Squat Problems, Slight Rounded Back DL

I suffer from pretty bad flexibility problems (e.g I have never been able to touch my toes, just holding the bar when doing a squats puts a lot of pressure on my shoulders, etc…).

I noticed the other day that I have a slight bend of my lower back at the very end of my deadlift. I also noticed that I cant go below parallel on a squat. As soon as I try I tend to fall backwards. (I just joined a gym that has a mirror beside the squat rack). I tend to prefer front squats as I think the front weight counter acts by unbalance to fall backwards. I started stretching my calves and hamstrings a lot but I am not getting anywhere.

I think my hip flexibility is very poor. I even have problems crossing my legs when I sit down.


Any good articles on this? I need to get educated.

Also any good stretches, exercise and routines you guys might do to improve this?

Heck, do you even think this is my problem?

I am pretty upset since this is starting to affect my progression!!

I appreciate all the help.

Side Note: I can bench and deadlift more then I can squat! I think this might be all related. As soon as I do my first rep of my first set in squatting I get a huge burn in my legs and they go weak. Its like all my reps when I squat feel like the last one. Because of this I cant get through a lot of reps or sets and my squatting has been suffering big time. The weight I use is so low its embarrassing. I have no idea what is going on.

Joe DeFranco has two good warmups that may help your general mobility and flexibility. Look up his Simple Six and Agile 8.

Aside from that, people like Eric Cressey have written some great articles on this site about mobility. Look up Cressey in the archives.

I hope this helps.

Lots of options here:

i’m kinda in the same boat.

-check the “third world squat” article. pretty helpful on squat flexibility.
-have a friend or someone at the gym form spot you, and always try and get as low as possible with a straight back as you can.

hey guys I just wanted to say thanks. This has improved my squat. I can go just just below parallel now!!

i had the same issues. other things that have helped me:

1# - try touch ur toes, mark the spot then use stiff-legged deadlifts as a dynamic warmup.
although u prob cant keep your back flat to 90 degree, do it (w/bar) till ur back starts rounding, do 15 reps, put 5-10lbs on, do 15 reps. etc. till it starts getting heavy then stop. and try touch ya toes. it should have improved dramatically.

2# - get on the leg press.
set ur feet low on the pad, close stance, put 220lbs on and drop it to stretch ur legs out, it should keep pushing and stretching. push up till half way and then bring down again to stretch. do about 5 times, then do:

  • low on pad, wide stance
  • high on pad, close stance
  • high on pad, wide stance

hope it helps