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RJL2
LSU Fan
Bruno's Tavern
Member since Apr 2015
1439 posts

Lower back pain on squats
all of last year I stayed away from anything but body weight because of my back, decided to get back into some strength training. I am trying to go really light and work on my form to avoid back pain.

Yesterday I did 8 sets of 5 working up from the bar to 95 pounds. It was really easy, but this morning I woke up with bad lower back pain. Any advice?


Salmon
USA Fan
On the trails
Member since Feb 2008
64377 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
is it pain? or just tightness/soreness?

do you have a lacrosse ball? if so, roll it out every hour or so today and see how it feels

are you doing high bar squats or low bar squats?

you really shouldn't be activating your back that much if you are doing high bar squats...


RJL2
LSU Fan
Bruno's Tavern
Member since Apr 2015
1439 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
quote:

is it pain? or just tightness/soreness?


It's pain it doesn't feel like soreness. I have had back problems from poor form in the past, but I was working with a trainer and he was watching my form.

high bar. I foam rolled my back last night. I will try with a ball later.

I'm concerned cause I love lifting, but every time I go back to it I end up injuring myself.


Salmon
USA Fan
On the trails
Member since Feb 2008
64377 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
quote:

I foam rolled my back last night


Don't do this.

Use a lacrosse ball.

quote:

I'm concerned cause I love lifting, but every time I go back to it I end up injuring myself.


Start incorporating reverse hypers into your workouts. They really helped me with my low back problems.

I would do a set of 50 before and after my workout.


tigerfoot
Pittsburgh Fan
Alexandria
Member since Sep 2006
35438 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
quote:

It's pain it doesn't feel like soreness. I have had back problems from poor form in the past, but I was working with a trainer and he was watching my form.


It is entirely possible you have some muscular imbalances that need to be addressed.

If it perseveres go see a good physical therapist to give you an evaluation.



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FatMan
New Orleans Saints Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2016
397 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
Not being able to see your form, the following statement is an assumption...
95# is very light, so if you are experiencing injury there is a good chance form/execuTion is off.
I took the plunge to low bar squat about a year ago, had to go down on weight but back and knees are much better, and now the weight is PR on low bar, also crazy how many more muscles I hit going low...
100 vids on YouTube Alan Thrall LB Squat

I also want to be sure you are using free weights and not a Smith machine?? The Smith machine squat will f*** up your back for sure.
This post was edited on 1/10 at 8:50 am


FatMan
New Orleans Saints Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2016
397 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
Agree with others, Lacrosse ball is magical and you may benefit from PT. Don't underestimate getting a personal trainer for a session or 2 to watch form and get pointers, just don't get stuck long term if you don't need one...


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Lester Earl
Chicago Cubs Fan
Kamaratard
Member since Nov 2003
235307 posts
 Online 

re: Lower back pain on squats
a video would clearly help

but what are you doing to prepare for the squat?

how is your mobility, specifically in your ankles & hips?


are you a man or woman?


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Rep520
Arizona Fan
Member since Mar 2018
3219 posts
 Online 

re: Lower back pain on squats
The only true form check is video. I'd video sets.

Next, I would recommend working on bracing. It is a must for squat, dead, ohp. A good video (that I've posted a ton lately):

LINK

I would recommend warming up with goblet squats where you use the bottom position to open your groin and get comfortable at the bottom. Video example of that:

LINK

Big thing has to be form and/or bracing. If you can video and post here, that will help a ton.


Jolla
LSU Fan
Houston, TX
Member since Dec 2018
34 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
Is it in the middle of the back or off to the side?

Using a hip circle and doing monster walks, extensions, loads of core work (both heavy holds and light stability), and a lot of glute work made the difference for me.

Personally, I'd suggest seeing a chiropractor if you know a good one. I dealt with back pain from a wreck most of last year which hindered weightlifting a ton. Found an awesome chiro, gave me some rehab exercises, and I'm back to lifting the same numbers in just over a month.


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Tiger Ryno
Houston Astros Fan
#WoF
Member since Feb 2007
89066 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
You may have disc issues that haven't been diagnosed. Be careful and listen to your body.


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30
AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
61492 posts
 Online 

re: Lower back pain on squats
quote:

I foam rolled my back last night


Don't do this.

Use a lacrosse ball.
Why?


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DallasTiger11
UCLA Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Mar 2004
6375 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
Are you bracing your spine prior to going into the squat? It's easy to slip into overextension which flares up the lower back.


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RJL2
LSU Fan
Bruno's Tavern
Member since Apr 2015
1439 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
quote:

free weights and not a Smith machine?


Yes free weights. I rolled it out again with a lax ball and took an advil and the pain is subsided. I'm just trying to prevent a bad injury.

I will video my sets next time I do legs.


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zatetic
Missouri Fan
Member since Nov 2015
3681 posts

re: Lower back pain on squats
quote:

Yesterday I did 8 sets of 5


If that was your first day doing weighted squats in forever I'm guessing most of your pain is that first week of weight lifting sucks bad and you did quite few reps

As others have said it could be anything. I mean if one of your ankles flexibility is a bit off it throws everything out. Front squats and sumo deadlift have helped me make sure my back is in good position if I get to leaning a bit forward.


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