T Nation

Sore Jaw and Throat from Heavy Squats?


I've been squatting for a couple months, and I've taken my back squat from pathetic to not-as-pathetic. The weights have started getting heavy for me (3x3@285), and I've noticed something strange. When I strain on the squat, I feel an intense burning soreness in my jaw and the front/sides of my neck (around my throat). It's really strange and uncomfortable. My legs and back feel pretty good, but my goddamn jaw and throat aches?!?

Anyone else have this? What does it mean? I guess I have weak jaw and throat muscle, unused to such strain? I assume it's nothing to worry about, but I wouldn't mind some reassurance.


Fish that's pretty weird, never heard of this before. Do you squat high bar or low? Also, are you hyper-extending your neck when squatting? You want to keep your head up squatting but not too much you know.

Other than the bar too high up on your back and pulling on your neck or hyper-extending your neck when squatting, I really have no idea.

Hopefully some more experienced lifters will chime in.



I'm squatting low bar, following Rippetoe's advice in Starting Strength. I think my form is actually very solid; that's what I've been focusing on. I don't think it has to do with bar placement, and I'm not looking up excessively. It feels like it's sore from just clenching or something, although I'm not sure what muscles I'm clenching in the front of my throat. I didn't notice the problem until I went from doing 2x5@255 to 3x3@275.


You might just be grinding your teeth and not realizing it. Have someone watch you. If it gets really bad, you may have to try a mouthpiece.




I get sore in the front of my neck sometimes from heavy squatting or deadlifting. It's just from tightening those muscles while straining.


I experience this every time I do a near-maximal deadlift - especially in the throat.
As skizac mentioned, you're probably contracting your neck and jaw muscles. I don't think it's anything to worry about, and it's never been an issue for me.


Can irritate by taking in by forcing in a big breath under load. make sure your stomach is expanding and not your chest.


Agreed. Happens to me after pure strength workouts. I call it the 'O-Face Lift' for obvious reasons. Original poster, if your face looks like you just went 10 rounds with Shyla Stylez, I'd say you have nothing to worry about.


Thanks guys. I'm glad to hear it's not too uncommon. I'll get back under the bar, make my O-face, and squat deep!


welcome to the journey of pain. you are about to become a man, son! :slight_smile:


Thanks for your post! I am in day 2 of sore jaw, chin, and throat area after 2 days of heavy WODS. I’ve been sore all over, but this was a first for me! Mine was heavy reps of wall balls, situps, kett bell swings, and toe to bar. Good luck to you! I look forward to hearing others comments on solutions.