Back Pain With 5x5 Squat

Wish I could get a side view but you’re looking at the entire width of the garage - I have around a foot on either side of the bar if not less. On monday I’ll workout with a friend and have him take a video from the side if it’s possible.

I’ll focus on keeping my upper back tighter and get my elbows further back.

[quote]rmexico wrote:
It’s hard to see your form from the back. A side view would be much more helpful, even if you’re just squatting the bar. A lot of people tend to round their backs at the bottom of a squat.

One thing I noticed is that your upper back looks pretty loose–maybe even a little hunched. You should work on keeping it tight and arched hard. You want to have a back like this guy when you squat:

If you don’t keep your back tight, you’ll hurt yourself.

Also, you seem to be holding the bar up with your arms. As you get stronger, you’ll kill your wrists and elbows. You should have your elbows behind the bar and put the bar on the heel of your palm. The video I posted above shows where your elbows should be.

I highly recommend the book “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe. It devotes an entire chapter to squats and covers all of the major lifts.

I wasn’t able to record myself today, but I watched that video and I made some adjustments. I was extra conscious about keeping my upper back as tight as possible. Also, I flared my arms farther back like him. Also, though you didn’t suggest it, I noticed the guy in the video his shoes have an elevated heel, so I put a 3/4" board under my heels. When I got up to my workset weight of 200lbs, I was able to go deeper and had a lot more strength out of the hole. I narrowed my stance as well. And my back felt good. So I’m going to continue to progress slowly and see how it goes. When I get a chance to video, I will. Thanks.

Thanks for the vids, however the side view is the most telling. From what I can see, first like most people, the bar looks to be too high on your back. This causes unnecessary forces on your cervical spine, and for a tall, thin person, makes the spine a much “longer lever” forcing you forward. This is evident when you come out of the hole, or bottom position. Your knees are buckling big time as well.
I would:

Approach the bar, grip it with a much wider than shoulder width grip, arch your chest, take in a deep breath and squeeze your scapulae together. This will create a solid foundation to rest the bar on. Try to place the bar such that it rests on your posterior deltoid heads, or similar level.

Try to maintain a more upright position in terms of your spine and “squat down between your legs”. Also try to maintain a much more vertical shin position as well and try to “sit back” with the weight. This will help with the wandering knees I’m seeing in the vid. I’m not a fan of plates and boards under the feet. It’s just a band-aid for those who lack the flexibility in their lower legs, and will not help the problem.

I would perform multiple sets of 3’s with a very comfortable weight to learn the movement, don’t worry about onlookers or your ego. You’re probably the only one around man enough to use the squat rack anyway! Good luck.

Thank radjxf. I don’t have to worry too much about onlookers anyway since I workout in my garage.

Prior to hurting my back, I used to squat more like you’re suggesting - more of hte powerlifting style with the bar lower down on my back. However, after injury I couldn’t squat at all without pain, then a few months afterwards I did nothing but front squats. This is my first time doing back squats in 9 months and I opted to go high bar Oly style because it allows me to keep my torso more upright.

However, next time I get my friend over to work out, I’ll see if I can a side view and I’ll try both squatting styles just to see how the form is and post then - either wednesday or friday.

I only did it the high bar style - didn’t get to the powerlifting style. This was following the suggestions as given by rmexico.

Was a light day for the program so I only did 140lbs. The time I was taking in between reps was just me reminding myself of proper form. Stretched a lot before hand and had no pain.

Here’s the video.

Did deadlift today too and figure it’s worth checking form. I’ve been pretty comfortable doing them since November however I have kept them very light and did multiple reps of low reps. Used to do much more, but in retrospect my form was crap and I used to use straps. Now, no straps, much lighter weight, but I’m trying to keep my form perfect to ensure my back health.

Here’s 250lbs. Felt good. It looks like I might need to get my hips a little lower since they’re almost as high as my shoulders - but then again that might be okay for my build? (think I read that on here that taller guys can keep their hips higher) Anyway, let er rip.