Picking Up Objects Off The Ground Picking Up Objects Off The Ground

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Thread: Picking Up Objects Off The Ground

  1. #1
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    Default Picking Up Objects Off The Ground

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    Hi folks!

    I have got a question concerning the ideal technique for picking heavy objects off the ground.

    I noticed that every strongman rounds his back to grab the Atlas Stone to lift it.

    In the second edition of Starting Strength the stiff legged deadlift and the good morning with a rounded back are presented as exercises to train for rounded back lifting.

    I thought that rounding is always bad and that a tensed lumbar region is important to avoid injuries.

    When the back is rounded the abs can get a lot more tensed. That is what I have noticed while trying to lift a stone trainer with a rounded back.

    Therfore my question is:

    (Let's assume I want to lift an atlas stone.)

    If I squat into a atg position with my heels raised is it a benefit for my lower back that it is tensed now or should I avoid this position due to a possible knee injury?

    (It is possible to grab the stone in this position and get up, but you are a bit unbalanced and it is definitely trickier.)
    Last edited by The Solution; 08-28-2010 at 07:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    They lift like that because it's the only way to a hold on the stone in a strong position. Both in terms of getting it high on your chest and getting a strong position for lifting with your hips. Your alternative just isn't anywhere near as strong. I don't think it's a knee-injury issue.

  3. #3
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    You are right. As I said, you waste a lot of energy to balance your own stand.

    I guess I will do it with the rounded back when I lift my stone trainer.

    What about the tensed abs issue? I tense them really hard when I grab the stone. If you overextended your lower back hyper lordosis may occur, but I have not of something similar to that with the abs as the spine is flexed and only a hypo lordosis may be the result.

  4. #4
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    I'm not 100% sure what you're asking, but your abs will be working hard to stabilise your spine in its rounded position. This is a good thing.

    I'm also not sure that the problem is balance or energy wastage. It's just the mechanics afforded by a round-back makes it possible to lift much bigger stones than with a straight back.

  5. #5
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    Wow, thanks for the quick and good answer. =D

    This forum is better than any I have ever been to. Most users here have a good understanding of all the strength issues.

    I did not even know yet that you can lift a bigger weight with your back rounded.

    I just feared that an injury is impossible to avoid while lifting with a rounded back. But I guess with steady adaption to bigger weights (adjustable stone trainer ftw) and attention to tensed abs, I will be able to stay injury free in my lower back when I perfom this lift.

  6. #6
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    I thought that rounding is always bad and that a tensed lumbar region is important to avoid injuries.
    The simple answer is that you thought wrong. There's even a picture of a guy picking up a stone with a rounded back in the book. Stone lifting can be very technical, people lift them the way they do for a reason.

  7. #7
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by The Solution View Post
    Wow, thanks for the quick and good answer. =D

    This forum is better than any I have ever been to. Most users here have a good understanding of all the strength issues.

    I did not even know yet that you can lift a bigger weight with your back rounded.
    .
    This is only because of the positioning of the object right against the floor. If the object is higher or it has some handles, it would be better to lift it with a flat back.

    If I squat into a atg position with my heels raised is it a benefit for my lower back that it is tensed now or should I avoid this position due to a possible knee injury?
    High bar-knees forwards squats are the opposite of what you want to train if you want to get good at deadlifting. You should be doing low bar parallel squats. The more horizontal back angle will both make your back stronger in the way needed for rock lifting and also train your hamstrings a lot harder.

    High bar/ATG/olympic/bodybuilder squats with wood under the heel are more of a quad focused exercise.

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