T Nation

Improving Flexibility for ATG Squat


#1

In my squat I go down as far as possible(in the hole resting on my calves). The problem is, my lower back rounds out at the bottom. What I noticed is that squatting like this doesn't bother me directly(i.e. during or immediately after squatting) rather, my lower back really hurts after standing or sitting for periods of time.

When standing this also bothers my hips. I went to my Doctor and was told that there is nothing really wrong with my back or spine. She also checked my joints and she said they're all fine. So, anyway, I have been doing the Agile 8 to improve my flexibility and also been stretching out my hamstrings and hips most days. Also, it seems as though my stomach sticks out kind of far, even though I have a low body fat, could this be tight hamstrings pulling on my pelvis causing this? Also, in addition to the Agile 8 and stretching, is there anything else I should be doing for my flexibility?


#2

Post a video of your squat, and a link to another athlete squatting the style you want to mimic.


#3

How’s your pelvic tilt while standing? It sounds as though you’ve got posterior pelvic tilt. If you’re in this position all the time, you’ll notice it in the lower back. I still feel this although my pelvic attitude has drastically improved since the days when I was a performance athlete. Search for “posterior tilt” in the search function in order to find a myriad of corrective exercises.

That said, I think a lot of your troubles have to do with tightness, stability and strength rather than with flexibility. Work on your core and spinal erector strength. Do timed paused goblet squat or front squat holds in the lowest position possible without rounding your back and really focus on maintaining a neutral spine. Be sure to really loosen up your hip joints and flexors before squatting.


#4

I wouldn’t ‘rest’ on your calves. Keep tension on your legs the whole time. Sometimes when I squat atg, I have to be careful not to just bounce off my calves and maintain tension otherwise I get excessive tail tuck and get the same back tenderness like you describe.


#5

excellent article by Mike Robertson right here on T- Nation.


#6

Should help a bit.


#7

[quote]kgildner wrote:
How’s your pelvic tilt while standing? It sounds as though you’ve got posterior pelvic tilt. If you’re in this position all the time, you’ll notice it in the lower back. I still feel this although my pelvic attitude has drastically improved since the days when I was a performance athlete. Search for “posterior tilt” in the search function in order to find a myriad of corrective exercises.

That said, I think a lot of your troubles have to do with tightness, stability and strength rather than with flexibility. Work on your core and spinal erector strength. Do timed paused goblet squat or front squat holds in the lowest position possible without rounding your back and really focus on maintaining a neutral spine. Be sure to really loosen up your hip joints and flexors before squatting.[/quote]

well, when standing I think my stomach comes out a little bit. I would say almost as far as my chest. however, wouldn’t posterior tilt cause a lessening of the lumbar curve, not an exaggeration of it?


#8

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I wouldn’t ‘rest’ on your calves. Keep tension on your legs the whole time. Sometimes when I squat atg, I have to be careful not to just bounce off my calves and maintain tension otherwise I get excessive tail tuck and get the same back tenderness like you describe. [/quote]

Ill have to think about this next time I squat. I didn’t think I was literally “resting” on my calves. But, maybe I am. Ill try to consciously keep my tightness in the hole. Also, Ive been trying to arch my lower back harder while squatting. Is that right, or maybe is that bad also?


#9

[quote]Young33 wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I wouldn’t ‘rest’ on your calves. Keep tension on your legs the whole time. Sometimes when I squat atg, I have to be careful not to just bounce off my calves and maintain tension otherwise I get excessive tail tuck and get the same back tenderness like you describe. [/quote]

Ill have to think about this next time I squat. I didn’t think I was literally “resting” on my calves. But, maybe I am. Ill try to consciously keep my tightness in the hole. Also, Ive been trying to arch my lower back harder while squatting. Is that right, or maybe is that bad also?[/quote]

It’s good… assuming you’re also you’re also contracting your abs and obliques and glutes really hard kind of like in a plank. I think of it as trying to push my entire midsection out while trying to crack a walnut with my glutes.


#10

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]Young33 wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I wouldn’t ‘rest’ on your calves. Keep tension on your legs the whole time. Sometimes when I squat atg, I have to be careful not to just bounce off my calves and maintain tension otherwise I get excessive tail tuck and get the same back tenderness like you describe. [/quote]

Ill have to think about this next time I squat. I didn’t think I was literally “resting” on my calves. But, maybe I am. Ill try to consciously keep my tightness in the hole. Also, Ive been trying to arch my lower back harder while squatting. Is that right, or maybe is that bad also?[/quote]

It’s good… assuming you’re also you’re also contracting your abs and obliques and glutes really hard kind of like in a plank. I think of it as trying to push my entire midsection out while trying to crack a walnut with my glutes. [/quote]

ok, that makes sense. Also, someone mention having weak abs could be a contribution. I know my erectors are not weak(comparatively) however, I do not do much direct ab work. Could this only help the problem?


#11

[quote]Young33 wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]Young33 wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
I wouldn’t ‘rest’ on your calves. Keep tension on your legs the whole time. Sometimes when I squat atg, I have to be careful not to just bounce off my calves and maintain tension otherwise I get excessive tail tuck and get the same back tenderness like you describe. [/quote]

Ill have to think about this next time I squat. I didn’t think I was literally “resting” on my calves. But, maybe I am. Ill try to consciously keep my tightness in the hole. Also, Ive been trying to arch my lower back harder while squatting. Is that right, or maybe is that bad also?[/quote]

It’s good… assuming you’re also you’re also contracting your abs and obliques and glutes really hard kind of like in a plank. I think of it as trying to push my entire midsection out while trying to crack a walnut with my glutes. [/quote]

ok, that makes sense. Also, someone mention having weak abs could be a contribution. I know my erectors are not weak(comparatively) however, I do not do much direct ab work. Could this only help the problem?[/quote]

Maybe, it’s hard to know without seeing your squat or what your natural posture looks like. Tight hip flexors can contribute too. Even shoulder stiffness and immobility can contribute because sometimes a person will overarch their low back to compensate and end up in one of the types of APT. I hope that helps some.