T Nation

Weak Lower Back


So the newest problem I need to bust through is lower back strength. If you've followed my log you'd know that I deadlift in the low 400s and squat in the low/mid 300s. You wouldn't normally think I could have low back problems with this dead/squat ratio, however I end up leaning forward on my squats (oly style) and it makes me fail on weights my legs can grind out. I've added good mornings and hyperextentions to my routine. I plan on doing some RE/SE beltless work after my ME sets. Is this really all I can do? Or is there anything else you've noticed helps you?


Good mornings and heavy weight hypers have help me, like u stated....also good morning squats


speed deads without belts? stiff legged deads hit my low back and hams real nice, rack pulls as well


I know you don't want to hear it, but Coan has my low back stronger than ever right now.


I use heavy good-mornings and high rep hyperextensions, also Superman's with a 45 sec hold for 20 reps. it works for me (545lbs raw DL, 420lbs raw SQ) also seated rows without using your arms just the stiff legged deadlift movement.


if your raw squat max is 80% of your raw DL max , wouldnt that indicate a squat-form issue ?

what happens when you widen your stance into a PL'ing stance ?


Falling forward in the squat often indicates ab weakness. Have you looked into that at all?


About 6 weeks of high-rep beltless Front Squats fixed it for me. I didn't undertake this program for that reason, but I was happy with the result.


What's a powerlifting stance for you? I'm built to pull. Very short torso, long ass arms, averageish legs.


I could maybe run coan again....


yeah, I've been doing ab work with my squats and deadlifts. I missed it today because I had to work. Standing cable abs and side bends.


Myabe I should drop the smith squats as my quad assistance and start doing beltless front squats.

decisions decisions.


I would vote for hanging leg raises, feet to face
ab wheel rollouts
and front squats
over side bends.



+1 on the core work. THat's probably where the problem lies.

Push it hard, go for weight and rep PR's.


What do you mean leaning forward(Oly style)? It kinda sounds like you just have some technical problems with your squat, not really a "lower back" weakness.


I found that what has helped me some on squats is really focusing on pulling my shoulder blades together and keeping my upper back tight. Same idea as the sticking your chest out thing I just find it easier to focus on my back.

And another vote for good mornings/core work. I've had similar problems and I started doing more good mornings, seated good mornings, and RDLs and it's been helping.


i have the same problem with leaning forward on squats.

in my case however i train for size so i can dance around the issue by performing leg press or hacksquats, basically any quad stimulation that doesnt involve freestanding.

let us know if you find the solution to the bug.


I don't really think I have technical problems, what happens is that When I'm squatting down the weight drags my torso down too and I lean forward and have to drop the weight.

Hanley iirc you were do a lot of beltless work a long time ago. Did you used to have the same problem and fixed it? Do you feel that beltless work is crucial for long term lower back strength when squatting?


yeah. I'll let you know. I know it's known for powerlifting and not odybuilding but I think the good mroning will help a lot. I also think that doing those when I do back and doing beltless squats (front or back) and more ab work will fix the problem. If you're even willing to go through all of that to squat again.


oly squat

powerlifting squat

those would be my interpretations of each style . high-bar narrow stance is more difficult for me compared to wide-stance low-bar .

but I would go with what Hanley and others said about focusing on ab and technique training. even though you train your abs already , they may still be weaker than your back.....which would make sense considering your DL . if your back is strong enough to DL it , your back should be strong enough to squat it.