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Weird Back Pain After Squats

Before i start thank u in advance to anyone for taking their time to read through all this.

Ok, i’ve never really done much squats but have just tried doing them in CW’s 10x3 for fat loss program, abou 2 sets into the set of squats my lower back is KILLING me. Is this normal if ur not use to doing squats? Could this just b an unfamiliar pump? also their r a couple of wierd things with this back pain. Firstly i’ll try describe it as best i can

It seems to b all at one point, really intense, feels really tight and feels like i need to stretch it out really badly by lieing on my back and pulling my knees into my chest and other variations of that stretch. I guess the pain would b the same as if u tensed your lower back in an extreme s-shape (stick out ur bum as far as possible) for a long time. I reckon it feels as if i’ve cramped in that area (if that is even possible…)

I’ve had problems around that area before, when i go for a run and if havnt warmed up properly that area kills me and i have to stop and stretch about every 50m

I’ve originally had mass back pains in that area before, (after picking up something as heavy as 20kg my back would hurt after i put it down) but that has mostly gone away (my back has been good for nearly a year now). I suspect these original pains were from muscle imbalances cause when i first started going to the gym where did the classic bench and curl workouts and I’ve been remeding that with deadlifts etc. and it seems to have gotten better untill now. I dont think my original back problem was anything serious cause i had x-rays, scans, everything and the doctor said they didnt noe wat was wrong, physio just said it was tight and needed stretching.

Also i think poor flexibility could contirbute to my back pain during squats i’m pretty sure my back is rounding at the bottom of the squat (i’m working on stretching hip flexor and hamstrings)

Also this is the REALLY WIERD thing: after squats my back is killing me, i move on to bent-over rows and my back still hurts (i’m stretching it btween every set), then i move onto romanian deadlifts (the exercise i thought would kill it) but this seems to get rid of the pain. After the set of romanian deadlifts i am relatively pain free!

Maybe my back cant handle the high compressive forces? but i am able to do shrugs with 150kg with relatviely no pain!

Also to b able to squat i put the bar on my bench press surpports. As a result to get the bar on my shoulders from the supports i am sort of doing a half ROM good-morning but i am really far forward on my toes

Also the back pain hurts the most when i am getting the bar up (as describe in previous paragraph) and after i put the bar down, it does not hurt during the set!

I’ve done this workout two times and both times have been the same

Well thanks to anyone for reading through all this, its much appreciated.
Any comments or suggestions?
I’m thinking of stopping squats and switching the hack squats, or maybe even front squats if i can get my wrist flexibility up.

Sounds like you have a lack of equipment and are putting yourself in a comprimised position for injury from the start.

Sounds like the low back is your weak point and should be and is the limiter right now to your squat as well as anything like a DL etc. This Im guessing coming from not working out short history of lifting and or labor. and or is you have been liftin g you have been reliant on machines that dont tax the core.

Yes you use a lot of low back in the squat and sure you will get a pump and work it.

Your lower back also should be well like you describe in that strecth you do to fix it during the squat. You need to stick your but out sit back not down and have a tight arch during the squat dont cave over.

Drop the load take your time, work on your weakness get your lower back strength up and the discomfort and squat #'s will follow.

Oh and get in a proper rack to squat be it power os squat. if not go very light use what you can clean and press or if going off the bench do so in GM style but stay arched and get on your heals and box squat out of the hole.

hope this helps stay safe train hard
Phill

If you are a beginner, I skimmed so if you went into this I missed it, then you probably aren’t ready to do squats in a 10x3. You’d need to focus on your form with a weight that lets you push out, say, 8 or more reps.

Maxing in a weight (or getting very fatigued) is going to degrade your form, and things like squat and deadlift can get you into trouble with bad form, especially so if you are fairly new to the movements.

Drop the weight and/or stop whent he form degrades. Get someone to help you with the form if you aren’t sure about it.

Again, sorry if you went into all that, but it was a long post and I saw the 10x3 and it’s the beginner section… :wink:

My lower back/hams are not very flexible (typical soccer player) and I have had some tightness in my LB. So ‘my’ style in DL’ing is sumo and I use a semi powerlifting stands in squatting just to get my LB inflexibility out of the way. This has actually helped my flexibility… May be give it a try.

I second Vrooms and Phills advice. Low weights that allow you to practice technique in good form is what you need right now as a squat beginner.

Squats are great but not the easiest lift for most beginners to do correctly. I strongly suggest you try to find an experieced lifter or coach/trainer that can see you squat and help you learn it.

You also need to get access to the right equipment asap if your serious about squats.

Here is a link that you might find helpful.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459389

Thanks for all the help guys, i was a bit worried that no one would b bothered to read my post cause of the legnth

Phill: Ok, i’ll drop the weight and get my technique right first, i’ll also look around for a squat rack or something i coudl use as one.

Also i thought the back isnt used as much in the squats compared to deadlift, i am an experienced deadlifter and so i thought i would b able to handle the ‘pump’ from the squat or does the squat work a different part of the back?

Vroom: I am fairly experienced at deadlifting but brand new to squatting, so i’ll drop the weight with my squat. The problem is that i didnt think that my form did degrade during the set, but obviously (cause of the pain) it did!

Henky: Yea i also use sumo style deadlift and find that it has helped my lower back strength. I’ve recently tried to switch to conventional (because i heard it activated your back muscles more) and found that i’ve been getting lower back tightness (although no where near as bad as when i squat) I guess i’ll keep working at my flexibility

Heliotrope: thanks for the advice. I’ve read through most of the squat articles here and have been trying to apply them.

So i guess the consenses is to drop the weight and concentrate on squat form. While doing that should i replace the squats with hack squats or front squats. Hack squats i am exepreinced with but front squats not so much. Is the technique for front squats hard to master?

Also one of my main things that i was surprised about with my back pain was that it went away after the romanian deadlifts. Anyone got any ideas on this? Maybe cause i’ve been doing deadlifts for a long time my back likes it when i do them?

Also i’m just want to check something with conventional style deadlift (i’ve been doing sumo style and hardly done conventional and have just started now) is the lift like a two part lift? i.e legs first and then back. Also is it normal for my knees to go way in front of the bar?

Also, about gettin a good arch in the lower back before i start. I try to do this but it just makes it hurt more!

I think it feels as if instead of having a curved arch i am actually just ‘hinging’ at a certain joint in my back and thus there is alot of pressure at that point. This makes sense because the pain is intense but concentrated at that point.

But when arch the lower back when doing romanian deadlifts it didnt seem to bother it, even making the pain go away!

Weird…

Front squats are a great excercise for begining squaters. The leverage of the lift forces you to keep good posture and activate your core and it carries over when you back squat.

Some individuals leverages will definitely cause massive activation of the low back when squating perhaps even more than the deadlift for that person, especially if they use sumo deads.

Its well accepted that deadlift experience and conditioning doesn’t carry over very well to squating. Squats are far more effective at improving deadlift strength than deadlifts are at improving squat strength.

You probably just need more conditioning and until then doing some lite stiff leg deadlifts between sets may be a good idea since you find them so effective at relieveing the back spasms you are having. If your pain and spasms are severe the day after your workouts you should see a doctor. You may have a structural issue like scoliosis that is being aggravated by squats but like I said its most likely a conditioning issue.

[quote]Heliotrope wrote:
Front squats are a great excercise for begining squaters. The leverage of the lift forces you to keep good posture and activate your core and it carries over when you back squat.

Some individuals leverages will definitely cause massive activation of the low back when squating perhaps even more than the deadlift for that person, especially if they use sumo deads.

Its well accepted that deadlift experience and conditioning doesn’t carry over very well to squating. Squats are far more effective at improving deadlift strength than deadlifts are at improving squat strength.

You probably just need more conditioning and until then doing some lite stiff leg deadlifts between sets may be a good idea since you find them so effective at relieveing the back spasms you are having. If your pain and spasms are severe the day after your workouts you should see a doctor. You may have a structural issue like scoliosis that is being aggravated by squats but like I said its most likely a conditioning issue. [/quote]

Thanks alot for the advice, i always thought deadlifts worked the back alot more than squats, i guess this is not so for me!

I think that your dead right that conditioning is the key and i never relised how important it was for my squats.

The next day i do have some discomfort but not pain, rather its just the normal feeling that you get after working a muscle.

thanks againe for the advice, i now noe to squat light and continue to improve my back strength before squatting heavy.

Dilligaf,

I am by no means an expert in sports physiology, but let me start by saying I experience exactly the same situation, and I believe I know what’s causing it:

tight hamstrings.

Much low back pain can be caused by tight hamstrings, a part of the body many people neglect to work out or stretch out. If you go low in the squat, you are bringing hamstrings and glutes into play. If these are weak or tight, they will tighten up and affect your lower back.

What makes me confident about the source of your pain is that the pain is ameliorated by Romanians. RDLs are a great way to stretch the hamstrings, and I think that is what you are unknowingly doing that causes the pain to go away.

I’m trying to supplement, not contradict, the advice from fellow posters. Lowering weight to work on form is excellent advice, and would make life easier, but I didn’t get from your post that you are necessarily doing anything wrong regarding form or ROM. It’s possible that less weight would treat the symptom, not the cause.

Try some serious hamstring stretching the night (or several hours) before your next squat session, and report back. It couldn’t hurt.

Good luck.

[quote]TShaw wrote:
It couldn’t hurt.

[/quote]

Now why would you lie to him like that? :slight_smile:

When my back gets realy stiff man I go and find a massage chair and make it hurt for about half a hour

and then its gone…

I call it “subtle hazing” where, under the guise of good advice, I trick someone into doing something fatal. Yeah, I crack me up, too. :wink:

Seriously, dilligaf. Stretching the hamstrings can only help. Unless you use a medieval rack. (Don’t.)

Thanks alot for the advice Tshaw, i’ll start with the hamstring stretching right away.

BTW Last night i did front squats (i was pretty proud of how after much thinking and ionnovation i was able to manipulated my humble bench to allow me to do this!) and my back didnt hurt nearly half as much as with back squats. I think i’ll continue with this while continuly stretching the hammies then after couple of weeks i’ll try back squats againe.

Only problem with front squats were my wrists which would hurt like hell and i would have to take longer rest periods everynow and then to allow my wrists to over come the pain. I guess this has to do with my wrist flexability so i’ll be doing even more stretching. Oh well you can’t win everytime and i guess some wrist pain is better than mass back pain.

Also how do u guys relive pain around the collar bone (i think thats the bone) when doing front squats? I tried putting a towel around it but it made the bar really thick and caused it to cut of my breathing so in the end i just sufferend through it but now my collar bones are sore :frowning:
Is this just something i’ll get use to? like sore shins after deadlifting?