Upper-Mid Back Rounding on Squats

So I injured myself a month ago while squatting wide and since then I’ve changed the way I squat. I now squat with a shoulder width stance and I look down when I squat. I used to look right up at the ceiling before the injury.

Ever since I’ve started looking down I’ve found it easier to go deep and keep my knees from going forward. However I’ve noticed that my upper to mid back tends to round a little bit at the bottom and then while going up till I’m in the starting position. As the sets progress so does the rounding, but my lower back is straight for the most part and I still feel decently tight on my upper back.

Should I be worried about this in the long run? I’m building my strength back up from baby weights so that I can really work on my form, therefore I’m squatting beltess and sleeveless. Oh and I’m a high bar squatter.

Hard to tell without video but from what you’re describing I wouldn’t be overly concerned. If you’re nothing pain, the weight is moving well and you’re getting stronger there’s probably not a whole lot wrong with what you’re doing.

No harm in working on improving upper back tightness though. Squeeze your scaps hard and pull your elbows into your sides. That’ll tighten your upper back nicely.

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There’s some extra soreness but nothing serious. I normally do a few sets of facepulls before I squat to help squeeze tight but I’ve noticed that its not doing much towards the end of my squats.

Maybe try some front squats. If you round your upper back much on those, you just have to dump the bar making it a good tool to learn what upper back tightness feels like. You’ll also strengthen those muscles while you learn how to recruit them while working the quads hard. SSB squat is also a great option.

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this is what my form looks like right now. From the bottom to the top. Is this really bad?

I like the SSB bar, skyrocketed my deadlift and got my quads growing like crazy. Sadly its not available in my current gym, but once summer ends I’ll be able to get hold of it.

I don’t want to be that guy, but if I see you in my gym squatting like that, I’d come to you and just tell you “You gone get fucked up real bad, homie” (ghetto eastern-europe voice)

this is how a high bar squat should look like, more or less

also Lu Xiaojun. perfect high bar squat (ofc, we can’t be as good as the best chinese lifter but we should strive for that)

I think your problem is weak quads and lack of tightness. You try to goodmorning the weight.

Start doing front squats - that’s like the best thing you can do. Front squats and posterior chain work - all you need. It’ll also teach you where your head should be, cause if you look down, you’ll drop the bar.


looking down is the problem I guess… I always used to look forward, but when summer started I started working out in a commercial style gym. So to avoid the mirror I would look up up at the ceiling and my back was always straight and tight. Its only now that I’m looking down and this is happening.

There’s nothing inherently special about looking down, straight, or up. The main thing is pack your neck and chin. Keep your neck in neutral. If you keep your neck neutral and chin tucked, you can only look down or up so much.

Also except in your first frame, your knees look a bit too inward. You want your knees to track your pinky toe.

I can’t tell if your shooting your hips back and up as you come out of hole or not based on those angles and only having frames to go on. But if that is an issue, front squats will help anyway.

Thanks. I’m squatting again today for the 3rd time this week, so it’ll be horrible but I’ll focus on keeping my chin and neck tucked in.

To me it looks like you are trying to keep your shins too vertical throughout the whole lift which is forcing your hips back which throws your chest forward/down. Focus on making your concentric and eccentric the same motion. On your way up try to create a cue for yourself a few inches out of the hole that tells your hips to come forward instead of straight back/up/


I do not have experience with this type of rack but the pins look moveable. Just put them on the other side of the rack and you won’t have to look at yourself.

I don’t squat infront of a mirror, cause I’m too damn gorgeous and can’t stop looking at my beautiful legs :joy: :joy:

Not to forget, try putting the bar a bit lower. Just slightly - 1-2 cm, I guess that’s almost an inch. You americans and your fancy system.


Just squatted again today and hit 225 (I know its not much, but I’m still injured and rebuilding!) for 3x5. Focused a lot on my head position and kept it straight while looking down. Made the work pretty easy, lower back was barely even rounding. I’ll spend the next few weeks working on that now. Thanks a lot guys!

I would do that but there’s another big mirror just behind the squat rack for the dumbbells so… :disappointed:

Depends on body type and sport, watch Ed Coan and Steve Goggins squat both huge deadlifters. Now go outside and try afew standing long jumps, try doing it face up back straight, now try it the natural way , big difference. The Olympic lifter squats different from powerlifting, needs flat back to carry over to clean and jerk and snatch. Go with what feels natural and don’t hurt, i lot of these training hall Olympic lifting videos they throw weight off back on last rep they squat with shoulder going backwards.

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Yeah front squats FTW.

Also what program are you on? -do you deadlift?

I was on 5/3/1 for 10 months but then I injured my hip flexor pretty bad, so I’m taking some time off and starting with light weights and rebuilding up from there. I’ll be starting 5/3/1 in a month or so

Yup I deadlift, before the injury my max was 435 and now I’m working 285 for 4x5 :neutral_face:. I’m adding weight fast so I’ll be at 315 for 4x5 by next week