T Nation

Exercises In Lieu of Squat?

After about 1 to 2 days of doing squat, I’m getting low back pain that persists for 2-3 days. I figure this could be due to one or more of the following:

-While I’m doing lower weight, 135-175 per set, I’m doing 4 Sets of 10.

  • Maybe some other compensatory muscles are weak, causing me to kill my form.

I’m thinking there may be other exercises I can do instead of squat, possibly to strengthen my back so I can eventually go back to squat. Any solutions others have found to work?

Split squats
Step ups
Sissy squats
Prowler work
Anything that doesn’t load the spine and cause compression.
For me, back pain sometimes originates from tight hams, so I do some kind of hamstring work before squatting --> like any type of leg curls. Then stretch the hams out.

To strengthen the lower back, I would recommend GHR, hypers, or good mornings. Good mornings would be my pick, but not until you find out why your back is hurting. Make sure you are doing some good core exercises like ab wheel roll-outs.

I do no direct core work right now. Basically, all compound weight lifting and one isolation. Maybe that’s my problem.

You probably have some severe butt wink going on. Post a video your squat.

Just learn how to squat properly, and film it so you know what is going on. There are some good videos that explain how to squat, I would recommend the one on Mark Bell’s youtube channel with Ed Coan. But the main thing is your case is not to allow your back to round, and if that means not squatting very deep for now then so be it. Squat as deep as you can without any change in spinal position.

You could start off with goblet squats (can hold a 25lb plate rather than kettlebells, same thing) for now before you put a bar on your back.

Show us some vids of your squat.

I reckon this can be fixed proper. For quality of life and lifting in the long term. I can point u towards some resources that worked well for me.

Short term for now find a work around depending on your aggravating factors

e.g. if high volume triggers u than do low volume
If heavy weights trigger ur pain than less weight e.g. split squats unilateral work, if certain positions trigger u than avoid