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  • spine safety: why is certain back rounding ok?

    I guess i really dont understand spine safety. so conventional wisdom is that you want to keep your spine straight with its natural arch to prevent discs from slipping.

    yet on deadlifts, if your upper back rounds, no big deal (biggest deadlifters have some round it seems). as long as lower back doesnt.

    in the DC pulley row, we keep our entire back rounded basically, yet not big deal. vid:
    [YOUTUBE]g6Y7l07uVS4[/YOUTUBE]

    in eliteFTS training, these seated good mornings are suggested with much back round, and no big deal. at ~4mins here:
    [YOUTUBE]pvv4uk9XbsY[/YOUTUBE]


    so what gives on spinal safety? must be something i am not understanding.

  • #2
    I posted an interesting article from tnation on IM on bracing versus arching.
    I your example IMO its different mechanics and leverages comparing a dc pulley row to a deadlift variation.
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    • #3
      I def think certain people are able to round more. I. 6'1 and lanky naturally. I have to be sure to NEVER round my back or it's over, im hurting my self. I feel like shorter guys have less of a chance of injury on exercises like DL, rows etc. Just the biomechanics

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      • #4
        first of all, Lumbar and cervical rounding is just flexion of the spine, (there is no flexor muscles in the thoracic region).

        Most ELITE or highly higly advanced deadlifters teach rounding of the upper back under heavy load, this fantastic article covers it better than I ever could:
        http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_..._back_deadlift


        In the DC row, due to the lighter load there isn't much stress on the spine in this position. IF the load where to get considerably heavier (around 90% 1 rm) then it would place considerable strain on the spine due to the lifter ballistically bouncing the rep to create momentum due to a lat strength weakness.

        I actually do my own varaition of the DC row, where I am practically licking my knee caps. my feet are very very wide and i have a rounded back (as you can imagine is im licking my knee caps), due to the light load I started with (about 30kg) and only doing a straight set of 15-25 reps and once reaching the upper region, I was able to reach up to 110kg on it without any strain on my spine, (i might add this was with perfect form and technique and took me a good 10months of slow progression).

        It also depends where the rounding is occurring and on what lift..If its on squats, good night vienna. If it's on barbell curls, goodnight vienna.
        Neither of those 2 have any benefit for the lift or the muscles attempting to lift the load.

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        • #5
          The upper spine is made to be quite a bit more flexible than the lower spine. That being said, the physics (mwahaha) of the rounding and where the stress goes is different for the upper and lower back.

          When the lower spine rounds out (on deadlifts, say), there is a phenomenal amount of compression on the vertebral discs on the anterior side. Not only can this damage the discs in that area, but it can cause the squishy material of the discs to squirt out the other side (disc herniation). The big danger is that when the more mobile joints of the lower spine round, that causes the more immobile vertebral joints to round as well (the lower lumbar and cervical vertebra). This will fuck your shit up, as I know from experience.

          When the upper spine rounds out like that, not only is it constructed to do that more, but there aren't any immobile vertebral joints nearby that can get messed up if they round, as well.

          Basically the lower spine isn't built to round that much while the upper spine is built to take it.

          Sammich
          Moderator/Intense Muscle Competitive Powerlifter 275lb Raw Club Total 1625
          Last edited by Sammich; 11-16-2013, 01:46 PM.
          Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
          kind of a douche

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          • #6
            what he said

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MachMood View Post
              I def think certain people are able to round more. I. 6'1 and lanky naturally. I have to be sure to NEVER round my back or it's over, im hurting my self. I feel like shorter guys have less of a chance of injury on exercises like DL, rows etc. Just the biomechanics
              I concur.....anytime I've rounded my back while training it's ended badly, EXCEPT the low pulley row like stated above.....I'm tryng to instill this in my son right now too
              STEEL




              "SIMPLICITY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LG1 View Post
                I posted an interesting article from tnation on IM on bracing versus arching.
                I your example IMO its different mechanics and leverages comparing a dc pulley row to a deadlift variation.
                can you post a link or title?

                MachMood I def think certain people are able to round more. I. 6'1 and lanky naturally. I have to be sure to NEVER round my back or it's over, im hurting my self. I feel like shorter guys have less of a chance of injury on exercises like DL, rows etc. Just the biomechanics
                i'm 5'9, had some dumb form in the past, never have gotten hurt. then again my DL max is just 500. dont want to take any chances though if i go up. Also, there is no way i CAN bend the L1-5. it seems i can only bend at the thoracic section. yay me?

                first of all, Lumbar and cervical rounding is just flexion of the spine, (there is no flexor muscles in the thoracic region).
                i do not understand the implications of this. is there a conclusion i am suppsoed to draw from this, or just sharing info? :p

                I actually do my own varaition of the DC row, where I am practically licking my knee caps
                don't lie martin, you are clearly trying to fellate yourself :sammich:

                The upper spine is made to be quite a bit more flexible than the lower spine. That being said, the physics (mwahaha) of the rounding and where the stress goes is different for the upper and lower back.

                When the lower spine rounds out (on deadlifts, say), there is a phenomenal amount of compression on the vertebral discs on the anterior side. Not only can this damage the discs in that area, but it can cause the squishy material of the discs to squirt out the other side (disc herniation). The big danger is that when the more mobile joints of the lower spine round, that causes the more immobile vertebral joints to round as well (the lower lumbar and cervical vertebra). This will fuck your shit up, as I know from experience.

                When the upper spine rounds out like that, not only is it constructed to do that more, but there aren't any immobile vertebral joints nearby that can get messed up if they round, as well.

                Basically the lower spine isn't built to round that much while the upper spine is built to take it.
                disc info good to know, thanks. what was your experience?




                and to reiterate, there seems to be no way i can round my lower back. not sure how you guys are doing it, or is what i consider "mid back" the danger zone?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by drcrappants View Post
                  don't lie martin, you are clearly trying to fellate yourself :sammich:
                  I'm a little uncomfortable with having my smilie used after an autofellation reference.


                  Originally posted by drcrappants View Post
                  disc info good to know, thanks. what was your experience?
                  Years of poor form and a few injuries resulted in my having a degenerated L5/S1 vertebral disc. Now I have to pay very close attention to what I do, lest it get worse and I end up with a herniation.
                  Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
                  kind of a douche

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                  • #10
                    Also, the posterior longitudinal ligament, which runs down the spine and kinda reinforces the posterior aspect of the discs is much thinner in the lumbar region than thoracic. With spinal flexion, the disc has a posterior force (think if you have a jelly ball in between twofists and if you "flex" the fists the jelly ball will shoot out the back), so a heavy load with lumbar flexion would be more likely to result in disc herniation than with thoracic flexion.

                    Edit: you can also note that cervical disc herniation, like lumabr herniation, is much more common than thoracic disc herniation....well the PLL is thinner in c-spine as well....less posterior reinforcement of the disc....in addition to c-spine just being more mobile and prone to injury from whiplash,etc.
                    Victory Kick
                    New Member
                    Last edited by Victory Kick; 11-17-2013, 09:56 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Victory Kick View Post
                      Also, the posterior longitudinal ligament, which runs down the spine and kinda reinforces the posterior aspect of the discs is much thinner in the lumbar region than thoracic. With spinal flexion, the disc has a posterior force (think if you have a jelly ball in between twofists and if you "flex" the fists the jelly ball will shoot out the back), so a heavy load with lumbar flexion would be more likely to result in disc herniation than with thoracic flexion.

                      Edit: you can also note that cervical disc herniation, like lumabr herniation, is much more common than thoracic disc herniation....well the PLL is thinner in c-spine as well....less posterior reinforcement of the disc....in addition to c-spine just being more mobile and prone to injury from whiplash,etc.
                      what he said
                      Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
                      kind of a douche

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                      • #12
                        http://train.elitefts.com/exercises-...-good-morning/

                        does this not look like spinal danger?

                        i am trying various good mornings, wonder if this should be avoided. want to do the safety bar seated spinal GM, but no safety bar . came across this but looks like death

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drcrappants View Post
                          http://train.elitefts.com/exercises-...-good-morning/

                          does this not look like spinal danger?

                          i am trying various good mornings, wonder if this should be avoided. want to do the safety bar seated spinal GM, but no safety bar . came across this but looks like death
                          I set the safery bars and do these sitting in the Max Rack. It looks similar to a Smith but the weight travels in both the vertical and horizontal planes.
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                          • #14
                            Whats wrong with a good morning performed with a barbell?

                            Most exercises that have given people injuries is because of their shit form and technique and NOT the exercise itself (unless your that retard that who squats on a bosu), but its easy to shit on the exercise and not admit that your a dumbass..people blame barbell curls on elbow tendonitus (spelling!?), and yet you see their squat set up and their elbows are not in the correct position, so their arms are taking weight rather than the back...thus leading to elbow tendonitus (cant spell it to save my life) (Shitty barbell curls also causes it but I assume people can curl here efficiently).

                            Most people have poor hip hinges and xant perform an effective rep with them and they dip under the bar with a rounded lower back, they also dont know how to fire the glutes and keep the chest up..point being, they say good mornings is bad on their backs, no its your shit form and lack of flexibility..you fucked up, not the exercise.

                            Please note I am not referring to you directly drcrappants..you being a general statement.

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                            • #15
                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C847hEokVBs

                              [YOUTUBE]C847hEokVBs[/YOUTUBE]

                              -S
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