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09/21/2014 at 12:10 pm #75273
There are two main things I like to address when seeing a rounded back in the deadlift: motor control and mobility.
When seeing an issue like rounded back in the bottom, I will usually assume there are some mobility limitations, but I don’t start there. Motor control always comes first.
I will begin motor control practice by bringing the bar up, putting it on some plates or low boxes. This allows me to practice the movement patterns and get stronger in ranges that are more realistic for current mobility. often there is a lot to re-learn there, like really getting the feel for leg drive (“Push the floor away” cue). We can gradually increase the range of motion challenge by decreasing the amount of lift. (ex: set up the bar on top of a 10 kg plate instead of 20 kg). This allows us to establish a current baseline. This our initial test in our Test/ Retest model.
Now I can address mobility issues. Anything with a band pulling on the hip is a good place to start. Posterior chain flossing with posterior distraction is great. I also love the opposite: hip flexor flossing with anterior distraction, because if you are missing hip extension the flutes won’t work as well. With the deadlift our main goal is hip flexion with a totally braced spine that will not change under load. continue to retest the hip hinge after each mobilization and use the ones that make the most change every day for a month.
Final thoughts, coming back to the motor control piece: good mornings, sumo deadlifts, and RDLs all have a place in relearning/ reinforcing/ strengthening the practice of braced spine and hip hinge patterns. If classic from the floor deadllifting kills your back, do something different. there is a ton of options out there to strengthen the posterior chain, so you don’t need to keep bashing into the brick wall expecting a different outcome. Try something different and come back to conventional deadlifting after you have made change to your hip mobility and strength.