T Nation

My lower back hurts while squatting.


when i squat sometimes my lower back hurts a little bit and gets really stiff. i have been having problems with my hip flexors when i squat, when im going down at the point where im all the way down i can feel my hip flexor hurting a bit, its always my right hip. could that contribute to my lower back problem?


Having an overactive/tight hip flexsor can and will contribute to back problems. I won't bore you with the reasons why (unless you are interested pm me) Before you get bombarded by E-doctors i will suggest you do the following

  1. Seek out the advice of a physio and have your hips assessed to figure out specifically what muscles are causing the problems

  2. Get familiar with the work of Eric Creasey and Mike Roberson. They have written tons of articles on problem exercises and dynamic warmups that help get hips moving correctly

  3. Search the t nation forums you are not the only person with this problem, a lot of members have had and overcame hip issues you might find a solution here

Take care and good luck :slightly_smiling:


psoas. hip flexors that insert into your lumbar spine. there is a hip pain thread over on the injury board. maybe check it out...


I would also get a form check from an experienced trainer, if possible.


I have the same thing going on, lower back pain and stiffness, during and after squats. My problem is the left hip.


since this problem i have also noticed problems with my balance. sometimes i lose my balance while walking.


i do all of my squatting after deads now, they warm me up brilliantly


One thing some seem to have skipped over....is that maybe the squat isn't for you.


I don't do the barbell squat much anymore because I got big legs from leg presses and machine squats. Paul Dillet didn't do barbell squats but mostly leg press.

Bottom line, if injury is being experienced, yes, you do want to find out why, but wasting time on that as if there are no alternatives is ridiculous. Think outside the box.


What kind of dynamic activation are you currently doing?


I also had back pain during squats. Realized it was because I didn't pay attention to creating enough Intra-abdominal pressure. Took care to increase the IAP during the lift and all was fine. Just a suggestion.


Of all the examples you could have picked, you selected Dillet? He could have grown pushing a lawnmower...

Still, point stands


I actually did gasp (jk)

I've been lurking and picking and choosing my spots to post for a while and I've always wondered when I'd have a chance to retort one of X's comments.

If the OP is looking for hypertropy of the Quad, Hamstring and Glutes it is very true that he doesn't need to squat. It won't make or break his day. Finding other exercises such as the Leg Press could maybe work for him.

I don't agree with simply ignoring the issue (I know you weren't implying this) because this minor back tightness could end up being a nuisance in his training career down the line. Not to exacerbate the issue but the hip flexsor inserts on the lower lumbar spine so any hip flexing motion is bound to aggravate it (including leg press). So even if Mr. OP leaves the squat for other exercises his same problem could come back.

I agree that he should work around the problem in the meantime while figuring out what the issue is 9 out of 10 times its a minor fix that can save headaches down the line.


OP its always safe to assume you have some form of Anterior Pelvic tilt, (most of us do thanks to the invention of chairs grrrr)

Try taking 15-25% off the weights you currently use and try this dynamic warmup/activation recommended by Mike R.

Foam Rolling
Glutes, hamstrings, calves, adductors, quads, TFL/ITB, peroneals (additional focus on quads/hip flexors)

Static Stretching/Activation
1A) Psoas or Rectus Femoris Stretch, paired with
1B) Glute Bridge
2A) Piriformis Stretch, paired with
2B) Side-Lying Clam

Mobility Training
Knee Hugs,
Pull-Back Butt Kicks,
Warrior Lunge with Twist,
Running Butt Kicks,
Crossover Overhead Reverse Lunge

Strength Training

Insert whatever you have planned for the workout

You should also look into what X brought up about finding alternatives if you get no solution.


i dont do any dynamic stretches before lifting. this never happened before until i started squatting 255lbs. i weight 185.


See above.
I've been doing dynamic activation since day one... and STILL have some anterior/pelvic tilt but am able to work with it.

s/b at about fifteen minutes of dynamic activition prior to warm up


Why in the hell does everybody in the whole damn world seem to think that the hip flexors play some sort of role in the squat and leg press? Do you guys actually pull your legs toward your chest?

Your hip flexors play no role whatsoever in the squat because there is no load and no stretch on them when the hip is flexed and the extensors are loaded.

There is a limited amount of involvement from the iliopsoas in the upright position to keep you from folding over backwards. As soon as you break at the hips, the erector spinae carry the load.

If you post to tell me I'm wrong, please include a decent technical explanation as to how exactly they assist or impede the squat. Reference material would be appreciated as well. Either I need to learn something or you guys do.

EDIT: To prevent myself from committing yet another threadjacking, post here:


x2. Unless, of course, you plan to compete in powerlifting...but I'd like to thinkt hat goes without saying. Having said that, I'm built pretty well for back squatting.


Derrr...I love how shit like this goes unnoticed on this website...cuz like you don't need to warm up your body for the movements you'll be doing that day or anything.


This is just one of many options that might help solve the issue. In reality 90% of people don't. Most just do a few warm up sets and begin their workout. There is nothing wrong with both options. If the problem started at 255 back off that weight for a bit. Deload and build yourself back up.

Try cutting down to 190lbs and add the Dynamic Warmup for a change and work your way back up see if that helps (just a suggestion)

I've really noticed that a lot more females are in APT than men. When I notice a female with great looking a$$ I normally out of habit attribute it to a severe case of APT before investigating further.

I have APT as well, It's def something you need to work with very hard to undo unless you're willing to change up a lot of lifestyle habits (NEVER!!!)

What's with the tone?

9 out of 10 threads on this site go to hell because of guys like you. Leave the emotion out of your response don't take the thread so seriously. I'd give you a hug but I don't think you're attracted to men (Hallowed care to spare a hug?)

This is exactly where we didn't want to thread to go, I don't want to play the "I'm right, you're wrong game" The OP is looking for a solution we are all offering advice.

If you'd like a response (Not getting overly technical) The Psoas major originates partially on the discs of the lumbar vertebrae as well as T12. Although other muscles are involved in Hip Flexion the Psoas major along with the Iliacus act as prime moves of hip flexion. Any time the hip of flexed they are active (hence when someone can't get deep on the squat often times its do to tight hip flexors or poor core stabilization)

Because the Psoas is attached to T12 to L5 when hip flexion is is taking place the lower lumbar spine is flexed. This isn't much of a problem for most people but for those with bad backs or issues with the hip flexsor this can be a minor problem.

I can go on from here and talk about how anterior pelvic tilt comes into play etc etc but I rather not turn a simple question into some form of Pseudo science.

The key thing to take away from this is, this isn't the end all be all, every "body" is different. Which is why we are offering many different solutions.

Ps. I wasn't trying to attack you, being passionate is great but there is a time and place for it.

One more thing, it was nice of you to start up another thread to continue the talk but my schedule consists of eating, sleeping, eating some more, work,working out, eating again and "free time" so I tend to not have time to post and follow threads maybe others will start and I'll just read along when I find the time.


Frustration, more than anything.

Awww, thanks, buddy. And thanks for copy-pasting from a textbook, but we're not really talking about active hip flexion.

Join us in the other thread, if you'd like.