Arms Go Numb During Squats?

obviously im a newbie but… for years ive been working out off and on but it happens almost every time, when ever i do squats i do 2 sets of 10 and by the fifth rep my arms start to go numb. it feels like the circulation is being cut off. this doesnt happen to any other part of my body or with any other my question is, is this in any way normal and does anybody else experience the same? or should i consult a docter?

do you position the bar correctly?

Happens alot, your probably not flexible enough in the shoulders and thoracic spine. Try some overhead squats with light weight a couple of time a week as well as chest and shoulder stretches.
Could be the position of the bar though, but I doubt it.

Maybe get a professional to check you out but a GP probably wont know much about it, see a physio or something.

I think it’s a simple as not having the bar high enough on your back.

I start to get it if the bar is too low and hence the arms are in an awkward position, it helps me to have better form…look at it as a positive

happens to me too. which is why i hate backsquatting for high reps.

doctor said it was probaly a compressed nerve or some shit.

he is a doctor but i assumed gradual loss of feeling was a circulation issue, not a nerve ending issue.

Tweaked a nerve in my upper thoracic area (while squatting)and my right hand was numb for 6 weeks before I went to a chiropractor and got adjusted-back to normal the next day…
re-position the bar and see if that helps.

im a tattoo artist so im constantly stretching my arms, hands and torso,and when i lift i keep the bar high enough to where it isnt putting to much pressure on my neck if i go any higher it would be resting on my neck alone. it could be from poor circulation but i didnt see that as a problem before. i see chiropractors every now and then and they have nothing to tell me??.

Could be from poor circulation (which I seriously doubt), or it could be from lack of flexibility. Many people have difficulty with elbow and shoulder pain during squatting due to poor flexibility. While you may not be suffering this yet, it could perhaps make itself pronounced later on down the road. Here are some stretches that will help if it is, indeed, a flexibility issue. Try to preform these twice daily.

  1. Doorway 90 degree shoulder stretch (forearm 90 degrees to upper arm. Upperarm 90 degrees from torso) Preform 2 sets for 30 sec
  2. Bodybuilder bent over lat stretch preform 2 sets for 30 sec
  3. Broom stick shoulder dislocations (constant motion) 2 sets 10 reps
  4. Hanging pullups (just hang and get a good stretch) 2 sets 20sec

Go for a mild stretch and make sure not to bonce through the stretch.

Hope this helps

[quote]Standard Donkey wrote:
do you position the bar correctly?[/quote]

If someone has flexibility up to par, they should be able to place a barbell anywhere on the upper back without problems. Granted, it not always comfortable to “some” people, but it shouldn’t cause numbness or pain.

Your pectorals are tight. You need to stretch them. The nerve that serves your arms runs through a narrow groove that can easily get impinged when your shoulders wind up being hunched forward because of tight pectorals.

Stand in a doorway a few times a day and put your arms up (as if you’re being held up); brace you arms/elbows against the door frame and lean forward. Do this while watching TV or while standing around talking to someone.

You should preform not only the doorway shoulder stretch, but the other exercises I listed above. More often than not, it is the pecs and the LATs that are tight.

It’s likely due to bar position on the cervical vertebrae (C4, C5.) Do your hands ever go numb when you’re sleeping? Does adding a pad to the bar ( I know, I know) change things? Try it for one workout, just to make sure there’s not disc compression going on.

Sorry, just read the original post; for some reason, I had it in my head that he WAS carrying the bar high, but I think that was a poster after the fact.
At any rate, I’d try adding/removing padding to see if there’s any change, better or worse. I’d also suggest that your upper-back posture is too lax, either in general or while under load.
Thanks, BBB. Great addition.


Thanks for that addition to my suggestion; it makes sense, and I’m amending my own stretching routine.

well ive noticed the numbness occurs when i have it loaded whether im pushing the max or i load it with a moderate weight. ive also noticed that the lighter i make the load the longer it takes for the numbness to occur. just to pin point the areas that go numb,“hands, forearms, biceps and triceps, but more so the hands and forearms”. the numbness doesnt spread any further than that.
and again im not finding any difference with the stretches. but i have not tried adding or reducing padding so ill give that a shot. and thank you all for your input its been very informative and helpful.