T Nation

Wrist Pain While Back Squatting

does anyone else have pain in their wrists when they back squat? how do you get around it? im working on getting wrist straps, gonna see if those add enough support.

Well it depends on the bar position. If the bar is very low on your back and your hands are very close to your body the stress on your wrists will be more. If you widen your grip on the bar, that should help.

But if you have shoulder issues a wide grip may not be the best idea…

Where do your hands face when you squat? To the sky or behind you?

I used to have this problem too.

Do you have a copy of Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe, 2nd edition) handy?

If so, I highly recommend that you spend a quiet evening curled up in front of the fireplace with a couple of litres of nice, spicy, suitably spiked high-protein eggnog and peruse the squat chapter (56 pages). This helped me fix my wrist problem, and quite a few others as well.

If not, here is an attempt at diagnosing your problem, based on what I was doing wrong:

Your hands and arms are probably in the incorrect position and therefore end up supporting part of the weight. Make sure your hands are in tight to your shoulders, and then elevate your elbows to the rear (not placing them under the bar).

Make sure that your wrists are straight, not bent backwards. Ideally, your thumbs should not wrap around the bar, but should be on top of the bar, together with your fingers.

Hope this helps. Rippetoe’s book contains extremely clear descriptions and photos of correct and incorrect positions. Highly recommended.

rock, im not sure how low is too low. i put the weight just above the teres i guess? but i let it rest on my spinal erectors. i hope thats clear enough. i dont really have that muscle shelf from my traps to rest it any higher yet. will definintely try the wider grip though.

plateau, my hands usually face up, which i believe is the problem. although im trying to figure out how to support my wrists so this doesnt happen. maybe wrist straps?

fairbairn, being in college dorms, they dont let us start fires. but i will look into that book.

thanks for the posts.

I would be concerned that wraps would mask the problem, which would be my form.

If you’re oly squatting…
Ensure your elbows point down and your hands point up.

Hope things heal up ok

[quote]fairbairn wrote:
I used to have this problem too.

Do you have a copy of Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe, 2nd edition) handy?

If so, I highly recommend that you spend a quiet evening curled up in front of the fireplace with a couple of litres of nice, spicy, suitably spiked high-protein eggnog and peruse the squat chapter (56 pages). This helped me fix my wrist problem, and quite a few others as well.

If not, here is an attempt at diagnosing your problem, based on what I was doing wrong:

Your hands and arms are probably in the incorrect position and therefore end up supporting part of the weight. Make sure your hands are in tight to your shoulders, and then elevate your elbows to the rear (not placing them under the bar).

Make sure that your wrists are straight, not bent backwards. Ideally, your thumbs should not wrap around the bar, but should be on top of the bar, together with your fingers.

Hope this helps. Rippetoe’s book contains extremely clear descriptions and photos of correct and incorrect positions. Highly recommended.
[/quote]

x2 on the Rippetoe book.

This is what you should be doing. The thumbs should be BEHIND the bar, on the same side as your fingers. Your wrists should NOT be bending, they should be in line with your forearm. You shouldn’t feel any stress on your wrists this way. Your palms should almost be facing forward, not up.

(the guy in the picture is placing the bar pretty low on the back, I prefer to place it a bit higher. the close stance of the hands is good, though)

[quote]SpankMeElmo wrote:
rock, im not sure how low is too low. i put the weight just above the teres i guess? but i let it rest on my spinal erectors. i hope thats clear enough. i dont really have that muscle shelf from my traps to rest it any higher yet. will definintely try the wider grip though.

plateau, my hands usually face up, which i believe is the problem. although im trying to figure out how to support my wrists so this doesnt happen. maybe wrist straps?

fairbairn, being in college dorms, they dont let us start fires. but i will look into that book.

thanks for the posts.[/quote]

No wrist straps, just make sure you aren’t bending your wrists. Just keep the thumb behind the bar. Also, although wider grip may feel more comfortable, using a narrower grip will give you that shelf in your traps and will also keep your back muscles tigher–which helps to keep your back from rounding.