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When I deadlift, my forearms and wrist ache almost beyond belief! Do you just ride through this or do you do things to stop it?
Do you use chalk when you train? I tend not to use straps on any exercises and my grip gets worked very hard. If you are training heavy consistently your grip will improve, just make sure you leave your straps in your gym bag. The only time I use straps is if I'm training for a strongman contest and they have axle deadlifts or car deadlifts for one of the events. I will still train my normal deadlift from the floor without straps to keep my grip strong. The pain you are feeling is your grip getting stronger, there are many different bars you can use to deadlift. It's possible the bar you are using has very little or no grip on it, the cheaper bars you find in gyms tend to be like this. Other bars that could be used for deadlifting are the Okie bar, Texas deadlift (black oxide) and an Eleiko weight lifting bar (silver colour). Try adding some grip work in to your training, pinching plates is a good idea, get two 10kg disks, hold them together with one hand until your grip goes. Rack or block deadlifts are also very good, you can deadlift more than you would from the floor so your grip gets worked very hard. Go 20kg over your floor deadlift if possible. I tend to go through any pain I feel in my grip when training, as long s it's muscular pain. Train hard but train smart, sometimes pain is our bodies way of telling us to stop, to protect us from injury.
I injured my lower back (muscle) and I am really worried it will go again deadlifting, do you have any advice here?
Is it the spinal erectors? When you say ''injured'', how did you injure your lower back and have you consulted your doctor?? Deadlifts put a massive strain on your lower back if not performed correctly and can cause serious damage. A lot of people round the lower back when deadlifting, even more so when the weight gets heavier.
It's very important to keep your back as flat as possible and bend your legs. Remember to always work your abdominals just as hard as your lower back, you need to keep a balance in your core. Make sure your routine contains a lot of exercises for the entire core, not just the abs. I like to use a lot of twisting movements with a medicine ball or weights and train the smaller muscles of the core, even the serratus. If you have consulted a doctor and they have given you the green light to deadlift, I suggest you start out light and keep the reps to sets of 5. Dont be afraid to add some bodyweight or light weighted hyper extensions, you can do these during the week and even super set them with abdominal rolls with an ab wheel, to stretch your abdominals out. If you dont have an ab wheel, use a barbell and roll it out in front of you.
If you start to feel pain then just STOP!! Don't bounce the reps from the floor, start each rep the same as the first but stay very tight. Use a thick powerlifting belt on your heavier sets, but try and get some work done without a belt first to strengthen your abdominals.
Hi Chris, when I squat I have to take a wide stance otherwise I would fall backwards. However I am a bodybuilder and do not want to stand too wide as it doesn't hit my quads the same, do you have any advice to help me take a narrower stance?
Do your feet point straight forward when you squat or do you turn them out? I like to turn my feet out so my heels don't come off the ground as I descend. You should try and push your knees out, not forward and you should try and push your butt back.
When your feet are turned out and not forward, it takes pressure off your knees and puts more overload on the larger muscles of the trunk. What footwear do you use? I like to use a flat footed shoe, I find the olympic lifting shoes with a heel, put way too much pressure on knees and ruin my line for squatting. It works for some olympic lifters, but I don't like the stress on my knee.
Also do you squat with a low bar placement or high bar? With a low bar placement the bar should sit underneath your traps and over your rear deltoids. If you have never squatted this way before it can feel very strange, after you spend time squatting this way over time your balance will be much better and you will be able to handle greater weights.
Also, where you place your hands can improve balance, a wider grip suits larger lifters and they tend to be more evenly distributed on the bar. I'm a middleweight, I like to take a narrow grip to suit my frame, I sit very upright when I squat and keep my head up all the way through the lift. If your looking around or you look down, your balance again will be affected.
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