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Front Squat = Back Pain.

Today was front squat day (with heels on plates). Warmed-up, dynamic stretching, BW squats. Then, first rep of the first set with 95, I immediately felt some pain in the lower back, L5 or so, when at parallel. Of course being stubborn I still finished my sets but felt pretty weak and had back pain.

Just for fun I tried a back squat and I felt no pain or discomfort at all…deadlifts are fine too.
I benched yesterday and arched/contracted my back too much and felt some pain after the last heavy set for a couple minutes. I wonder if that could be related?

Thoughts?

If they cause you pain, I’d say avoid them. Unless you’re set on doing them for some reason. My guess is that it’s to do with your form.

How tight was your arch throughout the ROM? I find that if I don’t force myself to concentrate on keeping a really tight arch I sometimes tend to tuck my pelvis a ton at the bottom and my back starts barking at me.

Before I sink to into a front squat, I normally take a huge breath of air all the way into my diaphragm and hold it on the descent and exhale at the top. I do this for each rep. I really focus on keeping my torso tight and stable while doing front squats and I’ve never had any problems, even when I do not use a belt.

Try and take a deep breath and really contract your abdominals hard when you descend.

from a guy with back problems galore, i can tell you one thing, as soon as you feel a sharp, deep/visceral pain in the lumbar area, stop whatever it is you’re doing. go see a chiropractor.

Thanks for the answers.
Last night, the pain was just when I would squat, at a very specific angle.
This morning upon waking the pain is VERY sharp, mainly on the right side. I had trouble getting out of bed. Simply walking hurts. So I guess I’ll have to go see someone. I’m taking aspirin for the time being.

I was thinking, I recently began using a crossed arm grip on front squats instead of a clean grip, and by messing around I realized that the clean grip really forced me to arch my lower back, where the crossed arm did not. So MAYBE my form suffered a bit. I still don’t see why I would feel pain with less than 40% of my max, bad form or not.

This sounds very odd to me. I’ve got 2 fucked up discs in my lower back and I can’t back squat shit without feeling back pain. But I was front squatting 245 for reps without any discomfort. The front squat was recommended to me from other people on this site who had lower back issues as well. I think your doing something wrong. Maybe leaning forward to much? The stess of the weight should be on the upper back, now lower. That’s why I’m able to do them despite a herniated disc.

Either way, if it hurts your lower back then don’t do them.

[quote]tyrant fazz wrote:
from a guy with back problems galore, i can tell you one thing, as soon as you feel a sharp, deep/visceral pain in the lumbar area, stop whatever it is you’re doing. go see a chiropractor.[/quote]

Seconded. It’s actually the same with most sudden pains in the gym. Check your ego and leave. It’s never worth it to risk creating a real injury. Mistake I have had to learn the hard way more than once.

How is your ankle mobility/flexibility? My back fatigues on front squats but I suspect it’s due to my lack of ankle flexibility/mobility that forces me to lean forward in order to keep centered over my feet.

coincidentally, i have the same problem. i can back squat light weights, but front squatting hurts me. but i also have done a disk, so deadlifting and heavy back squats hurt me too. my problem arises when i hyperextend my back. see if sleeping on your stomach starts to bother you. anyways, definitely go see a professional, and also tell me what vid your avatar is from. good luck man.

Thanks for the replies.
I was at the gym today and being the stubborn SOB that I am, I figured I’d put my theory of the grip to the test. Sooooo I did front squat again, this time with the clean grip. But fear not, this time I had no pain at all, I even ramped up to 190lbs just to be sure I was okay. I really focused on exaggerating the lumbar curve as much as I could and I could break parallel no problem.

I realized the grip really helped my forcing me into a good lumbar position, where it’s pretty easier to mess it up on the crossed-arm grip, at least for me.

My back still bothers me so I’ll just keep on sitting straight in my chair and wait a couple days for it to really heal. Hopefully I won’t have to go see a professional, as I am pretty much broke right now.

I’ll be more careful next time, promise.

[quote]Nyral wrote:
Thanks for the replies.
I was at the gym today and being the stubborn SOB that I am, I figured I’d put my theory of the grip to the test. Sooooo I did front squat again, this time with the clean grip. But fear not, this time I had no pain at all, I even ramped up to 190lbs just to be sure I was okay. I really focused on exaggerating the lumbar curve as much as I could and I could break parallel no problem.

I realized the grip really helped my forcing me into a good lumbar position, where it’s pretty easier to mess it up on the crossed-arm grip, at least for me.

My back still bothers me so I’ll just keep on sitting straight in my chair and wait a couple days for it to really heal. Hopefully I won’t have to go see a professional, as I am pretty much broke right now.

I’ll be more careful next time, promise.[/quote]

Everytime I see a post by you I never get to reading it because I just stare at your avatar for a good 2 minutes.

[quote]kingbeef323 wrote:
Nyral wrote:
Thanks for the replies.
I was at the gym today and being the stubborn SOB that I am, I figured I’d put my theory of the grip to the test. Sooooo I did front squat again, this time with the clean grip. But fear not, this time I had no pain at all, I even ramped up to 190lbs just to be sure I was okay. I really focused on exaggerating the lumbar curve as much as I could and I could break parallel no problem.

I realized the grip really helped my forcing me into a good lumbar position, where it’s pretty easier to mess it up on the crossed-arm grip, at least for me.

My back still bothers me so I’ll just keep on sitting straight in my chair and wait a couple days for it to really heal. Hopefully I won’t have to go see a professional, as I am pretty much broke right now.

I’ll be more careful next time, promise.

Everytime I see a post by you I never get to reading it because I just stare at your avatar for a good 2 minutes.[/quote]

I know, it does that to people. Watch the whole video, maybe it’s gonna be easier to read my post then.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoE6aLUoSgk

[quote]Rhino Jockey wrote:
Before I sink to into a front squat, I normally take a huge breath of air all the way into my diaphragm and hold it on the descent and exhale at the top. I do this for each rep. I really focus on keeping my torso tight and stable while doing front squats and I’ve never had any problems, even when I do not use a belt.

Try and take a deep breath and really contract your abdominals hard when you descend. [/quote]

X2, this is very important.