot but [my legs and i guess hamstrings] are habitually tight. i stretch my hamstrings religiously, but because of the previous strain on my back it hurts when i try to touch my toes.

    i thought you were suppose to have a slight bend in your kness when the bar goes past that point

    ??

    my back is always flat, my hips are out... etc etc


    True, knees should not be locked, but the more your legs are bent the less engaged your hamstrings will be, which is the point of the exercise. With more flexibility the bar could be hanging 6 inches out from your knees throughout the movement. If you can't touch your toes without pain, though, it sounds like you really need to strengthen that lower back, and your trainer is not taking care of you.
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    Feb 06, 2012 12:28 AM GMT
    I think you need to find a trainer.

    You can do rack-deadlifts to take the strain off your lower back (you're lifting past the lock out phase). Your trainer should know that..

    If he/she isn't responsive to your needs as a client, you need to find someone else.
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    Feb 06, 2012 4:47 AM GMT
    quirkyquirk saidWait... I'm a bit confused. You have a trainer who has tweaked your back so bad that he/ she put you in bed? If this is the case then RUN! Your trainer is likely increasing loads too quickly, doesn,t know how to correct form on complex lifts, didn't do a full medical/rom workup on you or is just an ill educated meathead. (Here endeth the rant.)

    From a personal level... I love deads and squats. But I have found that as I age my body needs more recovery time between performing these taxing movements. If I pack them together with little recovery my form goes to shit and I invariably tweak something. I've had great luck cycling loads and reps if that is something that interets you.

    Above all... Take care of your back. I've been through two disc surgeries and the recovery is tough. Err on the side of safety. Arthritis in the lumbar spine is no fun!

    Good luck acheiving your goals!


    Thx for the responses uguys. I like ur advice however I have seen improvement with this trainer over the long run. My body heals a lot faster but as mentioned earlier by some it probably needs more time to recover. I think we were over training some areas and neglecting others. I'll communicate better with him. Thx

    Thx for sharing ur story
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    Feb 06, 2012 8:25 AM GMT
    So many guys say what I would have so I will keep it brief.

    Long arms are a good thing for deadlifters. You do not have to bend over as far or lift as high as a guy with short arms. Consequently, short arm guys do better in bench.

    You want to build back? The back is so many areas. Deadlift, though it is the best overall lift for strength, really works lower back and upper rear muscles of the legs. Glutes, hamstrings, erector spinea....but not really upper back though secondarily it does.

    I think you need a new trainer, really. It does not sound like he is matching your goals with his advice.

    Do you want a wide back? Then do bent over pulls, seated pulls, ect. Those will give you "batwings".

    Your trainer might be awesome and maybe you have a disconnect on what you want to achieve. Back, upper back, lower back? If you want a huge lat spread, deadlifts will not do it. Bent over rows, single arm dumbell rows, seated rows.

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    Feb 07, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    kandsk saidI'm confused. The wires in your workout appear to be crossed. You have difficulty adding mass to your arms and chest... have long arms... back strain... and you are focusing on doing deadlifts. None of these facts are connected, man! Why are you doing deadlifts in the first place?



    Actually it makes perfect sense if you understand how the body adds muscle. Deadlifts (and even squats) are one of the best exercises for adding size to the arms. Anytime a guy complains of not being able to make his arms grow, I always recommend deadlifts.
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    Feb 07, 2012 3:42 AM GMT
    Deadlifts are fantastic for keeping your back strong and healthy. The more muscle you build surrounding your spine, the more support you'll have on your spine. The catch is....deadlifts MUST be done with strict form, otherwise they will make your situation worse. Maybe get another trainer's opinion on your form?
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    Feb 07, 2012 9:19 PM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    kandsk saidI'm confused. The wires in your workout appear to be crossed. You have difficulty adding mass to your arms and chest... have long arms... back strain... and you are focusing on doing deadlifts. None of these facts are connected, man! Why are you doing deadlifts in the first place?



    Actually it makes perfect sense if you understand how the body adds muscle. Deadlifts (and even squats) are one of the best exercises for adding size to the arms. Anytime a guy complains of not being able to make his arms grow, I always recommend deadlifts.


    Nah, I get that. Just wasn't sure about what his goal was.
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    Feb 07, 2012 9:30 PM GMT
    It sounds like you're rounding your back because your hamstrings aren't flexible enough. The starting position for the deadlift has your butt a little higher than the clean or snatch with your shoulders over the bar and the arms hanging straight down as straps. The hamstrings should be tight and loaded.

    The lift is initiated with the legs pushing the knees back and out of the way. Only when you've gotten the bar up to your pockets, the second pull in a power lift, while maintaining a level back, do you stand up. Shoulders should be locked back tight throughout the lift. The bar should basically remain in contact with the legs throughout the lift. Wear tall socks if you tend to scrape your shins.

    People have a tendency to round their backs at a couple points during the lift, which puts all the strain on the lower back. The most common is right at the start when they load the bar by pulling with their arms/back instead of starting the lift with the legs. It's not uncommon for it to also happen when they lower the bar back to the ground after the lift. The return down should be the exact reverse of the lift if you're not dropping from the top.