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Can't Squat with Barbell - Need a Stretch

Not as in don’t want to squat or don’t like the move . . . just can’t get my hands on the bar.

I’m 6’ 1" and have monkey-arms (according to my wife) . . . so I should be able to do it, and used to . . . but now when the barbell is on my traps, I can’t stretch enough to get my hands on the bar.

This has caused me to do Front Squats and lots of Deadlifts, which are fine, but I want to fix the problem.

Anyone know of a good stretch to fix this condition?

Thanks

How far apart on the bar are you trying to put your arms??

You mean if you stand up, you can’t touch the outside of your shoulders with your hands?

This has got to be a case of you putting your hands in the wrong spot, I believe (unless you have a medical condition) it’s anatomically impossible to not be able to hold the bar. Maybe the bar is too far down your back?

(How far apart on the bar are you trying to put your arms??) Well, I’m trying to put my hands outside my shoulders so I can grab and control the barbell . . . the best I can do is place them where the collar is . . . or grab the plates.

(You mean if you stand up, you can’t touch the outside of your shoulders with your hands?) Correct . . . if I understand the question . . . I can’t bend my right wrist/arm enough to touch my right shoulder. Same on the left side.

As far as position on the back, I’ve tried a high position . . . about where the neck meets the back which causes the bar to ride on a bone and is uncomfortable . . . and I’ve tried positions slightly lower on my traps.

I just tried a broomstick . . . for me to touch the broomstick with both hands, the stick has to ride high on the back of my neck, just slightly below the ear.

If I lower the broomstick to my traps then I have to stretch my arms wider, which on a barbell means about where the plates are.

As I did this, I felt a real tightness in my front delts . . . which is why I think this is some sort of lack of flexibility/stretching issue . . . and can be corrected over time with the right stretching moves.

Wow…

In that case, you might want to either talk to a doctor, or begin some sort of stretching routine

I don’t know enough about flexibility to help ya out.

How old are you?

Someone that can hold the bar for front squat but not for back squat??? Now this is a first. Definitely sounds like a flexibility issue with front delts, pecs and lazy serratus anterior and the entire posterior shoulder girdle. A photo or vid would help.

TNT

53 years old.

I used to be able to do squats with the bar on my traps but although I’ve been lifting for three years now, there was a gap of over ten years where I didn’t lift.

I found a site that taled about SHOULDER DISLOCATION stretching to increase shoulder flexibility. Here’s an example on YOU TUBE.

I will try stretching consistently and if that doesn’t do it will go for medical help.

Sign up for a yoga class…problem solved

Hmm… I generally put my hands fairly close to my body when doing back squats, and I know a lot of other people do as well. If you bring them closer in, it helps create a more natural shelf to put the bar on your traps. That, and it helps keep your body erect. Not sure if this helps at all, but you may want to give it a try.

Look up Cressey or Robertson stuff. He’s pretty much good on anything with flexibility. Here’s a tip:

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/most_recent/widegrip_squatting_bad_sign_072006&cr=

You might be on the road to shoulder trouble.

[quote]SSC wrote:
Hmm… I generally put my hands fairly close to my body when doing back squats, and I know a lot of other people do as well. If you bring them closer in, it helps create a more natural shelf to put the bar on your traps. That, and it helps keep your body erect. Not sure if this helps at all, but you may want to give it a try.[/quote]

I’m with you on that. I tend to have my hands about a half hand width wider than shoulders.

[quote]Boss6 wrote:

As far as position on the back, I’ve tried a high position . . . about where the neck meets the back which causes the bar to ride on a bone and is uncomfortable . . . and I’ve tried positions slightly lower on my traps.

[/quote]

I think you “may” be positioning the bar wrong on your back. If you are placing the bar below where the neck meets the back, I’m not sure how you are keeping the bar up without rounding the back/shoulders/traps.

In any event, I have to use a pillow between the bar and my neck…you might want to try this as it may allow you put the bar higher up and still be comfortable. I know for me, that without the pillow (and its a full size bed pillow), i just wont do a back squat as it digs into me like your saying. Might be worth a try.

Today’s tip comes from Eric Cressey:

Wide-Grip Squatting = Bad Sign

Do you lack the shoulder flexibility to squat with your hands in somewhat close? If you really have to move your hands out super wide and take the bar position ultra-low to even get under the bar, you’re on the fast track to shoulder problems �?? especially bicipital tendonosis. Watch out for this danger sign and get those shoulders fixed!

Well . . . now that you scared the shit out of me . . . :slight_smile:

seriously, thanks . . . I did some reading on bicipital tendonitis . . . don’t think that’s it but certainly opens my eyes to real problems that may be lurking. I can’t put either hand behind my shoulder so I’m attacking this as a flexibility issue for now while watching for any worsening symptoms.

Will try yoga as someone suggested.

Many thanks to all.

[quote]Boss6 wrote:
Today’s tip comes from Eric Cressey:

Wide-Grip Squatting = Bad Sign

Do you lack the shoulder flexibility to squat with your hands in somewhat close? If you really have to move your hands out super wide and take the bar position ultra-low to even get under the bar, you’re on the fast track to shoulder problems �?? especially bicipital tendonosis. Watch out for this danger sign and get those shoulders fixed!

Well . . . now that you scared the shit out of me . . . :slight_smile:

seriously, thanks . . . I did some reading on bicipital tendonitis . . . don’t think that’s it but certainly opens my eyes to real problems that may be lurking. I can’t put either hand behind my shoulder so I’m attacking this as a flexibility issue for now while watching for any worsening symptoms.

Will try yoga as someone suggested.

Many thanks to all.[/quote]

No prob. I thought you might want to read up on it

[quote]Boss6 wrote:
53 years old.

I used to be able to do squats with the bar on my traps but although I’ve been lifting for three years now, there was a gap of over ten years where I didn’t lift.

I found a site that taled about SHOULDER DISLOCATION stretching to increase shoulder flexibility. Here’s an example on YOU TUBE.

I will try stretching consistently and if that doesn’t do it will go for medical help.
[/quote]

That’s an excellent stretch that has helped me a lot for shoulder flexibility issues… I wouldn’t do it rapidly like he does in the video though, that looks like bad road if you have shoulder problems.

[quote]Boss6 wrote:
53 years old.

I used to be able to do squats with the bar on my traps but although I’ve been lifting for three years now, there was a gap of over ten years where I didn’t lift.

I found a site that taled about SHOULDER DISLOCATION stretching to increase shoulder flexibility. Here’s an example on YOU TUBE.

I will try stretching consistently and if that doesn’t do it will go for medical help.

[/quote]

i just tried those out and they fuckin kill. im definately gonna be doing these for a while.

[quote]will to power wrote:
Boss6 wrote:
53 years old.

I used to be able to do squats with the bar on my traps but although I’ve been lifting for three years now, there was a gap of over ten years where I didn’t lift.

I found a site that taled about SHOULDER DISLOCATION stretching to increase shoulder flexibility. Here’s an example on YOU TUBE.

I will try stretching consistently and if that doesn’t do it will go for medical help.

That’s an excellent stretch that has helped me a lot for shoulder flexibility issues… I wouldn’t do it rapidly like he does in the video though, that looks like bad road if you have shoulder problems.[/quote]

is there any other way to do it? if you dont do it explosively you cant get it down there, i know i cant.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
will to power wrote:
Boss6 wrote:
53 years old.

I used to be able to do squats with the bar on my traps but although I’ve been lifting for three years now, there was a gap of over ten years where I didn’t lift.

I found a site that taled about SHOULDER DISLOCATION stretching to increase shoulder flexibility. Here’s an example on YOU TUBE.

I will try stretching consistently and if that doesn’t do it will go for medical help.

That’s an excellent stretch that has helped me a lot for shoulder flexibility issues… I wouldn’t do it rapidly like he does in the video though, that looks like bad road if you have shoulder problems.

is there any other way to do it? if you dont do it explosively you cant get it down there, i know i cant.[/quote]

You probably need to use a wider grip. Depending on your flexibility you may have to use a towel to get wide enough.

Cressey, Cressey and more Cressey.

Shoulder and Scapula health are sorely overlooked in about 90% of the population. Add resistance traning and you have the potential to aggrevate an already precarious condition.

Your shoulders aren’t broken but they need work. Rehabilitative work. Look to correct the problems now and I will bet you money you get a lot stronger/ A LOT FASTER.

that shoulder stretch should be done in a controlled manner. You shouldn’t be throwing your shoulder around like that. If you can’t do it slow, widen your grip.

[quote]will to power wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
will to power wrote:
Boss6 wrote:
53 years old.

I used to be able to do squats with the bar on my traps but although I’ve been lifting for three years now, there was a gap of over ten years where I didn’t lift.

I found a site that taled about SHOULDER DISLOCATION stretching to increase shoulder flexibility. Here’s an example on YOU TUBE.

I will try stretching consistently and if that doesn’t do it will go for medical help.

That’s an excellent stretch that has helped me a lot for shoulder flexibility issues… I wouldn’t do it rapidly like he does in the video though, that looks like bad road if you have shoulder problems.

is there any other way to do it? if you dont do it explosively you cant get it down there, i know i cant.

You probably need to use a wider grip. Depending on your flexibility you may have to use a towel to get wide enough. [/quote]

yeah i have to get wicked wide, im like the OP really long arms. it hurts of course, but it feels good at the same time. its that kind of hurt like it feels im correcting it, its more a burn than anything.