A Great Tip For Deadlifting With A Bad Back

I am so psyched to say that I have put in four consistent mostly pain-free weeks of training. This is a far cry from the program hopping I have been doing over the last year. The bones of my plan have stayed the same, but there have been a few tweaks here and there that have been making a huge difference.

I'm a powerlifter at heart so I want to squat, deadlift, and bench regardless of how my body feels about it. With that, I have really had to modify all three lifts. For the purpose of this week's log, the focus is on the deadlift. With three herniated lumbar discs and stenosis, I have to be very careful with my back. I have found the trap bar has been a great benefit as I can keep my back in a better position. You are able to keep the bar at your center of gravity instead of it being in front of you where there is a greater risk of shearing force.

Even with the trap bar, I noticed that my low back was bothering me at the bottom of the lift. To counteract that I started deadlifting off of blocks figuring it was a range of motion issue. Nope, that wasn't it. My back wasn't feeling any better in the bottom of the lift. As I tuned in to what was going on, I felt it probably had more to do with the impact of the weight hitting the floor versus the depth of the lift.

Even lowering the bar gently, I still felt some jarring. That got me thinking about a similar issue I had when squatting to a hard box. Once I started using the cushioned Elitefts box squat pad the problem went away. Genius, I had some little foam pieces around so I tried them. They definitely lessened the impact some.

Well, I figured if a little foam helped, a bigger size would be even better. I grabbed some 5" high-density foam from Ebay and away I went. Wow, it made an awesome difference. Definitely much less impact. What's very cool is that foam offers great proprioception. You can tell when the weight just touches the foam and it cues you to slow down and control the weight that much more before it finishes. There was no jolt at the bottom either. Good times!

Now just because I used this with my trap bar does not mean it wouldn't translate well to pulls with a regular barbell. If you have back low back issues I highly recommend you give this a shot.


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