T Nation

Painful Bar Placement With Squats

 My spine sticks out near the end of my neck and it causes severe pain when I try to brace the bar there for squats.

I’ve asked a few family members with medical expierience and they say I’ll grow and eventually my spine will be normal… however, I feel that there is actually something wrong with my spine being visible the way it is.

I tried to take pictures but they wouldnt turn out, any signs I should look for in case this is serious, or should I just avoid squats :frowning:

Put a towel or some other type of padding between you and the bar.

Do dead lifts. They’ll make you grow traps, and then they’ll cusion you from the bar.

Good luck.

Thanks for the info. I just tried using the hood on my hooded sweatshirt as a cushion but it didnt help… I’ll see if deadlifts help over time, and I’ll try the towel method.

let the bar travel lower down your back, sitting lower on your traps, not so high on the neck. You’ll have to really grab the bar and squeeze it apart when you do this, but it should help.

Just in case you are worried, described above is a normal way to “wear” the bar for back squats. When I do back squats my bar sits around where my rear delts connect to my back.

If you’re talking about the bump im thinking of that’s too far up on the neck.Push your shoulders up and back a bit and feel your traps. There’s a little shelf above them and this is where the bar should go across. If you put it higher up it makes you lean forward more and it sits on the vertebrae that aren’t overlapped with muscle at the near bottom of the neck.

Does there happen to be a video or picture of the correct placement?
I searched images and all I could find was “special” bar placements for more specialized workouts.

I’ve never been able to squat any other way than forementioned. When I squat this way I notice that not only does the bar stay in place but if I hold my elbows back and up, the bar can rest on my delts, at the same time my hands are pushing the bar forward. I don’t know if you can visualize that.

Oh, guy in the pic needs to squat more, and consider some calf presses.

if you still can not figure it out, do front squats. I used to have to use padding, then i realized i had to the bar down lower, all nice now, no padding.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
I’ve never been able to squat any other way than forementioned. When I squat this way I notice that not only does the bar stay in place but if I hold my elbows back and up, the bar can rest on my delts, at the same time my hands are pushing the bar forward. I don’t know if you can visualize that.

Oh, guy in the pic needs to squat more, and consider some calf presses. [/quote]

Good picture, and good advice to try the low bar position.

But don’t hold your elbows back and up. You should try to get them under the bar. If you have trouble getting the bar to rest on your rear delts like that, bring the hands in closer.

Real anatomists can chime in anytime. Everyone has a lump at the base of the back of the neck. The bar shouldn’t sit on that, but on the grooves of the
scapulae

Back view:
http://www.innerbody.com/image/skelbov.html

Spine view:

See yall arent following me already. My spine sticks out for about four inches from the bottom of my neck. That whole area is too painful to have a bar resting on it.

If any portion of your spinal column is literally protruding four inches out from the rest of your body, you don’t need bodybuilding advice, you need medical advice. I’m not being a smartass, there’s something seriously wrong with what you are describing.

You may want to look at getting yourself a ‘Manta Ray’

They are a cadillac of comfort for squatting. I have been using one for years now. I actually bought one for my girlfriend for Xmas because she kept thieving mine out of my gym bag.

The bar shouldn’t be on your neck. It should be below it.

If you are still having a problem with the bar being uncomfortable, then you should put some meat on your back.

Try bringing your grip width in and the bar down. And remember, squatting is not supposed to be comfortable.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
I’ve never been able to squat any other way than forementioned. When I squat this way I notice that not only does the bar stay in place but if I hold my elbows back and up, the bar can rest on my delts, at the same time my hands are pushing the bar forward. I don’t know if you can visualize that.

[/quote]

You couldn’t have described a worse upper body position if you tried. Elbows hihg pushing the bar into your neck will do nothing but force you forward in particular when fatigued or attempting a limit lift.

Per another poster, elbows should be under the bar and it should be pulled down into the back. You should actually focus on fording the elbows forward as you come out of the hole.

The bar should not be on your neck. Everybody has the same notch in your spine you are describing and if that is where you are putting the bar it is too high. Move it down an inch or tow and really squeeze the shoulder blades together before you unrack the weight.

In all likelihood, you just need to build up your upper back and quit being a pussy.

Face pulls, kelso shrugs, traditional shrugs and all types of rows will help.

[quote]apwsearch wrote:

You couldn’t have described a worse upper body position if you tried. Elbows hihg pushing the bar into your neck will do nothing but force you forward in particular when fatigued or attempting a limit lift.[/quote]

How does it push you forward when the reference point from which you are pushing the bar to is actually not below the waste.

Oh my bad, I was actually referring to squatting the kind of weight that pulls itself down, due to gravity.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
apwsearch wrote:

You couldn’t have described a worse upper body position if you tried. Elbows hihg pushing the bar into your neck will do nothing but force you forward in particular when fatigued or attempting a limit lift.

How does it push you forward when the reference point from which you are pushing the bar to is actually not below the waste.

Per another poster, elbows should be under the bar and it should be pulled down into the back.

Oh my bad, I was actually referring to squatting the kind of weight that pulls itself down, due to gravity.

[/quote]

What?!?

Listen fuckface. If you don’t know enough about what you are doing to come back to me with something as fucking stupid as that you are on your own.

Had you not tried to be a smartass I may have helped you out. In the gym we laugh at people like you. So contine to regale other gym members with the squat form of a 14 year old girl with no formal coaching.

Just do these guys a favor and stay out of the beginners threads because you’re not helping anybody.

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
meangenes wrote:
apwsearch wrote:

You couldn’t have described a worse upper body position if you tried. Elbows hihg pushing the bar into your neck will do nothing but force you forward in particular when fatigued or attempting a limit lift.

How does it push you forward when the reference point from which you are pushing the bar to is actually not below
the waste.

Per another poster, elbows should be under the bar and it should be pulled down into the back.

Oh my bad, I was actually referring to squatting the kind of weight that pulls itself down, due to gravity.

What?!?

Listen fuckface. If you don’t know enough about what you are doing to come back to me with something as fucking stupid as that you are on your own.

Had you not tried to be a smartass I may have helped you out. In the gym we laugh at people like you. So contine to regale other gym members with the squat form of a 14 year old girl with no formal coaching.

Just do these guys a favor and stay out of the beginners threads because you’re not helping anybody.

[/quote]

Hang on twat, let’s get mad and throw around grade school names because thats an intelligent rebuttal.

I see what the problem is here though, little dick - big head has a problem with understanding the ergonomics of tensioning the bar in low bar placement squats, also known as “shelfing”.

Did I say anything about holding elbows high? No. Push the bar into the neck? No.

Elbows back and up is proper for low bar placement, ergo working different muscle groups; engaging the erectors more. Do you understand that as a focus of low bar placement?

Since we are recommending low bar placement/power squat technique, hence actually having some weight on the bar, so much in fact that YOU DON’T NEED TO PULL THE BAR DOWN! My mistake though, you can go back to your rudimentary bullshit.

OP, keep your chest up when using this technique. You will feel it more in your lower back and less in your quads as a result. All-the-same, it will help your placement problem.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
“but if I hold my elbows back and up, the bar can rest on my delts, at the same time my hands are pushing the bar forward. I don’t know if you can visualize that.”

[/quote]

Uhhh, yeah you did.

What you are asserting is incorrect. It’s not my problem you don’t know any better…you were the one who replied being a smart ass in the first place so don’t get all butt sore when somebody replies in kind.

[quote]meangenes wrote:

Elbows back and up is proper for low bar placement, ergo working different muscle groups; engaging the erectors more. Do you understand that as a focus of low bar placement?

Since we are recommending low bar placement/power squat technique, hence actually having some weight on the bar, so much in fact that YOU DON’T NEED TO PULL THE BAR DOWN! My mistake though, you can go back to your rudimentary bullshit.

OP, keep your chest up when using this technique. You will feel it more in your lower back and less in your quads as a result. All-the-same, it will help your placement problem.[/quote]

If by “up and back” you mean “down and forward” then you’re right.

OP this is dangerous advice from someone who obviously doesn’t know how to squat. Take it at your own peril.