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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Can you get strong without deadlift?

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    I hurt my back AGAIN doing deadlift. Is it possible to get strong without it? Or should I just switch to a body-building kind of thing and just go for a nice-looking body and forget about being strong?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  2. #2
    Mr. Anthony's Avatar
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    Can you get strong? Yes. Can you get AS strong? Probably not.

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    Being "strong" is always relative, there is nothing magical by deadlift! Deadlifts build muscle all over your body, but you can get the same strenght from other exercises! The only "must" about deadlift is if you want to impress others or yourself with it. Rack pulls from the pins right below the knee cap can be an alternative to regular deadlifts and save the lower back a lot. Monday I pulled 505 for 3 X 4, and my lower back feel OK. If I want to beat up my lower back more, I could just do a few sets of heavy good mornings in addition to the rack pulls...
    Whoever fights trolls should see to it that in the process he does not become a troll - for when you gaze long enough into the computer screen, the computer screen will gaze back into you!
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    I have a friend who hasn't been able to deadlift since January because of a slipped disk. Since then she's added 20+ pounds to her squat, clean, and jerk, and 10 pounds to her strict press. Oh, and she can do strict pull-ups now, too. Not being able to deadlift isn't the end of the world.

    Also, you could try trap bar deadlift, since this uses way more legs than back and will develop strength in largely the same way.

  5. #5
    not on the rug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Can you get strong? Yes. Can you get AS strong? Probably not.
    Sonofabitch! Stop saying stuff that I'm going to say.
    I have a lot of hard miles on my body from before I realized I'm not 100% invulnerable. Now I just think I'm 75% invulnerable. -Mr. Anthony

    Give me a spouse/life-partner who I don't want to punch in the throat when she talks. -Canio6

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    I pretty much agree with everyone so far. They are not required, but they are a great exercise. If you keep hurting yourself, there is likely an issue with mobility causing a breakdown in form. Or it could just be bad form. Some people have poor anthropometry for certain lifts. If you have short arms and a long torso/legs, you will have a harder time with conventional deads. You can drop them altogether or try a modification, like trap bar as heatseeker suggested, or rack pulls as Gorbag suggested. You could also try sumo style. These substitutes are great for keeping the muscles involved strong while you sort out your issue with the conventional deadlift (not that you absolutely have to do conventional deads). Here is a good article series from Eric Cressey:

    How to Deadlift: Which Variation is Right for You? - Part 1 | Eric Cressey | High Performance Training, Personal Training
    How to Deadlift: Which Variation is Right for You? - Part 2 (Sumo Deadlift) | Eric Cressey | High Performance Training, Personal Training

    I highly recommend "Becoming A Supple Leopard" for teaching yourself proper form and figuring out and fixing mobility issues. (Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance: Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza: 9781936608584: Amazon.com: Books)

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    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Nope. Hang it up. Go back to knitting.

    Heheh. Hope ya know me better than that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Nope. Hang it up. Go back to knitting.
    Hey now, don't be putting down knitting! Knitters can be strong!
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    I pretty much agree with everyone so far. They are not required, but they are a great exercise. If you keep hurting yourself, there is likely an issue with mobility causing a breakdown in form. Or it could just be bad form. Some people have poor anthropometry for certain lifts. If you have short arms and a long torso/legs, you will have a harder time with conventional deads. You can drop them altogether or try a modification, like trap bar as heatseeker suggested, or rack pulls as Gorbag suggested. You could also try sumo style. These substitutes are great for keeping the muscles involved strong while you sort out your issue with the conventional deadlift (not that you absolutely have to do conventional deads). Here is a good article series from Eric Cressey:

    How to Deadlift: Which Variation is Right for You? - Part 1 | Eric Cressey | High Performance Training, Personal Training
    How to Deadlift: Which Variation is Right for You? - Part 2 (Sumo Deadlift) | Eric Cressey | High Performance Training, Personal Training

    I highly recommend "Becoming A Supple Leopard" for teaching yourself proper form and figuring out and fixing mobility issues. (Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance: Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza: 9781936608584: Amazon.com: Books)
    +1. And according to Supple Leopard, it migh be form, or how you are setting up and stabilizing by adding torsion to your body. Seems like a great opportunity to explore why the injuries happen, how you can create the ancillary strength and stability needed to DL, etc. Picking up heavy stuff is a good skill to have.

    Btw, sbhike, you are one of my forum heroes due to your continuous exploration, sensible, well- researched approaches, and willingness to just buckle down and do the hard work. Must Have come from all of that hiking; you can't get from point A to B without a lot of putting one foot in front of the next.

  10. #10
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Thank you. I thought I had the form all dialed in. I've got layers of shin bruises to show for it. But somehow it is too easy to slip in the middle of the lift or something. I mean there I am, starting rep 3 when all of a sudden everything just shifted in my whole body, there were three rapid very loud cracking noises in the lower part of my spine, almost like the whole thing was being stretched apart. It was very scary, felt both like relief of some pressure I didn't know I had plus a sickening feeling. It's just too easy to mess up and now I'm afraid.

    I have long forearms, not short. I suppose I should do the trap bar deadlifts. How much does the trap bar weigh?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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