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  1. #1
    Registered User gojo's Avatar
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    Back hurts after Deadlifts

    I'm currently 8 weeks into this variation of the Rippetoe workout :
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw52.htm

    The problem is my lower back really hurts for day's after I perform a deadlift.
    Granted: I am a new lifter but have read MUCH and am fairly sure my form is ok.

    I also feel I need to wrap my knees (tightly) when squatting. If I don't my knees 'pop' right before I reach horizontal. They will also be rather sore the next day if I don't wrap them. This concerns me as I've read much about the con's of wrapping your knees: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cyberpump1.htm

    I've pretty much decided to try and find a trainer in my area to help me on my form, but I'm not quite sure how to find a good one.

    I apologize, I'm sure this has been covered, but obviously my forum searching skills are horrible.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Squat More Olie's Avatar
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    If your back is hurting you, there is a problem. Deadlifts are pretty tough on the lower back, especially if it is under developed. My wife found that out today, did deadlifts after squats and now her lower back is sore. My suggestion is to develop those muscle before hitting them hard. Squats, good mornings, hypers, those kind of exercises that target that area. I think you are on the right track by finding a GOOD trainer. There are many "certifying" organizations out there, ACE and ACSM are good ones. Do your homework and you'll find one.

    I wrap my knees when squatting. I am not willing to blow a knee just to squat more. The wrap works for me and so I will continue to use them, even if it's only for piece of mind.
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  3. #3
    Massive & Ripped @ 5'6" jacked in MI's Avatar
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    How many reps and sets are you performing for deadlift?

    For squats, have you tried different feet placement and positioning? You can alleviate some stress on your knees by placing your feet shoulder width apart while squatting.

    -Jeff
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  4. #4
    Registered User JeepCreeper's Avatar
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    If you have access to a video camera, record yourself from the side to check your form. Posting the video here could get you some feedback. You might also try sumo deadlifts. Legs wide, arms inside legs. Your back will be in a more upright position.
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  5. #5
    Squat More Olie's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention, hack squats are suppose to be easier on the knees. I don't do them but they might be worth looking into also.
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  6. #6
    Registered User gojo's Avatar
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    Wow thanks for all the advice, I see a gold's gym near me has some ACE and ACSM certified trainers. I'll give them a call tomorrow.

    Originally Posted by jacked in MI View Post
    How many reps and sets are you performing for deadlift?
    For squats, have you tried different feet placement and positioning? You can alleviate some stress on your knees by placing your feet shoulder width apart while squatting.
    -Jeff
    I'm following the plan I linked to exactly, so I'm doing one warm up set of Deadlift then one set of 5 reps.

    For squats I'm doing the classic 3X5. My knees do not bother me at ALL when I wrap them really well. I probably should mention that they pop with NO weight when I squat, but with weight they pop really loud and will start to hurt. I'm pretty sure I'll always need to wrap them when I squat.
    I stand with my feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and slightly pointing outward. This seems to be the best on the knees.
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  7. #7
    Squat More Olie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gojo View Post
    For squats I'm doing the classic 3X5. My knees do not bother me at ALL when I wrap them really well. I probably should mention that they pop with NO weight when I squat, but with weight they pop really loud and will start to hurt. I'm pretty sure I'll always need to wrap them when I squat.
    I stand with my feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and slightly pointing outward. This seems to be the best on the knees.
    I am the exact same way. When I really want to up my weight when squating to get me out of a rut, box squats are awesome. Easier in the knees for me too.
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  8. #8
    Registered User naturalbrawn's Avatar
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    Your knees should not be popping and your back should not be hurting.

    There are some exercises that are not right for everyone and they just happen to be the squat and the deadlift.

    You might want to look into a different routine. Maybe something that uses more reps with lighter weight. And alternate exercises that will not hurt you.

    The leg press, leg curl and the back extension will cover all the muscles that the squat and deadlift do.

    If you continue with exercises that hurt you, you will not be able to continue.
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  9. #9
    Registered User gbg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by naturalbrawn View Post
    Your knees should not be popping and your back should not be hurting.

    There are some exercises that are not right for everyone and they just happen to be the squat and the deadlift.

    You might want to look into a different routine. Maybe something that uses more reps with lighter weight. And alternate exercises that will not hurt you.

    The leg press, leg curl and the back extension will cover all the muscles that the squat and deadlift do.

    If you continue with exercises that hurt you, you will not be able to continue.
    Good point plenty of other exercises that are more safe when doing the dead lift make sure your spine is always in it's neutral position and your transverse abdominus is always fired up that muscle is very important for spinal stability.
    Being a real lifter is not about a number, or a medal, or somebody else telling you that you are a real lifter. It is about commitment to the iron and strength of purpose.
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  10. #10
    Registered User drjoe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gojo View Post
    I'm currently 8 weeks into this variation of the Rippetoe workout :
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw52.htm

    The problem is my lower back really hurts for day's after I perform a deadlift.
    Granted: I am a new lifter but have read MUCH and am fairly sure my form is ok.

    I also feel I need to wrap my knees (tightly) when squatting. If I don't my knees 'pop' right before I reach horizontal. They will also be rather sore the next day if I don't wrap them. This concerns me as I've read much about the con's of wrapping your knees: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cyberpump1.htm

    I've pretty much decided to try and find a trainer in my area to help me on my form, but I'm not quite sure how to find a good one.

    I apologize, I'm sure this has been covered, but obviously my forum searching skills are horrible.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Is the soreness in your back a good sore (i.e. muscles sore from working them) or a bad sore (i.e. soreness in the joints of your lower back)? Nothing wrong with the muscles of your lower back being sore after deadlifting. Low back muscles get sore after working them just like your biceps would get sore after doing alot of curls. However, actual low back pain in your spine itself is a different story. If that's the case, you have to have someone critique your deadlift technique and make sure you are performing them correctly. Good luck!
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  11. #11
    Registered User thunderchild's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Naturalbrawn, Kudos!

    I am with you on that one. I hurt my back bad in my younger days and stopped DLing all together. Now I do my DL's with a trap bar. It keeps my form good and I don't go heavy anymore. So far, no problems. I also do my squats on the Frank Zane leg blaster. My shoulders cannot take having the bar rest across my back. Hurt like hell!! I had to find alternative ways of doing my lifts. Once I did that, the game was on again!
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  12. #12
    Registered User IdahoViking's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jacked in MI View Post
    How many reps and sets are you performing for deadlift?

    For squats, have you tried different feet placement and positioning? You can alleviate some stress on your knees by placing your feet shoulder width apart while squatting.

    -Jeff
    Too find the optimal foot placement for squats, jump as high as you can three consecutive times w/o re-positioning your feet between jumps. How you land after the third jump is your bodies prefered stance for this type of motion.



    ...or anyways, that's how the theory goes.
    Any workout you can walk away from is a good workout.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Stenn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gojo View Post
    I'm currently 8 weeks into this variation of the Rippetoe workout :
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw52.htm

    The problem is my lower back really hurts for day's after I perform a deadlift.
    Granted: I am a new lifter but have read MUCH and am fairly sure my form is ok.

    I also feel I need to wrap my knees (tightly) when squatting. If I don't my knees 'pop' right before I reach horizontal. They will also be rather sore the next day if I don't wrap them. This concerns me as I've read much about the con's of wrapping your knees: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cyberpump1.htm

    I've pretty much decided to try and find a trainer in my area to help me on my form, but I'm not quite sure how to find a good one.
    Hey, another Rippetoe guy! Cool!

    However, if your going to do the Rippetoe workout, you're pretty much stuck with ATG squats and deadlifts. You need to learn these lifts very well before getting too far into the program because of how quickly your weights lifted will progress. If you haven't actually read Rippetoe's book, Starting Strength, I highly recommend that you do. I have yet to find a better description of how to do these lifts property. A trainer may be a good idea, but the trainer who showed me how to squat taught me how to do it WRONG. It may be tricky finding a trainer who can teach you these lifts if you yourself can't tell right from wrong.

    Now, about the back pain during deads. I completely agree with drjoe on this one. There's good back pain and there's bad back pain. If your spinal erectors (beside the spine) are sore, then you can pat yourself (gently) on the back for a job well done. Most likely, all you have is plain old Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). However, if you're having sharp pains, especially if they're in the middle of the back (in the spine), then you need to take a break and get a better education on proper form.

    I don't know what to tell you about your knees. Mine knees are noisy too, but they rarely hurt. Somtimes my tendons get a little sore where the quad tendons insert at the knee. But, again, if you're getting sharp pains from within the joint then stop and figure out what's going wrong. Squats are tricky and there are lots of ways to mess them up to the detriment of both your back and knees.

    Which brings up an interesting question, how do you know that it's your deads that are boogering your lower back? It may be your squats.

    Anway, I hope that something I've said helps. Don't get discouraged. Treat this like a puzzle. Figure it out and then move on.

    Good luck,
    Steve
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  14. #14
    Registered User hcorepump's Avatar
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    3/4 Deadlift

    I saw Jay Cutler doing 3/4 deadlifts on one of his dvd's, he said it puts less stress on his lower back. You start the weight around your knee with knees slightly bent, watch that you don't arch back.
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