T Nation

Lower Back Treatment from Squats and DLs

If you do squats and DL regularly, you know the lower back takes a pounding so how do you take care of your lower back so it stays limber and injury-free?

Me, I like to stretch before and after a workout, and do some back extensions to get some circulation going. They say you shouldn’t really foam roll the lower back unless you do it gently and not actually roll on it. There’s some mornings when i wake up my lower back is really stiff but it gets better after a few hrs.

Is there anything else I could do to treat the lower back?

The more often I squat, the better my lower back feels

Now Im squatting 4-7 times per week and it never hurts lol

activate and strengthen dem glutes

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
activate and strengthen dem glutes[/quote]

already part of routine.

Just stick to high frequency squatting and skip the high frequency pulling.

The former shouldn’t stress the lower back that much if done correctly.

had this problem tight,sore in the mornings etc, what caused it and got rid of it was basically streaching the shit out of the lats and glutes,supposedly oposite glute lat kinda work together and if there tight youl fell it in the lower back…i mean really streching lats,what works for me is use the close grip attachment your straps and hang,hang,hang for as long as you can…saw it on a dc training article…good luck

[quote]bluerock wrote:
If you do squats and DL regularly, you know the lower back takes a pounding so how do you take care of your lower back so it stays limber and injury-free?

Me, I like to stretch before and after a workout, and do some back extensions to get some circulation going. They say you shouldn’t really foam roll the lower back unless you do it gently and not actually roll on it. There’s some mornings when i wake up my lower back is really stiff but it gets better after a few hrs.

Is there anything else I could do to treat the lower back? [/quote]
There are so many stretches you could be doing, so what you’ve said is lacking some major detail

I guess hip flexors, hamstrings (2 types - legs together and legs spread), and lats are the big ones I’ve found - if that helps

(you can also get the hip flexors from different angles if you want to try it)
(…and lats of course)

I’ve also found some weird things, like when my lower back feels better after I stretch my chest…I’m probly just weird though

You also didn’t mention abs. Planks and ab rollers are classic.

There is also another one someone showed me once that has really helped. Its just basic crunch, but with some extra details.

  • flex glutes
  • hold it for 5 sec
  • try to decrease the arc in your lower back if there is one during the rep

I think the combo of flexing glutes + abs might be really helpful for squats and DL since you get into the habit of using these simultaneously - but that might be minor. I think I feel it helping me on RDLs

2 other things that might be specific to me, and worthless for others. I decided some time ago to focus on RDLs under the idea that if I could “master” these, then my lower back would be in pretty good shape. When I could do a ‘stiff’ legged type of deadlift and train my mind to do it without using my lower back at all, then the pain would stop. Pretty much worked, sometimes my lower back feels a little tight if I don’t roll on my spinal erectors (thoracic) with a tennis ball, but it’s not really pain.

And the second (probably worthless for others) thing I’ve found is I do deadlifts right before squats now. My form is way better when I do this. And my glutes are… ‘hyper activated’ so to speak. Even though my tired legs are weaker, I think it’s worth it for me

Squatting and deadlifting shouldn’t really cause any problems with your lower back, so i suspect the problem lies somewhere else.What position do you sleep in? A wrong sleeping position can cause lower back stiffness (and shoulder stiffness for that matter). The fact that your stiffness seems to fade away during the day indicates that this could be an issue.

I’ve also found that high rep hyperextensions do wonder for my lower back, I do two sets of roughly 40 reps at the end of my back and legs day.

reverse hyperextensions

If your lower back still hurts cut out deadlifts and just do squats.
If your lower back still hurts after that don’t squat either.

You will still make gains leg pressing and with rowing variations,
won’t have squatters ass, and will be doing your spinal cord and
cardiovascular system a favor.

Screw that friends don’t let friends leg press, I’m hardcore cuz I
squat and deadlifts attitude. Most people that do them are like you
and don’t do them right and hurt themselves.

[quote]davyboy wrote:
what caused it and got rid of it was basically streaching the shit out of the lats and glutes,supposedly oposite glute lat kinda work together and if there tight youl fell it in the lower back…i mean really streching lats,what works for me is use the close grip attachment your straps and hang,hang,hang for as long as you can…saw it on a dc training article…good luck[/quote]
The lower lats attack to the lower back fascia so that might also have something to do with it?

[quote]davyboy wrote:
had this problem tight,sore in the mornings etc, what caused it and got rid of it was basically streaching the shit out of the lats and glutes,supposedly oposite glute lat kinda work together and if there tight youl fell it in the lower back…i mean really streching lats,what works for me is use the close grip attachment your straps and hang,hang,hang for as long as you can…saw it on a dc training article…good luck[/quote]

it never really dawned on me that tight lats could contribute to the lower back. I need to stretch more on the lats, thks.

[quote]squating_bear wrote:

[quote]bluerock wrote:
If you do squats and DL regularly, you know the lower back takes a pounding so how do you take care of your lower back so it stays limber and injury-free?

Me, I like to stretch before and after a workout, and do some back extensions to get some circulation going. They say you shouldn’t really foam roll the lower back unless you do it gently and not actually roll on it. There’s some mornings when i wake up my lower back is really stiff but it gets better after a few hrs.

Is there anything else I could do to treat the lower back? [/quote]
There are so many stretches you could be doing, so what you’ve said is lacking some major detail

I guess hip flexors, hamstrings (2 types - legs together and legs spread), and lats are the big ones I’ve found - if that helps

(you can also get the hip flexors from different angles if you want to try it)
(…and lats of course)

I’ve also found some weird things, like when my lower back feels better after I stretch my chest…I’m probly just weird though

You also didn’t mention abs. Planks and ab rollers are classic.

There is also another one someone showed me once that has really helped. Its just basic crunch, but with some extra details.

  • flex glutes
  • hold it for 5 sec
  • try to decrease the arc in your lower back if there is one during the rep

I think the combo of flexing glutes + abs might be really helpful for squats and DL since you get into the habit of using these simultaneously - but that might be minor. I think I feel it helping me on RDLs

2 other things that might be specific to me, and worthless for others. I decided some time ago to focus on RDLs under the idea that if I could “master” these, then my lower back would be in pretty good shape. When I could do a ‘stiff’ legged type of deadlift and train my mind to do it without using my lower back at all, then the pain would stop. Pretty much worked, sometimes my lower back feels a little tight if I don’t roll on my spinal erectors (thoracic) with a tennis ball, but it’s not really pain.

And the second (probably worthless for others) thing I’ve found is I do deadlifts right before squats now. My form is way better when I do this. And my glutes are… ‘hyper activated’ so to speak. Even though my tired legs are weaker, I think it’s worth it for me[/quote]

i’m constantly stretching the hip flexors, foam rolling and occaisional rolling on a tennis ball because they seem to be always tight. I found the psoas muscle especially tight particularly on my weaker leg but after paying more attention to it’s made a difference to my mobility and strength not to mention ROM.

What i didn’t mentioned was, I do atg squats, I mean rock bottom level so that takes added toll on the lower back/spine and my form is solid. And I don’t go for PR or any reps less than 4 due to safety. Far as Deadlift, I don’t think it’s as stressful except the usual soreness associated with DL, for me. Additionally, I rarely do squats and DL the same day.

I started doing hyper extensions and they seem to working, and I do them after all the main exercises.

Front squat.

[quote]bluerock wrote:
If you do squats and DL regularly, you know the lower back takes a pounding so how do you take care of your lower back so it stays limber and injury-free? [/quote]

Maintain the proper arch and it’ll get plenty of work without excessive pounding.

(ie. if you can’t, you’re going too heavy)

[quote]bluerock wrote:
i’m constantly stretching the hip flexors, foam rolling and occaisional rolling on a tennis ball because they seem to be always tight. I found the psoas muscle especially tight particularly on my weaker leg but after paying more attention to it’s made a difference to my mobility and strength not to mention ROM.

What i didn’t mentioned was, I do atg squats, I mean rock bottom level so that takes added toll on the lower back/spine and my form is solid. And I don’t go for PR or any reps less than 4 due to safety. Far as Deadlift, I don’t think it’s as stressful except the usual soreness associated with DL, for me. Additionally, I rarely do squats and DL the same day.
[/quote]

Why not simply listen to the more experienced people here that say that squatting with GOOD form (no matter how deep you go) will NOT overly stress the lower back. Rounding the lower back under load will cause excessive soreness or possibly muscle strains.

In my experience bad form will result in tightness, pain, and possibly injuries.

But I guess you are just after some new fancy mobility trick to add to your already extensive routine.

Unless you have engrained mobility issues, aren’t warming up and/or are performing these movements with poor form, neither squats nor deadlifts should necessarily lead to lower back issues.

A few pointers from my own experience: try tilting your pelvis downwards when performing squats and deadlifts in order to achieve the proper lumbar curve. I think it was Mark Rippetoe who wrote an article about this on this website and it really helps you prevent muscle soreness. Don’t forget to take deep breaths into your diaphragm while performing these; this will help stabilize your core.

And if you’re doing heavy deadlifts for reps, try resetting the bar after each rep so that you’re essentially performing a series of singles. So much can happen on the eccentric portion of the deadlift so you want to try to minimize momentum and room for error there.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:

[quote]bluerock wrote:
i’m constantly stretching the hip flexors, foam rolling and occaisional rolling on a tennis ball because they seem to be always tight. I found the psoas muscle especially tight particularly on my weaker leg but after paying more attention to it’s made a difference to my mobility and strength not to mention ROM.

What i didn’t mentioned was, I do atg squats, I mean rock bottom level so that takes added toll on the lower back/spine and my form is solid. And I don’t go for PR or any reps less than 4 due to safety. Far as Deadlift, I don’t think it’s as stressful except the usual soreness associated with DL, for me. Additionally, I rarely do squats and DL the same day.
[/quote]

Why not simply listen to the more experienced people here that say that squatting with GOOD form (no matter how deep you go) will NOT overly stress the lower back. Rounding the lower back under load will cause excessive soreness or possibly muscle strains.

In my experience bad form will result in tightness, pain, and possibly injuries.

But I guess you are just after some new fancy mobility trick to add to your already extensive routine.[/quote]

I agree with you about good form will prevent lower back stress but as anyone who atg squats heavy can vouch- all it takes is one bad rep and you will feel it. And at least for me, atg squats is hard to execute with seemless reps every squat session. With deadlifts, when going heavy you can’t help but have a little bit of back rounding. Right? So again as to the topic matter, the lower back does take a fair share of stress regardless of good form, at some point or another and was wondering what people do to treat their lower back area.

[quote]bluerock wrote:
I agree with you about good form will prevent lower back stress but as anyone who atg squats heavy can vouch- all it takes is one bad rep and you will feel it. And at least for me, atg squats is hard to execute with seemless reps every squat session. With deadlifts, when going heavy you can’t help but have a little bit of back rounding. Right? So again as to the topic matter, the lower back does take a fair share of stress regardless of good form, at some point or another and was wondering what people do to treat their lower back area.
[/quote]

  • “Bad” rep? I don’t know what you are talking about and I squat 4x-5x/week fairly heavy by TN standards. Also see the recent article about maxing every day.
  • That is why I said that you should perhaps skip the high frequency pulling earlier.
  • I disagree with your conclusion.
  • Also I’m not actually sure what you mean by “stressing” the lower back - normal soreness? Excessive soreness? Muscle strains? Tear?

Anyway, it seems you have made your mind up already before posting so my effort goes to waste.