deadlifts and squats hurt my back

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by David K, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. David K

    David K Guest

    The way I do squats and deadlifts hurts my upper back. My lower back
    is fine, no problems. The obvious answer to me is to stay away from
    both of them and do leg exercises using machines, but I was hoping for
    suggestions on a different way to do one of these exercises or a
    similar alternative.

    I'm 6'1" or 6'2", 185lbs, so my height may be making it more difficult
    for me than shorter lifters.

    MY SQUAT:

    About 2 x 10 x 95lbs.

    Bar is chest-high on rack. I step under it, lift off rock, step back,
    dot he squats. I go down to thighs parallel with floor.

    I'm okay immediately afterward, but by a day later I'm feeling lots of
    tension in my upper back. I do try to keep my upper back from rounding
    when doing the lift, but I think it may be happening because of the
    placement of my hands. I feel as if it would solve the problem if I
    didn't have to try to push my arms back so far that my hands can grip
    the bar on my shoulders (I can't make my arms go back that far while
    trying it without the bar).

    I've considered different bar placement on my shoulders, but any
    further back and I feel like I'm about to drop it behind me or hurt my
    arms, and any further forward and it would be on my neck.

    I've tried wide and narrow grips, but they don't seem to make a
    difference.

    It feels better when I keep my gaze on an area of the wall in front of
    me high above me, but it hasn't solved the problem.


    MY DEADLIFT:

    About 2 x 10 x 185lbs.

    Squat down, feet shoulder width apart, feet slightly turned out, bar
    touching shins. Hands grip just outside of feet, alternating grip.
    Legs bent with thighs parallel to floor. Back is almost parallel to
    floor, which might be one problem, but I can't have my back titled any
    further up because otherwise I can't reach the bar on the floor.

    This often exaberated twinges in my upper back, and it got to the
    point where it hurt every time, so I stopped it.

    I also tried sumo-style, feet far apart, feet pointed out more, hands
    close together, palms down, and it helped a little, but the pain in my
    upper back occurred eventually.

    I can't do an alternating grip with sumo-style without twisting my
    body around, one shoulder farther forward than the other.


    And just for kicks, any type of rows make my upper back feel even
    worse than deadlifts or squats, and immediately.

    Any suggestions?

    Dave
     
    Tags:


  2. "David K" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > The way I do squats and deadlifts hurts my upper back. My lower back
    > is fine, no problems. The obvious answer to me is to stay away from
    > both of them and do leg exercises using machines, but I was hoping for
    > suggestions on a different way to do one of these exercises or a
    > similar alternative.
    >
    > I'm 6'1" or 6'2", 185lbs, so my height may be making it more difficult
    > for me than shorter lifters.
    >
    > MY SQUAT:


    -snip-

    Try working on your shoulder flexibility. Kettlebells are especially
    well suited for this because the weight hangs off the back of your arm,
    making it feel right to let the weight pull you back a little at the top
    and thereby gradually increasing your shoulder flexibility in the
    fore/after plane. Anything that puts the kettlebell overhead can be
    used this way but, just based on my own experience, the military press
    and the snatch would work the best. The nice thing here is that you
    don't have to do anything extra or special in the way of "stretching",
    just lift kettlebells using these movements and with the goal of trying
    to keep the weight behind your ear - the rest will take care of itself.

    And no, oh ye of little faith, this one ain't the same with a dumbbell.
    :)

    > MY DEADLIFT:


    -snip-

    Try pullups or chinups instead of rows.

    Deadlift in a rack, starting with the bar somewhere below the knee
    instead of on the floor, get comfortable with a particular weight there,
    and gradually lower the bar. I know some folks who stack sheets of wood
    shelving and lower themselves very gradually, 1/4-1/2" at a time - you
    add a piece of wood to get a little higher and when you're high enough,
    you get rid of the wood and use the next lowest pin on the rack, with
    the goal of pulling from the floor. And deadlift in bare feet to give
    yourself all the height advantage you can.

    -S-
    http://www.kbnj.com
     
  3. elzinator

    elzinator Guest

    Steve Freides wrote:
    > "David K" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > The way I do squats and deadlifts hurts my upper back. My lower

    back
    > > is fine, no problems. The obvious answer to me is to stay away from
    > > both of them and do leg exercises using machines, but I was hoping

    for
    > > suggestions on a different way to do one of these exercises or a
    > > similar alternative.
    > >
    > > I'm 6'1" or 6'2", 185lbs, so my height may be making it more

    difficult
    > > for me than shorter lifters.
    > >
    > > MY SQUAT:

    >
    > -snip-
    >
    > Try working on your shoulder flexibility. Kettlebells are especially


    > well suited for this because the weight hangs off the back of your

    arm,
    > making it feel right to let the weight pull you back a little at the

    top
    > and thereby gradually increasing your shoulder flexibility in the
    > fore/after plane. Anything that puts the kettlebell overhead can be
    > used this way but, just based on my own experience, the military

    press
    > and the snatch would work the best. The nice thing here is that you
    > don't have to do anything extra or special in the way of

    "stretching",
    > just lift kettlebells using these movements and with the goal of

    trying
    > to keep the weight behind your ear - the rest will take care of

    itself.
    >
    > And no, oh ye of little faith, this one ain't the same with a

    dumbbell.
    > :)
    >
    > > MY DEADLIFT:

    >
    > -snip-
    >
    > Try pullups or chinups instead of rows.
    >
    > Deadlift in a rack, starting with the bar somewhere below the knee
    > instead of on the floor, get comfortable with a particular weight

    there,
    > and gradually lower the bar. I know some folks who stack sheets of

    wood
    > shelving and lower themselves very gradually, 1/4-1/2" at a time -

    you
    > add a piece of wood to get a little higher and when you're high

    enough,
    > you get rid of the wood and use the next lowest pin on the rack, with


    > the goal of pulling from the floor. And deadlift in bare feet to

    give
    > yourself all the height advantage you can.


    Steve, do you eat kettlebells for breakfast?
    Are they crunchy? If you eat too many, do you get a kettlebelly?

    (in desparate need of java)
     
  4. Lee Michaels

    Lee Michaels Guest

    "elzinator" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Steve, do you eat kettlebells for breakfast?
    > Are they crunchy? If you eat too many, do you get a kettlebelly?
    >

    Kettlebells, the brakfast of the Pavelites.
     
  5. "elzinator" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:1108387995[email protected]
    >
    > Steve Freides wrote:
    >> "David K" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]
    >> > The way I do squats and deadlifts hurts my upper back. My lower

    > back
    >> > is fine, no problems. The obvious answer to me is to stay away from
    >> > both of them and do leg exercises using machines, but I was hoping

    > for
    >> > suggestions on a different way to do one of these exercises or a
    >> > similar alternative.
    >> >
    >> > I'm 6'1" or 6'2", 185lbs, so my height may be making it more

    > difficult
    >> > for me than shorter lifters.
    >> >
    >> > MY SQUAT:

    >>
    >> -snip-
    >>
    >> Try working on your shoulder flexibility. Kettlebells are especially

    >
    >> well suited for this because the weight hangs off the back of your

    > arm,
    >> making it feel right to let the weight pull you back a little at the

    > top
    >> and thereby gradually increasing your shoulder flexibility in the
    >> fore/after plane. Anything that puts the kettlebell overhead can be
    >> used this way but, just based on my own experience, the military

    > press
    >> and the snatch would work the best. The nice thing here is that you
    >> don't have to do anything extra or special in the way of

    > "stretching",
    >> just lift kettlebells using these movements and with the goal of

    > trying
    >> to keep the weight behind your ear - the rest will take care of

    > itself.
    >>
    >> And no, oh ye of little faith, this one ain't the same with a

    > dumbbell.
    >> :)
    >>
    >> > MY DEADLIFT:

    >>
    >> -snip-
    >>
    >> Try pullups or chinups instead of rows.
    >>
    >> Deadlift in a rack, starting with the bar somewhere below the knee
    >> instead of on the floor, get comfortable with a particular weight

    > there,
    >> and gradually lower the bar. I know some folks who stack sheets of

    > wood
    >> shelving and lower themselves very gradually, 1/4-1/2" at a time -

    > you
    >> add a piece of wood to get a little higher and when you're high

    > enough,
    >> you get rid of the wood and use the next lowest pin on the rack, with

    >
    >> the goal of pulling from the floor. And deadlift in bare feet to

    > give
    >> yourself all the height advantage you can.

    >
    > Steve, do you eat kettlebells for breakfast?


    Yes.

    > Are they crunchy?


    Yes. Very high in iron, too.

    > If you eat too many, do you get a kettlebelly?


    No, they are magic, as I've mentioned many times here before.

    -S-
    http://www.kbnj.com
     
  6. Chris

    Chris Guest

    mmmmmm kettlebells
     
  7. Chris

    Chris Guest

    "David K" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > The way I do squats and deadlifts hurts my upper back. My lower back
    > is fine, no problems. The obvious answer to me is to stay away from
    > both of them and do leg exercises using machines, but I was hoping for
    > suggestions on a different way to do one of these exercises or a
    > similar alternative.
    >
    > I'm 6'1" or 6'2", 185lbs, so my height may be making it more difficult
    > for me than shorter lifters.
    >
    > MY SQUAT:
    >
    > About 2 x 10 x 95lbs.
    >
    > Bar is chest-high on rack. I step under it, lift off rock, step back,
    > dot he squats. I go down to thighs parallel with floor.
    >
    > I'm okay immediately afterward, but by a day later I'm feeling lots of
    > tension in my upper back. I do try to keep my upper back from rounding
    > when doing the lift, but I think it may be happening because of the
    > placement of my hands. I feel as if it would solve the problem if I
    > didn't have to try to push my arms back so far that my hands can grip
    > the bar on my shoulders (I can't make my arms go back that far while
    > trying it without the bar).
    >
    > I've considered different bar placement on my shoulders, but any
    > further back and I feel like I'm about to drop it behind me or hurt my
    > arms, and any further forward and it would be on my neck.
    >
    > I've tried wide and narrow grips, but they don't seem to make a
    > difference.
    >
    > It feels better when I keep my gaze on an area of the wall in front of
    > me high above me, but it hasn't solved the problem.
    >
    >
    > MY DEADLIFT:
    >
    > About 2 x 10 x 185lbs.
    >
    > Squat down, feet shoulder width apart, feet slightly turned out, bar
    > touching shins. Hands grip just outside of feet, alternating grip.
    > Legs bent with thighs parallel to floor. Back is almost parallel to
    > floor, which might be one problem, but I can't have my back titled any
    > further up because otherwise I can't reach the bar on the floor.
    >
    > This often exaberated twinges in my upper back, and it got to the
    > point where it hurt every time, so I stopped it.
    >
    > I also tried sumo-style, feet far apart, feet pointed out more, hands
    > close together, palms down, and it helped a little, but the pain in my
    > upper back occurred eventually.
    >
    > I can't do an alternating grip with sumo-style without twisting my
    > body around, one shoulder farther forward than the other.
    >
    >
    > And just for kicks, any type of rows make my upper back feel even
    > worse than deadlifts or squats, and immediately.
    >
    > Any suggestions?
    >
    > Dave

    While pressing up (squats) are you pressing with your toes or heels? you
    should press from your heels, if you feel like your pressing from your toes
    your rocking forward. I've also found that looking staight ahead and not up
    will help to maintain balance.

    Chris
     
  8. David K

    David K Guest

    On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 15:06:03 -0500, "Steve Freides"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Try working on your shoulder flexibility. Kettlebells are especially
    >well suited for this because the weight hangs off the back of your arm,
    >making it feel right to let the weight pull you back a little at the top
    >and thereby gradually increasing your shoulder flexibility in the
    >fore/after plane. Anything that puts the kettlebell overhead can be
    >used this way but, just based on my own experience, the military press
    >and the snatch would work the best. The nice thing here is that you
    >don't have to do anything extra or special in the way of "stretching",
    >just lift kettlebells using these movements and with the goal of trying
    >to keep the weight behind your ear - the rest will take care of itself.
    >
    >And no, oh ye of little faith, this one ain't the same with a dumbbell.
    >:)


    No kettlebells at my gym, but I'll do shoulder stretches and see if
    that helps. My left shoulder is a little less flexible than my right,
    due to some knots that someone who was working on my shoulder pointed
    out.

    >Try pullups or chinups instead of rows.


    The gym has no straight pullup bars with rough hand grip areas, so I
    just stick to pulldowns. And those work fine, no back problems. I'll
    just avoid the rowing motion, no problem with that. I don't like
    boats anyway.

    >Deadlift in a rack, starting with the bar somewhere below the knee
    >instead of on the floor, get comfortable with a particular weight there,
    >and gradually lower the bar. I know some folks who stack sheets of wood
    >shelving and lower themselves very gradually, 1/4-1/2" at a time - you
    >add a piece of wood to get a little higher and when you're high enough,
    >you get rid of the wood and use the next lowest pin on the rack, with
    >the goal of pulling from the floor. And deadlift in bare feet to give
    >yourself all the height advantage you can.


    No rack at the gym, but I could try taking off my shoes, which, being
    the only "athletic" shoes I have, are running shoes with probably an
    inch padding at the heel.

    I know that's not going to be enough to prevent my back strain, so I
    think I might also try lowering the weight down from 185 to 135 and
    see how it goes.

    Dave
     
  9. David K

    David K Guest

    On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 03:24:14 GMT, "Chris" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >While pressing up (squats) are you pressing with your toes or heels? you
    >should press from your heels, if you feel like your pressing from your toes
    >your rocking forward. I've also found that looking staight ahead and not up
    >will help to maintain balance.


    With pretty much all things I generally keep most of my weight on the
    balls of my feet. I feel off balance if I try pushing with my heels,
    like I'll fall backwards with the weight, but that could be due to the
    thick running shoes I'm wearing.

    The reason I was looking upwards was to help me keep my back as
    vertical as I could, but with heel pushing without shoes I'll see if
    it's even needed.

    Thanks for the replies!

    Dave
     
Loading...
Loading...