T Nation

Back Warmup Before Before Squat?


I posted a thread a while back with my routine and I got a lot of crap for not including squats. My reason was because of previous unrelated knee injuries. It made me think maybe I didn't give squats enough of a chance.

Well I found front squats to be very comfortable for my knees and for the past 2 weeks I've been doing 5 sets with just the bar during every full body workout mwf.

Now I'm adding weight but my chronic lower back soreness makes me nervous. The pain is a combination of work, a lot of driving (sitting) and probably neglecting lower back workouts. It's not debilitating but it's a soreness that never really goes away. Some says better than others.

Today I did 5 sets, the first with just the bar, the second with a 10 on each side, then 2 sets with 25 on each side, and the last I pushed out 2 reps with 135 lbs with what felt like good form. Ass to the ground, elbows up, Chest out back straight. I didn't hurt my back but I felt the problem area get tension and I didn't like the feel.

Long story short what can I do to properly warm up my back to prevent injury, and should I stay away from heavy weight.


Is it one side of the low back or both?

When you say it doesn't go away completely, what is it on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being a barely noticeable soreness, 5 being substantially painful and 10 being agonizing pain?

How much ab work do you do?

How much glute work do you do?


it's probably more likely you need to warm up your glutes and core before squatting, instead of your back.

It's not always the case, but, speaking generally, soreness in the ole lower back is due to your core and glutes not being up to snuff. What happens is the low back has to pick up the slack from your weak core/glutes. So even though the problem feels like it's your back (as that's where the pain is) you actually need to strengthen core and hips.

As a warm up, something like:

-Bird Dogs 3 x 15
-Side Lying Clams 3 x 20
-Glute Bridges 3 x 20

Should make a big difference. You can also do that as a little mini workout on other days.


lol, great minds think alike! As they say...


Yup! You're picking up what I'm putting down haha


Makes a lot of sense. Currently I don't do any direct ab work. So you might be on the right track. I change out my exercises every month or so.

Currently I'm doing squats 5x10, dips 5x10, Pullups 5x10, tricep extensions 5x10, Bicep curls 5x10

Occasionally doing heavier days 5x5


Also it's specifically one side of my lower back, the right side (looking at my back)

So I'll start out my workouts from now on with ab/glute work maybe some back extensions with no weight.

I know I have a strong back for my size 5'6 155lbs. I can Deadlift 225 for 10 reps I've never tried doing much more and I do Bent over rows easily with 135 and Pullups with an additional 45lbs


do I stutter? Don't do that.


Gotcha. And no its text it doesn't stutter I must've breezed over that part


the stutter thing is just a joke. You don't want to to activation work for your already over-active erectors. Activate the glutes/core instead.


Roger that thank you for the input. Now to find and practice some good glute/ab exercises/warmups.


the one I posted is a good start


Saw those thank you. No idea what they are though haha so gonna watch some youtube videos tonight


Here's a twist. I don't think it's my lower back...I think it might be my hip abductor. It feels like between my lower back and upper glute


With a job where you sit allot you might want to take care of stretch out your hip flexors . In some cases from the long term sitting can cause them to tighten up and shorten which also can cause back pain due to them causing pelvic tilt


Bracing is also key. Be sure to breathe properly.


Well I actually detail cars so I'm Bent at a 45 all day long. The sitting is my hour long drive to and from work so I'm sitting 2 hours a day (I good at math) plus bending over all day it's like a recipe for something to go bad.

I'm thinking of buying one of those pads for my seat so it keeps me in an upright position


All good advice. Just wondering, why squat so low? Have you tried just breaking parallel for a bit to see how it feels? I know if I bury my squats I can't keep my glutes as tight as if I just break parallel, and that makes my lower back feel off.


That’s funky. I never have issues with my back deep in the squat. On the other hand if I am at parallel only I may sometimes get some intermittent ones. I find it really easy to stay upright in a deep squat.

Anyway OP, pretty much I think we are all in agreement here. One thing to do is to check out single leg glute bridges to see if there is a marked discrepancy between left/right sides in strength OR in feeling/mind muscle connection.

Hip flexors, adductors (groin muscle), tight glute medius, tight QL, these are all things that can mess with back pain besides actual ab and glute weakness or inactivity (which you probably need to address by the sounds of the lack of ab and glute work in your routine). Occasionally even tight calves or knotted up hamstrings do it as well, although less often than some of the others.

One thing you can add is pull-throughs. It’s a great exercise, you can load it up after you get used to the funky balance point, and it helps hit your hamstrings and glutes in a way that will keep pressure off your low back and help you recruit the muscles you need to.


Go to 2:30 or so, and watch how they use exercises like clam shells and deadbugs along with the roller to make sure the adductor/abductors are working correctly.

This makes the glutes go!