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 Post subject: Round Back Lifting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:04 pm 
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The deadlift thread where Scott Ismari chimed in with advice on not letting your back round during the platform deads got me to thinking about round back lifting training. (I also think it is nice to hear from Scott again).

Any strongman types here (or others) who train round back lifting - stones, sandbags, odd-bulky-objects etc?

Following the theories of adaptation on which all of what we do in any form athletic training is based, it stands to reason that, when applied safely, logically and gradually, round back lifting is not only safe, it should be part of regular training regiments.

Just curious as to what everyone here does with respect to round back lifting and/or opinions on the matter.

I personally believe that the body should be worked from all angles, leverage points etc, to some degree if you want to truly develop total body strength and avoid injury.

I was in a car wreck years ago that all but crippled me and did a number on my back. All of the so-called safe "rehabilitative" excercises i was put through by the "physiotherapists" and "kiniesiologists" (sp?) for weeks and weeks on end really didn't do the complete job. It wasn't until i incorporated the round back lifts that i started to see my back return to normal. So i don't understand the whole scare about round back lifting.

Some times i think it is easier for the professionals to tell trainees to avoid it just because it is simpler (and safer?) than actually teaching the round back lifting techniques. I suppose also that there ARE risks involved that would have the professionals shy away from teach these types of lifts from a liability standpoint.

Your thoughts, all?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:17 pm 
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I know the late JV Askem swore by it for the SM events, because, as you are probably aware, your back is going to round when lifting stones, it's just the physical mechanics. Also, when I'm doing Javorek's complexes, which I see that you do, he teaches them to start out at the bottom with a round back with the bar down close or at the floor, then straighten up the spine while ascending. Says it's a great rehabilitative move.
Tim


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:28 pm 
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Good Topic. Actually, I have mixed feelings about round-back lifting. I think it can be pretty safe when done properly, however it does place the spine in what's inherantly a more vulnerable position, so you need to be very careful. Also, I think it's important to master straight-back lifting first and develop a good base of strength before moving on to heavy round-back lifting. Finally, I don't think it's really neccessary for most people, since the same muscles can be developed isometrically through straight-back lifting.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:12 pm 
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I need to clarify what I meant by rounded back lifting....
yes, due to mechanics, the muscles of the back are rounded, however, I was refering to the over rounding of the lower spine and trying to lift too much weight without the abilty to do so on the deadlift, not atlas stone lifts.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:34 am 
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One thing I've noticed about strongman competitions is that typically comptetors only round their backs on events like the atlas stones when there's really no alternative. Otherwise, they use mostly conventional straight-back lifting, which makes sense, because you can move a lot more weight that way.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:30 am 
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This is also why I stopped doing round-back Straight-leg Deadlifts (standing on a 6" platform). When I did, I found that my lower back became a weak link, limiting how much weight I could use, which in turn prevented me from effectively targeting my glutes and hamstings.

By contrast, when I perform Straight-leg Deadlifts with my back straight I'm limited only by how much weight my glutes and hamstrings can handle. Meanwhile, because the load is much greater, my erectors still get worked just as hard (if not harder) isometrically.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:22 pm 
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Scott - i knew what you meant, your comment just triggered a thought about what others think about round back lifting.

I was thinking more along the lines of what TimD suggested re: the javorek concept of good-mornings, etc. TimD - i apply this to my olympic lifts, deads, and all their variations. Example, "coil" up to take the bar from the floor and "uncoil" as i lift it up. I found that lightening up the weight and performing the lifts this way helped get me through plateaus with the standard method.

Sorry - i wan't referring so much to the technique required to get close enough to an atlas stone/engine block/sandbag/deadbody to keep the object as close to your center of gravity as possible to aid in the lift.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:38 pm 
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no worries, its all good

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:41 am 
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Well the reason 'professionals' tell you not to do it is because it is not a safe posture to put your spine into. It's not easier to tell someone that, its just the way things are. Training adaptions have nothing to do with it the outright loading on the spine (vertebrae and discs) is the concern. As for rehab needing to use round back movements....rubbish. Your anecdotal evidence aside the research points in the opposite direction and I could give you a few thousand anecdotes of my own for good measure. You mentioned strength and again there is little research to support the belief that increased strength in spinal musculature aids in maintainence of a healthy spine. I'm not saying dont do these movements (actually I am) because people like doing all sorts of things but dont kid yourself that it is a safe exercise and you are not increasing the potential for injury, especially in the longer term.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:29 am 
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I could be wrong, but it was my understanding that strongman competitors build their strength primerrily through conventional barbell and dumbbell lifts like presses, rows, squats and deadlifts (straight-back style), and use things like Altas stones mainly just to perfect their technique for the actual competitions. Also, it seems like many of them have a background in other strength sports like powerlifting and Olympic lifting.

Personally, I don't have much desire to get into stongman competition. My height would put me at a big disagvantage in a lot of the eventsk, and the injury rates seem awefully high.


Last edited by Matt Z on Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:24 pm 
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"You mentioned strength and again there is little research to support the belief that increased strength in spinal musculature aids in maintainence of a healthy spine. " (Otama)

If I lived in a bubble, this might be true. However, for active people involved in a variety of strenuous activities, having a strong core is very important. Neglecting to train this area can greatly increase the risk of injury durring other activities like contact sports, or even everyday tasks like moving boxes and furniture.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Otama,

Don't take things so personally and outright reject others' opinions, thoughts on a topic.

Anecdotal evidence? It WORKED FOR ME! IT CONTINUES TO WORK FOR ME. I call that FACT. I would still be laid up and out of sorts had i followed only the "scientific" advice the rehab crew was treating me with. You may be perfectly right in all of your points, assumptions, whatever and i may simply be an exception? I don't know. In any event, i am not a trained professional, will never claim to be, but i will ALWAYS offer advice on topics i have lived/breathed/experienced directly. I can back up what i say because i have done it or it was done to me. It is not something someone has told me about or i just studied in school. You can call that rubbish - just don't throw your back out in the process! ;) (That was a joke). (That was sarcasm). (Ah - rubbish).

I did mention strength - however i mentioned it in the context of working the body from several angles, leverage points etc - not specific to spinal musculature. Sorry for not being clear on that.

Matt,

As for strongman training - most people do use the conventional bb/db training, powerlifting/o-lifting/bb - simply because that is all that is available to them. For those of us who do not have access to the few gyms that cater to the strongman types, with all the implements, we are forced to get/make/mimic the implements at home in our backyards and garages. That is what i do. You HAVE to train the implements and events if you want to really succeed in the strongman venue. The conventional strength training is what gives you the foundational strength. Its like a hockey player using overhead squats to improve his overall athletic performance - to good at hockey, he needs to practise the event.

It has been my experience also that injuries are rampant in the strongman sport - however, alot of that is due to poor form/technique and/or a blatant lack of training the movements themselves.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:48 pm 
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From what I've seen, the actual events in strongman competitions seem to varry quite a bit from one competition to the next. This probably has some effect on the injury rate, since it would be very difficult to train for every possible variation. Also, some of the events are just plain akward.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:51 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:
If I lived in a bubble, this might be true. However, for active people involved in a variety of strenuous activities, having a strong core is very important. Neglecting to train this area can greatly increase the risk of injury durring other activities like contact sports, or even everyday tasks like moving boxes and furniture.


I am not saying to neglect the core by any stretch but when training the core for general back health the need for endurance over strength is the key. The phrases 'strong core', 'strengthen the back' etc in back health are not valid.

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Don't take things so personally and outright reject others' opinions, thoughts on a topic.


I didnt take anything personal. As for rejecting things outright well you made some pretty broad unsupported statements and offering an alternative normally requires rejecting the other.

Quote:
Anecdotal evidence? It WORKED FOR ME! IT CONTINUES TO WORK FOR ME. I call that FACT. I would still be laid up and out of sorts had i followed only the "scientific" advice the rehab crew was treating me with. You may be perfectly right in all of your points, assumptions, whatever and i may simply be an exception? I don't know. In any event, i am not a trained professional, will never claim to be, but i will ALWAYS offer advice on topics i have lived/breathed/experienced directly. I can back up what i say because i have done it or it was done to me. It is not something someone has told me about or i just studied in school.


Unfortunately I work in an industry where evidence based practice is the gold standard (if not followed by all) and under that your story is an anecdote. I'm not disputing its factual content just its validity in supporting a general claim. I dont know why it worked for you, although a few things are possible, but Im glad it did. I am also not saying don't offer advice on whatever but you have to expect an alternative view on occasion if you put one forward. My views are not just based on study as you implied but on over 10 years of clinical work, the majority on lower back injury, using evidence based practices. As in all professions there are bad practitioners, maybe you got a couple of wallys, who knows. I guess this all stemmed from your comment that round back lifting is safe and because of the evidence I will never agree with you on that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Otama,

You wrote:
"My views are not just based on study as you implied but on over 10 years of clinical work, the majority on lower back injury, using evidence based practices."

Actually, i wasn't implying that at all, i was simply emphasizing the fact that i base my advice on personal experience, not something i have read somewhere or studied. Sorry for the phrasing.

I would say we should agree to disagree at this point. I am however interested to know what your professional opinion would be with respect to why it worked for me.

Regards,
Hoister


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