T Nation

Back Squats and Neck Injuries


Hi everyone,

I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that the Squat and it's variations are essential. I prefer the back squat to the front squat, as I don't have flexible wrists and the heavy loaded bar puts extreme pressure on my shoulder muscle and joint.

However, I've noticed for awhile that near the top of my traps of my spine, a bone sticks out above the back of my neck. It sticks out exactly where the squat bar goes. I've been putting my hands closer together, chest out and squeezing my upper traps to give it some "meat" to rest on. I've even tried using the rubber form "tampons" but my spine hurts. I feel a lot of pressure on my spine because of this.

I've switched to Leg Pressing, lunges, split squats and one-legged squats for the time being. But I feel like I am robbing myself of a good exercise that could give me the most lower body gains in terms of hypertrophy and athletism.

Anyone have this problem?


I'd take a look at your form.

When I feel my back, that bone only sticks out when my head is tucked down. Make sure you shoulders are not rounded and your head is up when you unrack. The bar should be resting on your traps. Might help ya...


Use a lower bar placement. If it's sitting on that bone (I know exactly the one you are talking about) the bar is practically on top of your shoulders. Your shoulders should actually be in front of the bar a little. If that makes sense.

It might take a little getting used to, but it will feel much better than sitting on our neck.


Lower bar placement x2


I find that when I place the bar lower, it requires me to put upward pressure from shoulders to stablize and hold the bar.

My shoulders/ RC feels sore after, like I was doing a isometric shoulder press. That can't be good for my shoulders...


You think you are gonna squat big weight with relaxed shoulders? They are sore cause they aren't used to it.

Get used to it.



Why do you think the squat is so good at increasing GH and T? It stresses the whole body.

Personally, I know I didn't go heavy enough if my upper back isn't tired after squats. Heck, good or bad, it gives out almost as often as my glutes/quads on 20 rep squats.


lowbar squats ftw