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Spinal Erector Imbalance, and Squat/OH



I recently discovered I have a muscle imbalance near my spinal
erectors after throwing a disc out of place deadlifting. The right
side has slightly more mass on one side.

So I've recovered and decided to take it a bit easier with squats and
barbell deadlifting by replacing them with single leg squats/pistols
and single leg dumbbell deadlifting. I'm getting good workouts, but
looking to improve.

Been doing high volume goblet squats, looking in the mirror I have
somewhat imperfect form where I'm inclined to place the load greater
on one leg than the other, and one side of the hip is inclined to go
lower :frowning: probably has to do with muscular imbalance.

I was able to correct the form visually with the mirror only when
doing goblet squats. I sure as hell can't correct the form with the
poundage of a full barbell and back squats though

Here are my questions:

What do you guys think about front squatting or OH squats with this
prior condition? How would you rectify evening out the muscle mass and
correcting form?

I just moved to a high-rise condo, they have their own gym downstairs
(this is hardcore as I don't have to go to another gym, but they don't
have a power rack, and only the shorter 5ft, 25lb barbells & a smith
machine. Weak.)

Should I buy a full Olympic barbell lug it out, and do some squats out
in the grass? I've been thinking it's worth the purchase.


I hope someone smarter than me chimes in. You might even want a consult by a real trainer/rehab person?

How much weight are you up to attempting on your back squats? Bar only? Lots of weight? Does the form break down as soon as you start using the bar? Problems with anything besides squats? (And I guess deads?)

I think that you should really work on stretching and muscle activation of your legs, hips, and back, and see if you find an obvious limitation. Start with Cressey’s articles here, I’ve seen the Magnificent Mobility DVD and it’s pretty good.

And you might want to continue pounding away at single leg work. Lunges, bulgarian split squats, etc. Is one side notably weaker than the other when doing single leg work?

As for buying your own barbell, it sounds like hauling a bar, and weights downstairs and outside each workout would be a workout in itself. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it would seem time consuming. Not to mention a rack would probably be useful.


Try these one arm at a time.


EasyRhino, zephead4747

Thanks for your replies

Generally, anything where I place the load on the back, my form breaks down.
I guess I’m now stuck at 135lb for squats, I just do them high rep to keep watch on the form (if I choose to continue doing this style of squat). Deadlifts are no problem to me visually, but since I clearly am exerting more power on one side, over time, this has become uneven musculature. I’m going to take zephead’s advice on the suitcase DL exercise. Three years of routinely banging out sets of 315lbs on DL caught up on me.

Concerning stretching, I plan on incorporating this more often. Dead guilty of not doing this enough. I can’t believe I waited this long until this kind of warning to begin looking into stretching frequently/efficiently.

Further, it’s damn strange, my left leg is much stronger and only has better balance doing pistols, I’ll easily get 2 more reps in. I’m going to start adding a few more reps on the weaker leg to compensate for this.

Again, thanks for the lift idea zep, I’ll do these on next back day (: (did these once a long time ago, and my obliques were screaming the next day as well!)


No problemo. And yes, you should get the olympic set.


A spinal erector imbalance MAY indicate that you are substituting lumbar extension for hip extension on that side.

If this is the case, check your glute activation on that side. If you find that it is not up to par with the other side, start with some light hip flexor stretching followed by glute activation.

Just a thought