T Nation

Arm cramp during 20 rep squats.

Do any of you guys get arm cramps during 20 rep breathing squats? The reason i ask is because i was doing them today and by rep 9-10 the pain in my left arm was almost unbearable. I got to rep 18 and just could not get 19 up. Would it have to do with the fact that i squeeze the bar (not very tightly) during the set? Would keeping my arms relaxed be of any assistance? Has anybody had any experience with this?

You are probably maintaining a muscle contraction position throughout. Relax at the top.

My arms start going numb and they tingle, but have never cramped up. I think the answer to your problem would be not to squeeze the bar and just hold it.

LEFT arm you say?
How is your Heart? When is the last time you saw a doctor? High rep squats and heavy leg presses put a lot of stress on your heart. Check with you Doctor too. Age is not a major factor here, my best friend died from a heart attack at age 22, we had just returned from a run during airborne school. So be careful.

Thanks for the reply’s guys. Next time i do 20 rep squats i will try to relax at the top.
Older lifter, i think my heart is pretty healthy. 3-4 months ago when trying to get down to 8% body fat i did cardio 4 times per week and in 3 months got my resting heart rate from 72 down to 40. Plus i never eat junk. I would say that my heart is the least of my concerns. Although thanks for pointing that out, i suppose you could never be too sure.

Best O’Luck, then. High rep squats are great. Especially if you want functional strength. Are you also doing the light pullovers to enlarge the rib cage?

I’ve got a question about 20 rep squats – although not related to arm cramps. I’ve been doing 20 rep squats for about the last 6 months – and the muscles in my lower back has been progressively getting tighter and tighter. I never had this problem when I did much heavier weight for 10 reps. Lately, after each set, I have to stretch nearly 15 minutes to get the tightness to subside. I thought my lower back muscles were fairly strong – as I regular do good mornings and back hyperextensions.

I think my form is relatively good. I find a belt seems helps to alleviate the tightness.

Any suggestions to remedy the tightness? Or is this to be somewhat expected because the 20 rep squats put more stress on the lower back?

Most trainers I have worked with find that to be true. You must maintain tight form during the set and it is a long set. Just make sure you counter-balance the back with the abs.

I though that doing pullovers after 20 rep squats to enlarge the rib cage was a myth.
Are you supposed to do them immediately after the squat set? Usually after 20 reps i drop to the ground for about 2-3 minutes.

Yes and No. Yes. The pullovers will help stretch your rib cage and improve your posture. The old program had you doing a cross the bench pullovers and a standing form where you grab a pole at eye level, full you lungs and isometrically push down. This always seem to fill the top center of the chest for me. These exercises may no truly expand the rib cage, but I ending up having to wear custom dress shirts size 51" at 5’ 10 and 193 lbs.
No. There is no proof. But they could not hurt if preformed correctly.