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Lower Back Cramping During Heavy Bench

I used to train squat and bench on the same day, but recently, I’ve been cramping in my hamstring and lower back during bench. So, I moved Bench to a different day. First session on a different day went well.

However, today, again, I cramp on my lower back and hamstrings when I lift a heavy set for a single (not a max attempt, maybe 85-90%). It happens on the descend, I can feel it balling up, then when I try to press, it cramps, and I have to drop the weight and let the safety bars catch it.

Any ideas on how to avoid the cramping?

I’ve had the same problem and a lifting belt is what helps me. Also, just not arching so damned hard can help.

I forgot about a belt. my last session (not the one today) was the first time I used a belt on the heavy sets and I was able to press 325, no PR or anything, but I’ve failed at that weight for a couple weeks due to cramping.

I get a decent arch for my body, but not arching seems to cramp also. It is when I tighten my body before lift off is when I really feel it starting to happen.

Dehydration is the first thing that comes to mind, whenever I don’t drink enough water I tend to cramp up pretty bad. I also see some people talking about Magnesium? (don’t quote me on that) and how if you don’t have enough it can make you cramp up, so a multi-vitamin might help as well.

Before I lift I always have 1-2 multis in me (I take 3 a day, opti-men, makes my pee the most yellow so I figure it’s the best for me). I also usually have around 130 oz of water in me.

But, I do lift in my garage now, and it is very hot in there. I have been sweating through a couple shirts a workout.

So, maybe I’ll try to have all multis in me, a banana, and buy an industrial fan (was going to buy the fan anyways). Also wear a belt.

Any other ideas?

Low potassium. Get some low sodium V8 or store safeway brand vegetable juice. About 800-900mg per 8 oz serving, and only 50 kcal.

Make sure you are hydrated and getting enough potassium. You could also try to foamroll the places that are commonly cramping

I’ve had the same problem but what worked for me was warming up my low back with KB swings or back extensions. Just a light set or 2 before heavy benching.

thanks for the additional ideas guys. I bench tomorrow or Wednesday, so we’ll see on that session how it goes