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Wrist and Elbow Pain, Forearm Numbess During Back Squats


#1

I’ve been trying different setups and nothing seems to work properly:
-narrow vs wide hands placement on the bar;
-full grip vs thumbless grip;
-very high vs high vs low bar placement on the back;
-elbows pointing down vs slightly back;

regardless of how I set up, after some time (less than a minute on average) I start feeling a tingly sensation in my elbows and wrists, with a quick numbness in the forearm, then the tingly sensation turns into discomfort and pain.
I’ve almost always done front squats with no issues, I can keep the bar front racked with full (close) grip on it and without elbows dropping down. Doesn’t hurt in the least wrists or elbows. Today I did a 2x front squats at 106kg, then wanted to practice a bit back squats but couldn’t do them with 70kg for more than 4-5 reps at a time - barely feeling any work on the muscles, had to stop every time due to the pain.

My only guess left is that I bench (close grip, hands shoulder width) the day before squatting, so I end up after bench and front squats with weakened wrists and elbows, but it’s really a shot in the dark.


#2

Safety squat bar? Or, this:


#3

My gym doesn’t have a safety bar sadly, I wanted to specifically do straight bar back squats to pack more volume - if I can’t do them, I’d opt for front squats with straps for higher reps and leg press.
But it’s kind of weird, my shoulder mobility is ok, my right shoulder is a bit beaten up but I’ve done a ton of mobility work for it this last year, can front squat and press behind the neck just fine, plus I get this issue in both arms.
My best guess is that I bench on thursday, then front squat on friday, and my wrists are fatigued when I get to back squats - I tried today after deadlifts doing a few light sets of back squats and I got numbness only in the left arm, my left wrist has been hurting in the last few days when I bend it, probably happened at work during the weekend. It seems to be wrist-related, maybe I could try wrist wraps?


#4

Not sure then. Try the wraps? Usually helps me to do some mobility and activation work for my shoulders and upper back in my warm up if you don’t do that already.


#5

If you front squat with no issues but back squatting you get those wrist/forearm pains I’m almost positive all the weight is pushed down to your wrist or elbows when the bar is racked across your back.

We need a video to verify that your setup isn’t hurting you.


#6

Can you rack it in the same position? Video of that would help too.


#7

I will use elastic bandages to make wraps this week, then purchase a pair during the weekend. I do mobility work at the beginning of workouts, static stretching and other mobility stuff at the end of workouts (dislocators and pull aparts for shoulders/upper back)

That’s my impression too. I can hold a lot of weight in the front rack position with zero wrist/elbows issues but 50-70kg racked on the back kill my forearms, definitely something’s off

Not that I know of, I usually muscle snatch the bar overhead if I have to press behind the neck, then I only press down just under ear level or so. If I push press it behind the head from a back rack it doesn’t give me issues but I keep it on my back only a few seconds and the weight is very very light.

I should mention that the pain, tingling and numbnes goes away very quickly when I put the bar down. And I noticed that I don’t even need to unrack it sometimes, while just standing with the bar on the pins and setting my arms doesn’t cause pain or numbness, I start feeling something’s off in my wrists and elbows.

I’ll have someone do a video for me on friday, one of my training mates suggested it might be poor shoulders mobility but I see people with much worst mobility squatting just fine

EDIT: I should also mention that in all the setups I tried, the bar feels somewhat unstable on my back. Like if it could lean or roll, but if I apply more force to it, the pain/numbness gets stronger. Might be due to the very light weights I tried tho, I noticed that with front squats I tend to be more stable the more the weight increases


#8

Small update: didn’t manage to do a few videos on Friday because I had just the time to do the main workout and then run off to work. I did a few squats today, which was deadlift day (yesterday was press day): I ramped up to 85%x1 in the deadlifts, then an amrap set, then followed with assistance stuff, then stretched.
Then reminded I wanted to do squats, so I’ve done them at the end of it all and got zero issues, worked up to a good single at 120kg (1.5bw), which is nice considering I’ve never back squatted and was fatigued. It adds up to the theory that on friday my wrists/elbows are sore from bench and front squats considering that on the previous fridays I had trouble just keeping 50-70kg on my back rack.