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Hurt Lat While Squatting?


Ok, so today was squat day. I was warming up to my work sets with my 5RM of 280 pounds. At 245, I stepped out of the rack and felt this intense pain on my left lat. I immediately re-racked the weight but it was too late, the damage had been done. I had to skip the rest of my workout since it involved benching and power cleans, and basically, it hurts whenever I move my arm around, or breath with my chest. Any ideas as to why this might have happened? My inexperienced guess is that I wasn't tight enough...

And if anybody cares, I managed to work through the pain and finish my squatting.


I can't say exactly what happened but I know that if I have ANY pain in my shoulders/back before squatting I do shoulder dislocations with either a band or broomstick. If you're able to move it again try them. Sorry can't be of any much more help.


Do you know if you are squatting with the correct technique that the lats should actively be used? I know the vast majority of prople don't consider this and maybe some who know it are not using their knowledge. Basically there is a lot going on in a squat and you are going to be using more muscles to perform the exercise than just your legs. I realise that you were not in the middle of the rep when the pain occured but I have had an injury before which did not show itself until the following set from when I think I did the damage. Perhaps something similar has happened here? Apart from that, freak injuries do occur sometimes and we cannot do much about it.

Perhaps it was not such a good idea to continue as you may have made it worse but I know if it was me I would be frustrated and want to continue at the time myself. It does sound quite severe though if it is sore to breathe.


Thanks for the input guys. ballbag, that's what I thought at first, which is what meant by not being tight enough. I guess the best way to describe what happened is I felt my lat getting squeezed, It's much better now, I've been icing it and rolling it with a lacrosse ball. It still hurts, but it's much more manageable. Still, I'm curious as to why this might've happened, to avoid it in the future.


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Does it hurt more when you forcefully exhale or twist your torso? Wondering if it might not be your lat- look up 'serratus posterior inferior'...


Doesn't hurt anymore when I breathe, it still does hurt when I twist my torso though. BBB, sorry for my lack of details, I'm not a verbally oriented person. IT felt like something was being squeezed, or maybe flattened, when the injury happened.

It hurt to move my arm, but it mostly hurt when I moved it backward, in a rowing motion, or when setting my arms up for the squat. The pain while breathing was short lived, a couple of minutes at best, and it only happened if I took a real deep breath with my chest. It doesn't hurt much anymore, but it definitely hurts the most when I twist towards my left side. Does that help?


Hey I know this thread is long dead but I stumbled across it because I had the same injury as you. I went to squat, loaded the weight on me, took a step back and bam my mid back felt like it tightened/squeezed completely. I couldn’t breathe and twist at all. I rehab and stretched til kingdom come.

A few months later the same thing happened. I turned to body weight fitness thinking that squats were just going to kill me so I stopped lifting completely. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago I started lifting again and went back to squatting and felt the same pain but extremely minor this time. For some reason it didn’t occur to me the first time I got injured that it might not be poor squat technique.

So what I did was started stretching my shoulders and rolling out my lats (from the sides and back). Also, I found that the problem was actually coming from doing overhead press. I had shoulder surgery on my right shoulder so I have been overcompensating with my left. Due to this my technique was off leading to overusing my lat which appeared as an injury due to squatting. Pain is going away and I feel nothing but strong when squatting now. Just wanted to write this in case this has happened to anyone else as it helped me so much.