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Back Tweak on Squat, 5s Week. Injury Question


Hello there. Apologies if this topic has been bought up before or similar. Today during my 5s week of squats @ 275 , I tweaked my lower back on the first rep.
I am not after medical advice as I will be seeking the appropriate help, just wondering if a similar instance has occurred.
How did you guys handle it? I feel I was close to stalling on this lift and probably should have re set but not sure what the best path forward is.
Would it be advisable to take a deload week then start the cycle again with a lower training max? Thankyou for the help fellas


How did you tweak it and where in the lift?


Tweaked it while performing the rep on the way up. First rep with top set on 5s week. Have done this weight before and got 5-7 reps before. Definatly a mobility issue for me but just thinking about how to program moving forward.


Sorry to be pedantic, but where on the way up? Just in the hole, past parallel, coming to lockout?


No worries mate, glad to be able to get some opinions. I would say just coming out of the hole. I have started doing Defrancos agile 8 since begining 5/3/1. My hate for doing mobility stuff has finally come back to bite me. It will take time to improve and I will keep plugging away.

As for the 531 cycle, it was the second cycle in the 6 week plan. So I had just come off 531 week and increased my TM. First session in on 5s week. Monday. So I decided to take this week as a deload week, drop my TM for my squat back to where it was 2 cycles ago so the weight is lighter and I can still train while the injury settles and mobility work can do its thing.

Hopefully by the time I get back to the number that the injury happened on, I will be able to rep it out as planned.

BTW I squat with a medium stance and low bar position (not super low just on the rear delts). I do have some forward lean and sometimes my squat does turn into a GM squat. Addressing this issue with lots of Ab and Lower Back work.

Cheers for reading fellas


Did you descend faster than usual with less tightness than normal? Especially in terms of squeezing your glutes hard as you descend?

That’s exactly what I did warming up at my meet on Sunday and it felt like my lower back was an elastic band that got over-stretched and snapped. Stiff as hell for a couple of days, found touching my toes in the shower with really hot water over the lower back helped heaps.

Lay off lower back and glute work for a few days and you should be fine.


Thanks for the tips. I think I was due for a re set on my squat any how.
Have you had any luck with using the reverse hyper for rehabbing lower back and or general strength in the area?


Luckily I haven’t been in a position to need to rehab my back.

However, I do make a point of using the reverse hyper whenever I deadlift and it does seem to do me good. Also, it is possible that my regular use of the reverse hyper prevented what happened on Sunday from doing serious damage.

I think that if you have access to one, use it.

Mainly, I think improving and maintaining good mobility is the most effective way to prevent injury. It needn’t take long, you just need to find a method that works for you.


Good thing I just bought one to add to the garage gym haha.


Very true. I did some today, felt great where my back strained.


Can you recommend a particular mobility routine that you may have found to be helpful with squatting?


I wish I could, but I know very, very little about mobility. I’m just lucky because I’ve never had issues hitting depth pain free.

For what it’s worth, I have a ‘joint opening’ routine I do every time I train. It’s basically nothing more than moving my joints in circles from ankles to neck. It looks dumb but works for me and takes about five minutes. Think hip circles, knee circles, shoulder rotations and dislocates with a band, etc. Then I do some bodyweight squats with exactly the same cues as my squat - but not many, just five or so. Then I do a couple of sets on the empty bar and slowly add plates.

I’ve heard goblet squats recommended to help, but I’ve never really used them. You can also hold onto the rack and go into a really deep squat and kind of slowly sway from side to side but I don’t bother with that any more.

The biggest thing that’s improved the safety of my squat is working hard on squeezing my glutes from the unrack to the hole. It’s taken away maybe 90% of my buttwink. It feels weird at first but after a few weeks gets more natural.


Thanks will try that for sure. Hamstrings and ankles are really tight for me. May have to go full mobility freak for a while to the issues ironed out. Thanks for your help mate.
Much appreciated.


Here are a few fixes that might help in the meantime:

  • Oly shoes (if you’re not already using them). I started out using them and only transitioned to flats after about a year. This may have helped slowly improve my ankle mobility. Whatever they do in that respect, they will make your life easier. I personally don’t like how they change my centre of gravity any more, and how it’s harder to grip the floor with your feet and drive them apart but that may not be an issue for you.

  • lacrosse ball in the hamstrings. Painful, but effective. Tape four golf balls to it in a pyramid for serious digging in.

  • Don’t neglect the glutes and lower back either. My favourite for this is to sit on the floor with my knees at 45 degrees and toes up. Then I hug my thighs and pull my chest to them. Once there, I extend my knees until I feel a stretch in my lower back and glutes/hams. Then I sit back up and then roll backwards until my feet touch the floor behind my head. If you do this and keep your knees locked and also grip your toes you’ll get an insane stretch from traps to hamstrings. I do this at the end of every session. It took me a while to be able to do. Start by throwing your feet backwards, using the momentum to help you. Grab your toes to stop yourself flipping back over. Eventually you’ll be able to do it in a controlled manner. I hope that made sense. If not, I can probably knock you up a video. Also, simple standing toe touch. I might have mentioned before, of you’re really tight get under a hot shower and do it with the jet on your hams/glutes.

  • there’s a thing I read about where you stand facing a wall with one foot in front of the other, toe touching the wall. Keeping that toe’s heel down, push your knee into the wall. Apparently if you can touch the wall with your knee without raising your heel that’s an indicator of decent ankle mobility. Also, if you can’t, you keep practicing until you can.

  • play around with a more vertical shin angle. Works for some, not for others. I think generally it works better with a wide (well over shoulder width) stance and splayed feet in flats, which isn’t effective for many raw lifters, but you’ll never know until you try. I used to squat that way but since moved my stance in to around shoulder width or a tad wider and it worked better, but I still have pretty splayed toes (45 degrees or so). Just be aware that if you’re used to squatting medium/narrow with fairly front pointed feet the squat will feel very different that way.


Have a look at band distraction and milligans. It’s amazing how quickly that shit fixes mobility issues


De Franco Agile 8.
Recommanded by the author. Can be found on t-nation, on youtube. Really good in my opinion.


Great stuff above

-Band Distractions and band dislocates are 2 of my favorites for upper body/shoulders. Its easier to reach back to the bar, and stay upright when squatting when your chest, shoulders and upper back are feeling good.

-I’ve been doing the “roll-over” exercise since I was 11, in middle school wrestling practice. At first I thought the older guys were playing a joke on me. It’s cool to see that drill is world-wide.

-I read about the knee over the toe drill in a Mike Boyle article last month. At first, my knee was all over the place, now things move much smoother. I think some of my lack of mobility or flexibility, was just moving wrong.

To try to stay more upright, I’ve been doing lots of lunges in place, step ups and suitcase walks. I hold a dumbbell in 1 hand( the off hand) and focus on using my abs and and obliques to keep straight and square.

This stuff is easy to toss in during warm ups, or between sets. Or during mobility/recovery sessions. Or while you catch your breath during your conditioning. It doesn’t have to be endless and boring.


Thanks very much for the Tips guys. Much appreciated