Mobility (again)

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KenDowns
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Mobility (again)

Post by KenDowns » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:32 pm

Yesterday I did rack pulls for real for the first time. My trainer had me sit back so they would be the "partial deadlift" variety. He figured I could do 3 singles at 405, but after the 1st I couldn't get the 2nd or 3rd attempts more than an inch off the floor. We did one at 385 that was a horrible grinder before he dropped me down to 315 for some easier work. For what it's worth, I think I put way too much lower back into these and did not really get them right.

Afterward I felt sore in my lower back, which never happens to me. I'm careful not to say "injured" because it feels more like DOMS - hurts more when you stretch it out or move. Since the back is moving all of the time, this has me a bit stiff today, avoiding bending over and so forth.

My question hast to do with mobility. The ABIB book says if you can't touch your toes the first suspicion is a tight lower back, and you have to teach it to relax. I cannot touch my toes today with the ease I could once I started the progressions in ABIB. So I'm figuring my lower back is all tightened up. Does this make sense? If so, then what kind of soft tissue work do you do for lower back, since I've heard it is not safe to use a foam roller? I use a caster for my legs, and have been able to reach around to my back a bit with it, but its kind of a stretch.

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:13 pm

KenDowns wrote:Yesterday I did rack pulls for real for the first time. My trainer had me sit back so they would be the "partial deadlift" variety. He figured I could do 3 singles at 405, but after the 1st I couldn't get the 2nd or 3rd attempts more than an inch off the floor. We did one at 385 that was a horrible grinder before he dropped me down to 315 for some easier work. For what it's worth, I think I put way too much lower back into these and did not really get them right.
1) What lead you trainer to believe you could pull 405? Missing you second and third attempt doesn't speak well for his abiltiy as a trainer.

2) You pulled them off the floor or higher up out of a rack? This is confusing.

My question has to do with mobility. The ABIB book says if you can't touch your toes the first suspicion is a tight lower back, and you have to teach it to relax.
What is ABIB? I have yet to understand why so many individuals use acronomys that often have very little or no meaning to anyone else.
I cannot touch my toes today with the ease I could once I started the progressions in ABIB. So I'm figuring my lower back is all tightened up. Does this make sense?


You lower back may be a problem. You hamstrings definitely are.
If so, then what kind of soft tissue work do you do for lower back, since I've heard it is not safe to use a foam roller?
A foam roller is not safe according to who? Foam rollers are a great tool.

Kenny Croxdale
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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by KenDowns » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:39 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
KenDowns wrote:Yesterday I did rack pulls for real for the first time. My trainer had me sit back so they would be the "partial deadlift" variety. He figured I could do 3 singles at 405, but after the 1st I couldn't get the 2nd or 3rd attempts more than an inch off the floor. We did one at 385 that was a horrible grinder before he dropped me down to 315 for some easier work. For what it's worth, I think I put way too much lower back into these and did not really get them right.
1) What lead you trainer to believe you could pull 405? Missing you second and third attempt doesn't speak well for his abiltiy as a trainer.
Holy cow Kenny you never missed a call? My trainer and I have been together a year. He knows pretty well what I can do. I can do conventional 405 for reps any time, so it must have seemed like a good place to start. FWIW the first rep at 405 went up smooth and clean, nobody was more surprised than me, except maybe him, when I couldn't move the second single.

Kenny Croxdale wrote:2) You pulled them off the floor or higher up out of a rack? This is confusing.


Technically the plates were 3" higher than normal on mats. I know there are sticklers who say this isn't a "rack pull" because the bar is not on the racks, but it's all the same to me, we call them rack pulls in my gym or we say "off the mats."
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
KenDowns wrote:My question has to do with mobility. The ABIB book says if you can't touch your toes the first suspicion is a tight lower back, and you have to teach it to relax.
What is ABIB? I have yet to understand why so many individuals use acronomys that often have very little or no meaning to anyone else.
Athletic Body In Balance, a book frequently discussed here in recent months. Like SS or PP, the folks I communicate with most often know that abbreviation.
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
I cannot touch my toes today with the ease I could once I started the progressions in ABIB. So I'm figuring my lower back is all tightened up. Does this make sense?


You lower back may be a problem. You hamstrings definitely are.
If so, then what kind of soft tissue work do you do for lower back, since I've heard it is not safe to use a foam roller?
A foam roller is not safe according to who? Foam rollers are a great tool.

Kenny Croxdale
I have heard you should not foam roll your lower back. One of those things I guess, don't know where I heard it, might be bad bro science.

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by KPj » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:40 am

I never have anyone foam roll the lower back, and don't do it myself. However, i'm a big fan of foam rolling.

There's a couple of reasons I don't.

-What "feels" tight and what benefits from soft tissue work can be completely different. Loads of people complain of hamstring tightness yet, even if they use a PVC pipe to roll them, they won't feel much of anything going on (typically, anyway). Conversely, not many people "feel" tight in the quads and hip flexors yet these are almost always the worse (therefore, best!) areas to foam roll (btw - ITBand is quad tightness).

The lower back is typically similar to this. Also, I train my massage therapist. She's worked on my lower back before but it's never too bad. She says although loads of people get relief from lower back work (it "feels" nice), she doesn't often feel that "gristly" knotted tissue like she normally gets in quads, hip flexors, traps, pecs, etc.

In other words the tightness can be "Neural". Although to confuse things even more, you can say everything is neural...

It seems like the muscles that are chronically shortened (pics, upper traps, hip flexors, etc) are the one's that benefit more from soft tissue work where as muscles that are chronically lengthened (hamstrings, lower back) don't seem to get much from it.

However, i'm far from a soft tissue expert.... This is just my observation.

-You only have a couple of degrees of rotation between each vertebrae in the lower back before you hit End ROM. By wriggling around on a foam roller, it would be very easy to move into end range. This is when you start stressing discs, ligaments and cartilage. Similar negative effects to stretching the lower back. This could probably be avoided if you were careful I guess but, what's the point messing around with it when the problem is the hips anyway?

On your issue with Pulls from blocks - these can be awkward when you first do them. I think your back probably just needs a break. May simply be a case of too much too soon.

I've heard of people struggling more from mid shin than from the floor - maybe this is a sticking point.

Also, and not to step on the toes of your trainer. If you are doing pulls from blocks, rack pulls, or whatever, to improve your deadlift then you should aim to make the bar path as similar as possible. IN this regard, a common mistake is to set up exactly like you would a DL from the floor. You can end up with the bar too far in front, hips to low, attempting to squat the thing to get it moving, which makes you fall forward and hang off the lower back to make the lift.

If you actually were DLing from the floor, by the time you had pulled the bar a few inches (to your new starting point off the matts/blocks/whatever), some things would of changed - your hips would be higher for a start. So, it could be a form thing. As a general rule of thumb, you want to walk right up to the bar and touch with the shins before you move down and grab it. This for most people sets you up closer to the bar than when pulling from the floor, which would have your hips a little higher.

I'm not explaining this well, what I mean is you want your rack pull/block pull starting position to look your like your deadlift from the floor when it gets to that point in the ROM.

Also, that point in the lift is where people want to round over. Normally the hips shoot up as the bar breaks the floor then they round the spine about mid shin (of course, it differs, so this is just my observations). Really focus on getting the lats tight before you pull. During a DL from the floor your lats are either going nuts at this point, or they've died and your rounding the back.

KPj
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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by robertscott » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:29 am

if you lower back hurts, foam roll your piriformis

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by JasonJones » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:50 pm

Echoing what KPj is saying, I rarely find a tissue issue in the lower back (or hamstrings) that would necessitate soft tissue work. From a pain relief perspective, I'd rather you use tennis balls.

Give this a whirl, try and figure out if your pain is extension or flexion related, and then see if the corresponding mobilization helps:


Here's another piece specifically about tweaking from deadlifts or squats


And finally on hamstrings:
5 Reasons You Have Tight Hamstrings by Eric Cressey
don't you know there ain't no devil
that's just god when he's drunk

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:07 pm

1) What lead you trainer to believe you could pull 405? Missing you second and third attempt doesn't speak well for his abiltiy as a trainer.
Holy cow Kenny you never missed a call? My trainer and I have been together a year. He knows pretty well what I can do.


Evidently, he doesn't know very well what you can do. Your missed reps are proof of that.
I can do conventional 405 for reps any time, so it must have seemed like a good place to start.
The key to performing anything new is to start out with something that an indiviual can perform effortlessly. So yes, I am critical of him.
FWIW the first rep at 405 went up smooth and clean, nobody was more surprised than me, except maybe him, when I couldn't move the second single.
It was a DFC by your trainer.
I have heard you should not foam roll your lower back. One of those things I guess, don't know where I heard it, might be bad bro science.
When you hear something you don't know ask them for references to support the claim or look it up.

In other word, don't believe eveything you hear.

Kenny Croxdale
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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:45 am

:coffee2: :happy1: :occasion9:
:clock:

yeah, I'm clearing my schedule
be some furniture moving up in here




Kenny's condescending manner has always had a special appeal.

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:09 am

Oscar_Actuary wrote::coffee2: :happy1: :occasion9:
:clock:

yeah, I'm clearing my schedule
be some furniture moving up in here




Kenny's condescending manner has always had a special appeal.
Oscar,

I flunked out of the class on "How to Win Friends and Influence People". :(

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by KenDowns » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:22 am

@KP: I had to read through your first couple of paragraphs a couple of times until I realized it matches my experience: sore muscles feel better when you massage them, for about 5 minutes. But the only real benefit I get from soft tissue work is on knots. Getting these knots worked out produces a real permanent benefit. If my lower back is just sore, it's just sore, let it rest. That makes sense.

@jason, I'm going to look through those videos tonight and let you know.

@Bob, I use a caster instead of a foam roller because I find I get greater precision. But that doesn't mean I know if I'm hitting the piriformis. I just roll it looking for hot spots, and hit those. After heavy deads and squats I always hit the glutes and calves with the caster.

For discussion of form, here is a picture I stole from T-Nation. My trainer's goal is to get me doing the 2nd phase deadlift form. I'm not saying I got it since it was the first time, but that is what we are going for. The article was here: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... variations" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Attachments
rackpull.jpg
We are going for the Right-side version, second phase deadlift
rackpull.jpg (5.28 KiB) Viewed 3520 times

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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:08 am

KenDowns wrote: The article was here: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... variations" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Rack Deadlifts

This is one of the better article on Rack Deadlifts.

With that said, I am not a proponent of Rack Deadlifts.

One of the biggest problems with Deadlifts and Rack Deadlift is the back is quickly and easily overtrained or strained in your case.

You back strain created by poor choices made by you trainer. Yea, I am keeping this flap jack on the griddle.

Sticking Point

One of the best part of the "Rack Em Up — Rack Pull Variations" was in regard to sticking points. It echoed what I have stated on this site many time.

"...a point that Kenny Croxdale has made repeatedly over on the EXRX forums - your "sticking point" in a lift is below the point at which it actually "sticks." The sticking point is just where you run out of momentum. You are in all likelihood weaker below that point."http://strength-basics.blogspot.com/201 ... chive.html

Another great point of the article is...

"Set Up for the Isolation or Second Phase Rack Pull"

"The key to setting up for a true partial deadlift is the discipline to keep from cheating by using your quads."

This is one of the primary problem with indivuduals who do rack pulls.

Good Mornings

One of the best deadlift movements is the Good Morning. It allows you to simulate a deadlift without overloading the lower back.

Rack Good Mornings

Placing the bar in the rack in the approximate sticking point position allows you to strength it.

Hang Power Clean or High Pull

Again, position the Hang Power Clean or High Pull in the approximate sticking point position.

Olympic pulls develop power that allow you to slide through your sticking point.

Infrequent Pulls

As Dr Tom McLaughlin noted in one of his deadlift articles, the lower back is quickly and easily overtrained.

The lower back also requires more recovery time.

Thus, it is best to allow more recover time between deadlift and/or rack deadlift sessions.

Kenny Croxdale
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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by pdellorto » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:40 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:"...a point that Kenny Croxdale has made repeatedly over on the EXRX forums - your "sticking point" in a lift is below the point at which it actually "sticks." The sticking point is just where you run out of momentum. You are in all likelihood weaker below that point."http://strength-basics.blogspot.com/201 ... chive.html
That blogger doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. ;)

I'm really amused that Kenny is quoting me quoting him. :)
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Re: Mobility (again)

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:23 am

pdellorto wrote:
Kenny Croxdale wrote:"...a point that Kenny Croxdale has made repeatedly over on the EXRX forums - your "sticking point" in a lift is below the point at which it actually "sticks." The sticking point is just where you run out of momentum. You are in all likelihood weaker below that point."http://strength-basics.blogspot.com/201 ... chive.html
That blogger doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. ;)

I'm really amused that Kenny is quoting me quoting him. :)
Sometimes I don't know what i am talking about either. So, one cancels the other out.

Kenny
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