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Arms Fall Asleep During Squats

Fairly new to squats and good mornings and have noticed a wierd thing happening during my last couple of workouts.

While doing back squats and good mornings, my lower arms and fingers sometimes tingle or go numb.

I assume it could be from the bar partially cutting off my circulation. Does this happen to anyone else?

It’s not painful, but it is kind of distracting.

Any thoughts on why this is happening?

Thanks in advance

[quote]new2training wrote:
Fairly new to squats and good mornings and have noticed a wierd thing happening during my last couple of workouts.

While doing back squats and good mornings, my lower arms and fingers sometimes tingle or go numb.

I assume it could be from the bar partially cutting off my circulation. Does this happen to anyone else?

It’s not painful, but it is kind of distracting.

Any thoughts on why this is happening?

Thanks in advance[/quote]

Something is most likely pressing on a nerve or an artery. How is your shoulder flexibility? The externally rotated position of holding the bar could be causing the numbness, or it could actually be the weight of the bar itself pressing on some structure. Where are you holding the bar? It should be resting on your traps and not on any bony prominences (i.e. spine).

You could try doing several sets with a broomstick or similar unweighted object on your back to see if its just your arm position. If you can’t squat without numbness with minimal weight then you need to work a lot on flexibility. In the mean time, you could try moving your hands to a different position on the bar, but you still would need to address the flexibility issue.

If the numbness goes away when you squat with a very light weight on your shoulders, it could be any number of issues in your neck, which you would want to have evaluated by a professional.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Tingling in arms and fingers would be due to a nerve impingement. The most common place for a nerve injury resulting in tingling of the arm to occur is in proximal part of the brachial plexus: so right near your armpit and traps.

It is likely that the bar is resting TOO high on your traps and pressing on the lower part of your interscalene triangle - Myotomes C7 C8 T1.

A previous reply said you may be too low. I don’t see this being likely since the nerves going to your arms arise from ABOVE your arm on your spinal cord.

my arms fall asleep during squats too. i found that pushing up on the bar slightly more and to take some of the pressure off my shoulders seams to help. wraping the bar with a towel works well too.

just my 2 cents

[quote]Contach wrote:
A previous reply said you may be too low. I don’t see this being likely since the nerves going to your arms arise from ABOVE your arm on your spinal cord. [/quote]

Where was that post that said the bar was probably resting too low?

T-Vets

Thank you for taking the time to respond with some genuine trouble shooting.

Tonight, I’ll try to pay more attention to my bar and hand placement. Mix it up a little and see what happens.

I am sure I need to work on flexibility as well.

I will revisit some of the stretching articles in the archives and squat form articles.

Also try to lift up a little with my arms to take a little pressure off.

Quick questions though if you happen to tune back in:

I’m sure its case by case but where are you supposed to position your hands during the squat? How far out from shoulders?

Thanks again

new2training,

If you could be more specific as to which fingers were affected, it would be easier to figure out what structures are being irritated. As well, if you could define where on your forearm you are affected (front, back, lateral side, in-side).

There are a couple things that could be happening, depending on your shoulder, arm or forearm position. It may be taking place at your neck (e.g. thoracic outlet issues) or possibly further down around your elbow (e.g. ulnar nerve irritation).

Due to the myriad possible causes, it is important to know EXACTLY where you feel the numbness/tingling and EXACTLY how you position your upper extremity while doing the above exercises.

good luck
dc

[quote]dra wrote:
new2training,
DC,

Thanks for the reply. In hindsight, it seems like the whole hand and lower arm starting about half way between my hand and elbow.

That may not be the case however. I try to pay more attention and post back after my next squat session.

Thanks again

If you could be more specific as to which fingers were affected, it would be easier to figure out what structures are being irritated. As well, if you could define where on your forearm you are affected (front, back, lateral side, in-side).

good luck
dc[/quote]