T Nation

Squats = Evil


before reading, know that i did not say any of the following, or think it, or agree with it. what do y'all think of this?

Squats are possible to do without receiving heavy permanent damage, but in general they just aren't good. You are resting (in your case) hundreds of pounds on your upper spinal cord/neck, which is used to just the weight of your head, also what it is made to support. He basically said it can compress your spine and for the most part fuck shit up. There is debate about whether or not squats are bad, but I trust the guy who has been adjusting and working with weight lifters for years. He suggested lunges instead.




You shouldn't rest the bar on the bony process of your spine. The bar should be on the meaty part of your back/shoulders. If there is no meaty part, make one.


I personally am fairly shitty at back squat, due to the fact that whenever I start to increase the weight to substantial numbers, I hit a point in my training where I can't do anymore, but not because of my legs, but because of back pain. I have been training for most of this year using ass to ground front squat, which for me is a lot easier on my back, and my legs have never been stronger. I'm probably in the minority though, and I believe most people will agree that the back squat is one of the most important exercises in weight training.


I could be wrong, or misinterpreting, but Dan John seems to preferr the front squat over the back squat...


Any exercise will give you an injury if you do it incorrectly for long enough.


lol... Now that gave me a good laugh.


I agree on front squats. They are better IMO for functional leg strength, hypertrophy and present less risk of injury and long term damage to the body.

Back squats have irritated my hips, knees, lower back at various stages but worst is my rotator cuffs. Too much heavy squatting fucks my rotators. Think about the unnatural position your shoulders are squeezed into under an unnaturally heavy ass load. It ain't good.

Long live FRONT SQUATS!!


I prefer front squats over back squats myself. I get lower, and its easier on my shoulders now that I have switched to the olympic style grip.

Now excuse me while I get back to working on that meaty part.


I'd be willing to be that 80-90% of all olympic athletes use the back squat as their main upper body lift.

Not knocking on the front squat, because I like the lift (and use it plenty myself), but I would NEVER take the back squat out of my training.

If it fucks me up later in life, so be it.

EDIT: And by upper... I mean lower... I'm an idiot...


I prefer not to choose one over the other, I enjoy (or dispise...or enjoy dispising) both. Front squats definately hit my quads much better than back squats, but my hip and hamstring stength is more influenced by powerlifting style squats (obviously). I think anyone that doesn't utilize both is doing themself a disservice.

As for back pain, unless their is an underlying issue, generally if you check your ego, lighten the weight and focus on form it should correct itself. Of course developing a strong P-chain and abs should help as well.

To the orig poster:
Most people, including knowledable trainers, carry a bias towards certain movements or training concepts. Do you know why the person who gave you that advice holds the opinion?


Define heavy... ?


I like front squats bettter because they're not as easy as back squats. I'm a huge fan of clean and jerks--PLUS I'M A FREAK FOR SNATCHES! HAHAHAHAHAHAH! TOMMY PLEASE TELL ME YOU GOT THAT ON TAPE!


I generally front squat more than back squat because I've got no squat rack or power cage. With that said, I love both equally. I almost prefer back squats over front squats because I can handle way more weight on back than front squats (duh) with proper form, but front squats are unique and useful in their own way too.


What about using overhead squats or front squats? Personally this guys sounds like a total jack ass. You need to be careful when doing any movement "heavy". As long as the movement is performed properly, there should be no problems.


Your spine does a lot more than just support the weight of your head... if that was the case, you would become a cripple from just jumping up and down. Just because the ability to fuck yourself up with back squats exists doesn't mean that you shouldn't do them.

The same arguments exist for deadlifts: "Deadlifts are bad for your back -- don't do them!" My back has felt great ever since I've started deadlifting and my chronic back problems have gone away. Woudln't it follow that you could strengthen your spine (the associated muscles, to be correct) by doing back squats?

Anecdotally, I remember one guy on T-Nation saying that he was sure that heavy squats and deadlifts had saved him from becoming a paraplegic in a car accident.


I'm curious as to this 'compressing the spine theory' I could'nt believe when I got measured at the doctors this past week that I had shrunk a 1.5"

Now I don't know exactally when this happened. I am 42 and my doctor says its an age thing but I have noticed it the past year or so while standing close to ppl. I know that I seem shorter. I have been working out now for two years and am wondering if squats and Deadlifts are accually compressing my spine and knees?


Someone that I know sent that to me in an e-mail.


no. I got this info from a friend i've been trying to convince to start lifting for strength. i told him how great it feels to be able to lift a lot of weight, and he when he went to his chiropractor this is what he was told.


eh i prefer back squats because i can use much more weight,I cant use more than 180lbs for front squats and having the bar resting across my collar bone/shoulders hurts