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    Sonoran hotdog's Avatar
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    Suggestions for deadlift replacement exercises?

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    I would like to strengthen my back, but have limitations due to an old injury. Every time I load up the barbells for a few sets of five reps, I end up with a low back muscle spasm and I'm out for another month. This has happened several times now, so I've concluded that deadlifts just are not going to work for me.

    It is possible that I am having form issues, but from what I can tell from the mirror and comments from observers I'm not making any egregious errors in my technique. I am following Rippetoe's instructions to the letter.

    I started doing kettlebell swings, and that seems to be helping my back, but I am doing 50+ reps so it is more of an endurance exercise than real strengthening, though I am slowly increasing the swing weight. I am doing barbell back squats pretty religiously which also works my back somewhat, and does not provoke the spasms.

    Suggestions? I realize I'll likely have to try several alternatives before I find something that avoids injury yet really builds the muscles in my back, so really just looking for ideas.

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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    good mornings. glute-ham raises. bird dogs. maybe use a trap bar to shift the focus a bit. perhaps use less weight and really get the form in check?

    i'm not a fan of kettlebell swings at all. I mean, the 1 handed ones are a decent exercise, but most people opt for the god-awful 2 handed ones. which are a disaster waiting to happen
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    I'd definitely check form. Seems strange that any attempt to deadlift results in you being out of commission for a month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonoran hotdog View Post
    I would like to strengthen my back, but have limitations due to an old injury. Every time I load up the barbells for a few sets of five reps, I end up with a low back muscle spasm and I'm out for another month. This has happened several times now, so I've concluded that deadlifts just are not going to work for me.

    It is possible that I am having form issues, but from what I can tell from the mirror and comments from observers I'm not making any egregious errors in my technique. I am following Rippetoe's instructions to the letter.
    Then just suck it up, listen to your guru and try to figure out how to deadlift without pain!

    If you have lower back problems I guess it will affect you when doing T-bar rows or barbell rows as well, so dumbbell rows with knee on the bench, or chest supported rows can be a replacement possibility. Also try reverse hyperextensions if you can do them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonoran hotdog View Post
    I would like to strengthen my back, but have limitations due to an old injury. Every time I load up the barbells for a few sets of five reps, I end up with a low back muscle spasm and I'm out for another month. This has happened several times now, so I've concluded that deadlifts just are not going to work for me.

    It is possible that I am having form issues, but from what I can tell from the mirror and comments from observers I'm not making any egregious errors in my technique. I am following Rippetoe's instructions to the letter.

    I started doing kettlebell swings, and that seems to be helping my back, but I am doing 50+ reps so it is more of an endurance exercise than real strengthening, though I am slowly increasing the swing weight. I am doing barbell back squats pretty religiously which also works my back somewhat, and does not provoke the spasms.

    Suggestions? I realize I'll likely have to try several alternatives before I find something that avoids injury yet really builds the muscles in my back, so really just looking for ideas.
    I vote for RDL's. You should see a gradual increase in the range of motion until you strengthen the wonky section and I bet you'll be able to pull from the floor eventually.
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    I do strictly bodyweight exercises.

    Check these out:
    Poly deadlift

    Reverse sit-up

    http://www.alkavadlo.com/2012/09/04/...-alternatives/

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hJn2UPa...%3DhJn2UPaicZc

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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    good mornings. glute-ham raises. bird dogs. maybe use a trap bar to shift the focus a bit. perhaps use less weight and really get the form in check?
    i'm not a fan of kettlebell swings at all. I mean, the 1 handed ones are a decent exercise, but most people opt for the god-awful 2 handed ones. which are a disaster waiting to happen
    Thanks for the list - now i just need to look them up to see what they are...
    Why the opposition to KB swings? I do the god-awful two-handed ones with no issues. What disasters have you seen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    I'd definitely check form. Seems strange that any attempt to deadlift results in you being out of commission for a month.
    I can get a back muscle spasm from bending over and making the bed....though I haven't for some time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    Then just suck it up, listen to your guru and try to figure out how to deadlift without pain!

    If you have lower back problems I guess it will affect you when doing T-bar rows or barbell rows as well, so dumbbell rows with knee on the bench, or chest supported rows can be a replacement possibility. Also try reverse hyperextensions if you can do them...
    I've tried to suck it up several times to no avail.
    Oddly enough T-bar rows don't seem to be an issue, though I have gone for higher reps and not heavy weights. I sometimes do reverse hypers as a warmup, including before my abortive attempts at deadlifts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    I vote for RDL's. You should see a gradual increase in the range of motion until you strengthen the wonky section and I bet you'll be able to pull from the floor eventually.
    Good thought. Why RDL's as opposed to a regular deadlift from mid-shin? When I look at the diagrams they look like a recipe for back pain.

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