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Warm-up before deadlifts
Old Thu, March 29th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #1
Arcus
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Default Warm-up before deadlifts

What kind of warm-up routine do you recommend before doing deadlifts?

My back is hurting, once again, after a deadlift workout. Hurting the bad way, for example when I tie my shoestrings... sometimes even when I walk. DL is not one of my strongest lifts and I'm working to improve it. I do DL's once a week and although I'm being cautious with form I often end up semi-disabled for the week after my DL session. Maybe its too much voulume or maybe inadequate warm-up. I do short sets for warm-up, using 55,60,70% weight of main sets.


So?
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Old Thu, March 29th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus View Post
What kind of warm-up routine do you recommend before doing deadlifts?

My back is hurting, once again, after a deadlift workout. Hurting the bad way, for example when I tie my shoestrings... sometimes even when I walk. DL is not one of my strongest lifts and I'm working to improve it. I do DL's once a week and although I'm being cautious with form I often end up semi-disabled for the week after my DL session. Maybe its too much voulume or maybe inadequate warm-up. I do short sets for warm-up, using 55,60,70% weight of main sets.


So?

I'm in the process of finishing Starting Strength by Mark Riptoe (as a result of seeing it mentioned on these forums), and the information in there has I think has really helped keep my spine safe during squats and deads.

Probably even more important than warm ups is to keep your torso locked and rigid as you do the exercises. Riptoe recommends lying on your stomach and doing a superman to get a feel for back muscle you're supposed to be exerting (your erector spine), to support your spine from the rear. From the front you want to support it with the flexion of your abdominals and held breath he calls the Vaslava maneuver.

I have a bit of a tricky back too. Sometimes I'll get that sciatic thing going down my leg. But these days I'll actually feel better after a good deadlift or squat workout.

Plus I'm actually starting to like those exercises now that I'm using proper form.

For a warm up, you might want to try stretching out your hamstrings since they are going to be fighting your erector spine for control of your pelvis.
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Old Fri, March 30th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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There's no point to doing high volume deadlifts, especially if you have a bad back.
Just do warmup sets, 1x5, or a few singles and get out of there.
For back care in general, do bird dogs and planks.

Last edited by wwwolf; Fri, March 30th, 2012 at 11:13 AM.. Reason: changed wording, added back care exercises.
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Old Fri, March 30th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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I think you need to figure out why you're ending up with back pain.

Is your form really good or not? Have you had somebody else watch you?

Did you start out with lighter weights and build up?

Are you sure it's the DL leading to the pain or something else you do the same day? What else do you do?
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Old Thu, April 26th, 2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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I think you need to figure out why you're ending up with back pain.

Is your form really good or not? Have you had somebody else watch you?

Did you start out with lighter weights and build up?

Are you sure it's the DL leading to the pain or something else you do the same day? What else do you do?
Yes, I did build up slowly and carefully. I figured out it must be too much volume altogether for my back. I often do chin-ups after DL's. Now I've changed my routine to fewer sets. Also one thing I came aware of is that I'm doing too much of this lift with my back. The hardest part is the beginning of the lift = not enough power in my thighs.
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Old Thu, April 26th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #6
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I find it helps to warm up the back itself in addition to acclimating to the movement itself. I do a general warm-up consisting of a complex of deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, and bent-over rows first thing in my workout followed by some shrugs. Afterward, I'm usually warm enough to go through my specific warm-up before starting my work sets.

I also find that doing pull-ups or chin-ups after deadlifts is refreshing because the spine gets to unload and the lower back and legs get a rest.

The best way to check whether your form is good is to videotape yourself.
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Last edited by chicanerous; Fri, April 27th, 2012 at 12:45 AM..
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