T Nation

Squats - Rounding Lower Back

When squatting (full squats), at the very bottom of my lift my low, low back probably from the tailbone/sacrum to the L1-L3 or so on the Lumbar or something like that caves in and rounds on bottom of the full squat. What exactly causes this? How can I change my position? I use low bar squats, shoulder width, knees pointing out. I have tried making my feet point out more and less, and make my feet wider and narrower, and still get the same problem.

I do work on the foam roller and stretches regularly, and I don’t see it improving. I ordered some squat shoes and hope that they will at least help with this.

well your going to keep the bar in the center of gravity or slightly fward when you full squat your knees push into your stomache and the only way to keep the bar in the center of gravity is to round your lower back

thats the way I see it.

hard to say without pics or video. but…
a) you either have a weak lower back and/or abs.
b) you don’t have enough air in your belly and/or aren’t pushing out hard enough against the belt (assuming you use a belt)
c) you head is dropping down
d) your upper back (scap and traps)isn’t pulled in tight enough.
e) all of the above

whatever the problem is you need to correct it and stay as upright as possible (no rounding) not only is it safer but it actually makes the lift easier by keeping the bar path linear

[quote]robo1 wrote:
hard to say without pics or video. but…
a) you either have a weak lower back and/or abs.
b) you don’t have enough air in your belly and/or aren’t pushing out hard enough against the belt (assuming you use a belt)
c) you head is dropping down
d) your upper back (scap and traps)isn’t pulled in tight enough.
e) all of the above

whatever the problem is you need to correct it and stay as upright as possible (no rounding) not only is it safer but it actually makes the lift easier by keeping the bar path linear
[/quote]

a. Maybe.
b. I don’t wear a belt. Never had, and don’t plan on doing so unless I go heavy under 3 reps.
c. Dropping down? I don’t think so… I’ve tried looking straight forward and also have tried looking at an object 6-8 feet away on the floor.
d. I pull them in as tight as possible.
e. The only possible scenario is a. and I doubt that it isn’t strong enough.

it’s probably an issue of flexibility
stretch your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads before you go to sleep the night before and see if it helps.

What about a flexibility issue in my ankles? I think my ankle flexibility is poor and it is my main problem. If my knees were able to go further past my toes I think I will be able to maintain a tight arc when I go through the hole, instead of being limited in the ankles then suddenly being forced to dip down with the lower back. Could this be the main reason?

Anybody else?