T Nation

Lower Back very Sore from Squats

Hey guys, i’ve been doing Starting Strength since the end of October and have gotten really amazing results ((115 lb increase in 5 rep squat, 140 lb increase in 5 rep deadlift, 40 lb increase in 5 rep bench).

Thing is, my back is now getting really sore from squats (and deadlifts, but I expect that. There deadlifts.). So I filmed myself doing 3x5 265 lbs squats and I want you guys to check to make sure my form is good (mainly that my lower back doesn’t round)

Please view and comment.

I feel like your leaning forward to far at some point in the movement. This is causing your near back extension type movement at the end of each rep. Try doing some front squats. Its nearly impossible to make this mistake without eating the floor.

Kinda hard to see, but it looks like your back is rounding to me. It actually looks like it’s rounded for the entire bottom half of the rep.

Isometric view?

try to stand taller and sit back while leaning foward less, start strengthening your lower back as well

Your hips are coming up faster than your shoulders, making the last bit of each rep like a good morning.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Kinda hard to see, but it looks like your back is rounding to me. It actually looks like it’s rounded for the entire bottom half of the rep.[/quote]

I agree…it’s hard to see. Could you move the camera up so that the angle is “straight on” at the lowest part of the squat? Also tucking your shirt in might help us to see the angles of the back.

I also agree that the back may be rounding on the bottom half of the reps, especially in the second video. …But it is hard to see.

About the hard to see part, I tried to do my best, but that seems to be the best I can do with the equipment around my basement…actually I just thought of how to move the camera up more, but the power rack will still block the view of my back and lighting really can’t get better, I don’t know any way to prevent that.

I’m going to drop the weight again to about 230 or so and work my way back up to 265 and hopefully go past that. I think the weight is to heavy to keep my back straight. I’ll see, I’ll film myself today and compare my 230 lb squats to my 265 lbs. I expect the back rounding to not happen. I probably won’t post the video because it takes a long time on my computer plus the lighting will be bad so it probably won’t show up very well on youtube.

Your pelvis is tilted “back” you need to get a nice front tilt on your pelvis [as in put your butt back like a duck].

Pelvic tilt is the key. Also you need to stay more upright and keep your torso from leaning forward too much as people have said. strengthen those abs with some standing cable crunches and hit the Front squats for a bit.

-chris

Hey man, first off nice job with the big numbers increase! congrats. It looks to me (as somebody mentioned) that your back starts to round during the bottom half of the movement. You’re getting great depth, but you have to lean too far foreword to get it.

I’d suggest hammering on your hip and ankle mobility (i’m sure EC has you doing a fair bit of that already, just be diligent. Additionally, check out Tony Gentilcore’s training log for some good video clips of mobility work. Somebody said front squat. I wholeheartedly agree.

Another option would be plate loaded front squats. Really focus on dropping deep between your hips and keeping your back tight and up. Dan John says think muscle beach: chest puffed out shoulders back. If you have to temporarily reduce your squat depth to groove the pattern, it’ll pay off in the long run. Also maybe squat to a box or bench? Just some random thoughts, hope this helps man.

Ohh yeah, also you can never have too much core stability. I don’t mean 1 legged bosu ball db curls, but check out some of McGill’s work. Mike robertson talks about this stuff quite a bit. Bridging progressions, glute activation, and anti-rotational movements. Hammer it and your back will thank you for life

[quote]fisch wrote:
About the hard to see part, I tried to do my best, but that seems to be the best I can do with the equipment around my basement…actually I just thought of how to move the camera up more, but the power rack will still block the view of my back and lighting really can’t get better, I don’t know any way to prevent that.

I’m going to drop the weight again to about 230 or so and work my way back up to 265 and hopefully go past that. I think the weight is to heavy to keep my back straight. I’ll see, I’ll film myself today and compare my 230 lb squats to my 265 lbs. I expect the back rounding to not happen.

I probably won’t post the video because it takes a long time on my computer plus the lighting will be bad so it probably won’t show up very well on youtube.[/quote]

Yeah be careful I remember doing rippetoes and just tweaking my back from increasing weight to fast and letting my form turn to shambles. I mean it’s normal for your lowerback to take some sort of beating.

Yet it sounds like your lowerback is taking too much stress. Better to back off like you said and concentrate on form or give front squats a go also.

Doing any mobility drills/foam rolling before you lift?

Try this one courtesy of mr. Joe Defranco:D it’s one I use on lowerbody days. works wonders with some foam rolling try it out and let me know what you think

I’m honestly not sure if it’s a no-no or not, but when I first learned to squat in high school powerlifting our coach had us using a weight belt to learn to keep our backs straight. In fact, I used one up until about 2 years ago - now I pretty much naturally keep my back straight.

So maybe try a weight belt?

Maybe do front and zercher squats for a while.

also, work on your glute and ham flexibility

My workout partner had the smae problem today. But he has terrible flexibility anyways. Not that I doubt any of the advice already given here(I think the Front Squat sounds like a good idea), but maybe you should just drop the weight and conentrate on sticking the chest out more(basically what Rip suggests in his book)

Your lumbar spine is flexing at the bottom, work on it or squat a bit higher.