Inflexible hip and deadlifts

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Philds
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Inflexible hip and deadlifts

Post by Philds » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:47 am

Hi,

I'm probably going to start asking for help once in a while so I'll start by introducing myself.

I live in Belgium am 5'7" tall (short) and way about 148Lbs.
I have been messing around with training for a while now, but it was mostly unguided. (some bodyweight exercises and bicep curls.)
I'm now want to get to another level, and I'm using the ExRx excersise template as a guide. I train at home, since I found that I keep that up. I tried a gym or two but after a month or so I dropped out.

My home fitness concists of:

2 dumbells, one barbell, some weights, a persian rug, a couple of k-word chairs and a lot of imagination in using theafore mentioned items to their full gymm potential.


Now to my question.
I have bad hip flexibility.
When I bend over, keeping my legs and my back straight , I can just bend to about 45°. My hands only reach to my knees. When bending my back I can get down to about the middle of chins.
This makes me think that a lot of excelent excersises, like deadlifts, good mornings, etc. are out of my reach because I won't be able to get the form right. (I'll bend my back to much on the lower parts of the movement.).
I understand that with low weights bending the back won't be very dangerous but of course the aim of the game is to progress to higher weights.

Are there techniques for planks like myself that would allow me to progress without risking a hernia?

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Wouter
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Post by Wouter » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:19 am

Hello, first of all: welcome as a fellow Belgian.

But as a response to your question, I too have really unflexible hamstrings, the rest of my body is flexible except for that part.
But it actually doesn't matter for doing deadlifts (not at all at this excercise), stiff-legged, ... altough you cannot bend as far as others can with stiff-legged dl's, you can still do them.

You shouldn't 'lock' your knees (bad for knees) and by doing that, you can still bend pretty far and it's more important to get a stretch in your hams then to lift big weights.

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Post by Matt Z » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:56 am

It would probably be best to work on improving you hamstring flexibility before attempting heavy deadlifts (Straight-leg or Standard). Otherwise, you may end up inadvertantly rounding your back with a heavy bar and injuring yourself. To accomplish this, I'd recomend a lot of stretching (at least 3-4 days a week). In fact, you can stretch dayly (or even more often), since this type of physical activity requires no recovery time. Just don't stretch to the point where it become uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, you can do some barbell or dumbbell Straight-leg Deadlifts (preferable the straight-back variation). Just stick to light weights initially and work on increasing your ROM.

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Post by Philds » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:26 pm

thanks Wouter and Matt,

It must be something in the Belgian gene pool that makes us having unflexible hips. But then again, Jean-Claude Van Damme is hyperflexible so that ends that theory.


Since I'm only using 2 10Kg (22lbs) plates right now. (I am a newbie) my barbell is quite low to the ground. I found yesterday that I need to bend my legs as much as with a squat to get them. My chest then presses against my upper leg.
I think Sumo style deadlifts would be more confortable, but I read that they should only be done when one has reached a proficiant level on regular deadlifts. Is that true, or doesn't it matter with the low weight I'm starting with?


Also, what would be the most productive stretching exersise for hamstrings?

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Post by TimD » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:35 pm

My favorite is the RDL, shown here http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/RL.htm
Start with an empty bar.
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Post by Ironman » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:08 pm

I have taught beginners how to do sumo several times. It has the same main thing to remember. Butt down, back straight. Other then that just find a stance that is comfortable for you.

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Post by Scott Ismari » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:24 pm

Work on your flexibilty , practicing going down in the SLDL stance without weight until you get to full ROM along with doing the weights going down further a bit at a time. It also helps to stick your butt back as you lower the bar down in a " key stone cop " fashion to help activiate the hamstrings more. Keep the bar against the shins at all times up and down thru the entire lift.

Sumos are good for standard deadlifts and dont necessarily help with the SLDL. I prefer sumos on a standard dead cause Im short and dont have "deadlifters" arms ( down to my knees).

welcome to the forums
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Post by Wouter » Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:54 am

What's a full ROM with the SLSBDL's?

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Post by TimD » Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:35 am

Check the link I sent on the RDL. The RDL and SLDL Scott describes are very similar, just more knee bend in the RDL. The guy posing is on a box, and could probably put his wrists on the ground.
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Post by Matt Z » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:52 am

When I perform Straight-leg Deadlifts with my back straight I lower the bar to about mid-shin, at which point the plates are just short of touching the floor.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:54 am

By contrast when I used to perform SL Deadlifts with spine articulation, I would stand on a platform and touch the bar to the tops of my feet.

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Post by Philds » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:38 am

Matt, did I understand correctly that you did the SLD's with a "bent" spine?

If so, was that risky or am I to hung up on the straight back thing?

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:24 pm

What I would do is keep my back arched through the initial decent, until I couldn't bend any further without rounding my back. I would then round my back slightly, while keeping my erectors tight, until the bar touched the tops of my feet. From there I would reverse directions, first straightening my back, then my hips. I did these with light-to-moderate, sub-maximal loading, and relatively high (10-12) reps to reduce the risk of injury. However, straight-back lifting is safer. Plus you can lift a lot more weight that way.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:32 pm

Unless your planning competing in something like Strongman (which requires round-back lifting), I don't think there's any real benefit in round-back lifting, since Straight-back lifting will develop the same muscle isometrically. For more on this, check out the round-back lifting thread.

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