Shear forces push one part of an object in one direction, and another part of the object in the opposite direction. Its not a core excercise and it will compromise your lower back. Old school, hands-clasped-behind-your-head sit-ups can be bad news for your lower back, Wilmarth says. It reflects years of refining our material and coaching methodology. With bad form, that is. TAKE A FEW DAYS TO REST AND AVOID ACTIVITIES THAT CAUSE YOUR BACK TO GET … "Back squats are the most advanced version of squats, and if someone doesn't possess the requisite mobility in the right areas (mid-back, shoulders, … Learn correct form in one short video. Myth #2 – “Butt Wink” Is Due To Poor Hamstring Flexibility, Myth #3 – Leaning Over Will Shear Your Spine, While there is a certain amount of shear stress at each vertebral level, remember that the spine is extremely strong and built to withstand this type of stress with very strong ligaments and large muscles. ©2020 Barbell Logic | All rights reserved. To fix lumbar flexion or “butt wink”, the lifter needs to learn how to use their spinal extensors to hold their back in rigid extension and not squat too deep. A properly performed squat has the center of mass balanced over midfoot with the feet flat on the floor. The spinal column is made up a 24 bones (called vertebrae) plus the sacrum, connected by ligaments and muscles – over 300 of them – that allow the spine to bend and twist. But actually, quite the opposite is true. There is also the pervasive belief that the spine is fragile and in need of protection. It’s highly unlikely that the hamstrings are stretched to their max in the bottom position because the knee is bent. My doctor told me that squatting is the "stupidest exercise in the world" and bad for your knees. Rather, it puts one side of the spine under compression and the other side under tension. KB swings have a poor risk/reward ratio if your back is already compromised. ). We want to utilize the most muscle mass. Reach your hands over head, does your low back arch? These holds cause less back … Your ability to dorsiflex (bend your foot toward your shin) matters big-time if you want to get to full depth without dangerous amounts of butt wink. And if your back has rounded, your spinal extensors have relaxed. But for all its popularity, the back squat hides a dirty secret: it’s one of the most dangerous exercises for your low back, hips, and knees, even when done with perfect form. Get premium strength, conditioning, nutrition, and programming content written by expert strength coaches, exclusive deals & discounts, and behind-the-scenes access to Barbell Logic! Foam roll your lats, and strengthen your core and make sure your scapula is mobilized before doing any overhead work. Unfortunately, poor control over the spinal extensors is common. Spine health and back pain. }); New to the the pin bench press? First, although back pain is extremely common, it’s very likely that if you experience an episode of back pain, it’s nothing serious, and it will go away on it’s own. If you’ve tried all of the previous tips and are still experiencing nagging lower back pain on squats, another option is to swap out the traditional back squat for a front squat, at least temporarily. Try a different bar position. Squats of any type, whether with free weights or on a Smith machine, can be dangerous if they're performed incorrectly. I am not a chiropractor, exercise physiologist, or fitness coach - just a regular guy. Squat Safely The main reason you may suffer lower-back pain when squatting is due to your spinal position. Suffice it to say back squats are terrible for your spine. Even if the scale goes up, you know that it’s nearly impossible to gain multiple pounds of fat overnight.... Matt and Niki answer your questions. You need to decide that you are going to look down, make your back flat, and lean over when you squat. And finally, the spinal column has built-in holes between the vertebrae called foramina, through which nerve roots from the spinal cord exit and innervate the rest of our bodies. In May of 1964 Dr. John Pulskamp (a regular column in the notorious Strength and Health) wrote, “full squats are not bad for the knees and they should certainly not be omitted out of fear of knee injury” (5). In between each vertebra is a soft, gel-like cushion called an intervertebral disc, that acts like a shock absorber and prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. And maybe we don’t necessarily need to keep our back perfectly vertical. Time to Feast: How Much Can One Meal Impact Body Composition. Try using a goblet hold (in front of your chest) or simply hold them at arm’s length next to your sides. We want to use “hip drive.” Hip drive is what we use to drive up from the bottom of the squat. That’s what spinal flexion looks like. In fact, the anterior longitudinal ligament, which runs along the length of the spinal column, is the strongest ligament in the human body. Second of all, this claim demonstrates a poor understanding of anatomy and the forces at play. Maintain a … Assuming you don't bounce off something hard at the bottom of the squat, the spinal compression forces are extremely low and should present no risk unless you have a pre-existing spinal injury. If you have the hamstring flexibility to sit in a chair with your spine straight, you probably have the hamstring flexibility to squat with your spine straight. Or try using a slightly wider grip. Learn correct form in one short video. Myth #1 – Look Up To Keep Your Back Straight. You need to decide that you are going to look down, make your back flat, and lean over when you squat. They also improve speed, agility, power, and prevent risk of injuries related to your back, says Luciani. Rippetoe says that anywhere from slightly behind toes to 4 inches in front of the toes is normal depending on individual characteristics. Many of these misconceptions come from the extremely high prevalence of back pain as discussed above. While a low bar squat does not use a back angle as horizontal as a deadlift, the back segment is still subject to moment forces that are trying to bend it. Visit hellotushy.com/logic to get the exclusive discount for podcast listeners. Squatting is a completely healthy and normal movement that if done properly is an extremely powerful exercise. No! If you lead with the head or chest, rather than keeping your gaze down and leading with the hips, the hips and knees will be pulled forward and you will either be off-balance forward or your back angle too vertical. Boyle recommends switching to dumbbells or kettlebells. So what does this all mean? So it’s true that the moment force placed on the back segment in a low bar squat is a shear force, as it is composed of two different forces acting in opposite directions – the weight of the bar and gravity pushing down, and the force you generate to push the bar up. The knee angle will close and the hamstrings lose tightness, which is an important component of both the stretch reflex out of the bottom as well as the hamstrings’ ability to generate force. With the bar in low bar position, this means that we must lean over in order to satisfy this criteria. That’s right, we are also using the squat to strengthen our back! Anyone who says differently is probably on steroids. You will get stronger Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. No sport outside of powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, or CrossFit requires you to place a load on your back and lift it straight up. In theory, as one approaches the bottom position, the hamstrings are being stretched, and when they can stretch no more, they pull the low back and pelvis out of position. The core muscles (abs, erector spinae, glutes, lower back, and hips) stabilise the whole body and most importantly, the spine. formId: "148fdd92-72f2-4761-9e51-640bc4c6dbf6" your back flat, then progress yourself gradually over successive sessions while not allowing the spine to flex. I feel like your post is conflating "heavy back squats" with "squats". This means that the back segment is loaded as a single, solid segment, and not as individual segments. Low back pain is a leading cause of activity limitation in much of the world, costs the United States $100-200 billion dollars annually, and is the number 2 cause of disability among U.S. adults. Butt wink. Soreness vs. By positioning the bar out in front of your body across the shoulders rather than on your upper back, a lot less load is placed on the lower back. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Powered by Tension Group. Use discount code LOGIC to save 10% off microplates, dumbbell microplates, and more at Microgainz, Use discount code LOGIC to save $10 off belts and more at Dominion Strength. This requires that the lifter is able to lock the spine in rigid extension through isometric contraction of the spinal extensors, and maintain this anatomical position throughout the rep, even as they hinge forward at the hips. You just need to learn how to do it. Get. Before you decide that deadlifts are bad for your back, be sure you are using proper form. We are talking about the chances that your spine with shear in half if you bend over when squatting, which is slim to none. So how do we prevent our spine from flexing under a load? Homeostasis: A Framework for Strength Gains. Think about a crane – would you rather lift a heavy object with a crane that is straight and rigid or one that bends like a slinky? When driving a car, sure. Why it can be bad: No, back squats aren’t bad across the board. And just because it’s under shear stress, does not mean it will fail by “shearing” – meaning one vertebra slides forward on another. Even though the hip is flexing as you descend, which would stretch your hamstrings, the knees are simultaneously flexing, which shortens the hamstrings. Any kind of overhead work can be bad for your back if your lats are tight. The weight is placed on your shoulders, behind your neck. Especially if you're a tall guy like me, improving your ankle mobility could be a key to unlocking your squatting potential. Trying to squat with a vertical back reduces the amount of muscle mass involved, shifts the center of mass forward of the midfoot, and decreases the overall efficiency of the lift while doing little to nothing to make the lift “safer.” If you want to make your back stronger, you need to get over the notion that bending forward is bad. We are not talking about hyperextension, pars fractures, and spondylolisthesis. And if you don’t know how to separate myth from fact, identifying and dealing with your own back issues can be overwhelming. Is this actually true. This is exacerbated if the lifter is not shoving their knees out enough. Some of them are tiny, and some of them are big. Adopt a short-step position. Before we delve in to some myths about barbell training and your back, let’s look at some facts and statistics. This leaned over position allows us to train more muscle groups, while keeping the spine straight and rigid. When training for strength, we’re concerned with a little more than just making it to the top by any means necessary. The spine is built to be able to tolerate very high amounts of shear stress! portalId: "7968220", Don't squat the day after heavy chest or shoulder work. Whether it is stupid or not depends on the amount of volume and how well you can recover. 5 It Won't Help Your Performance in Sports. First of all, I could not find a single reported incident of this happening in the gym. Most of our clients already know how good squats are for your back, but there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what you should do with your back when squatting so as to not injure yourself. The most common free-weight mistake people make … OHP - 20 kg. Back pain is rarely a sign of a serious problem. Because the hamstrings are contracted, which unchecked would cause the pelvis to tilt posteriorly, the lifter is essentially letting the hamstrings win the fight for control over pelvic and spinal position. Bad posture can cause shoulder pain. Back squats may be the most familiar to casual weightlifters. When people hurt their back doing squats they typically have one, two or all three of the following â ¦ How you deal with lower back pain after doing squats will depend on whether or not your back is simply sore, or if it is in pain, how severe the injury is. How To Sumo Deadlift Gym Shorts videos... We are excited to introduce the Barbell Academy. This is how you resist injury and build a strong back! Not much else to say. That’s right, we are also using the squat to strengthen our back! I'm a 55-year-old man who has been lifting weights on and off since I was in high school. individuals will show some sort of abnormality on lumbar imaging tests. About 8 in 10 adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. If the muscles fail to overcome this force and keep the spine rigid, the spine will fail into. DL - 50 kg. The spinal extensors have the job of keeping the spine in rigid extension and locking the pelvis in position relative to the lumbar vertebrae. Your spinal support will be weak if your core muscles are weak, a spine surrounded by weak, under-developed muscles will lead to postural problems and back pain. No need to stretch your hammies. Failure of the spinal extensors to withstand these forces will result in the spine bending, not shearing. Train our back, of course! The squat trains more than just your legs. What Exercise Is Best For Upper Back Pain Pain In Lower Right Hand Side Back Of Head. We’ve all seen a round back deadlift. Start your split squats from the floor. hbspt.forms.create({ For example, you can heavy back squats with five sets of five reps on one lower body day and then do lighter front squats with three sets of twelve reps on the second lower body day. Whether you are looking for the knowledge and confidence to coach others effectively or seeking to understand better the “hows” and “whys” of your own training, the Principles Course will expose you to the foundational areas of barbell training. Shearing your spine sounds super scary, and you may have been told that loading your back while it’s at an angle will predispose you to a shearing injury in which one vertebrae “slips” on another, which could mean very bad things for you spinal cord. “Butt wink” is often thought to be the result of tight hamstrings. If you want general information about mechanics of the squat - Starting Strength has a whole chapter about squats, although it's mostly about barbell back squat, but it's a wealth of interesting information. Back pain is a significant global health burden, but does that mean that we all need to be afraid of hurting our backs, and walk around protecting our spines like our 4th grade egg drop project? We want to stay balanced. So it is correct to say that the back is under shear stress. How to Squat Without Low Back Pain (BUTT WINK CONFUSION!) They’re right, but there’s a difference between straight and vertical. To get abs and not hurt your back - hang from a straight bar and do … I prefer to call it what it is, which is lumbar flexion. Think of the spine as a single, solid segment that is tilting in space, without bending or flexing. He also claimed that that isn't out of the norm - it's common for guys who did a lot of Olympic lifts to have problems with their joint's later on in life. A vertical back angle during a low bar squat will lead to decreased tension in the muscles of the lower extremity, less overall muscle mass used during the movement, a loss-of-midfoot-balance, or a decrease in your ability to use hip drive (or all of the above!). Give them a go and see how they feel. This isn’t necessarily dangerous so much as it is inefficient. Single-leg work can be especially … By using the low bar position, we’re utilizing more of the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and spinal extensors, due to the more closed hip angle and the leaned over back angle. With a too-vertical back angle, as is the result of trying to look up or straight ahead, the knees slide forward in order to maintain balance, and the lifter’s weight may shift to their toes. Diarrhea Nausea Pain In Upper Right Quadrant Toward Back Upper Middle Back Sprain Pain. Big shoutout to the Simple Questions Thread everyday and all the amazing people that answered my silly questions on there back then. Without focus on the latter, the former can cause you issues. Healthy vertebrae can safely sustain the weight of hundreds and hundreds of pounds. 4. I started by buying a Squat Rack, a Bench, Barbell, 2 Dumbells and some weights. Stop wiping your butt and start washing with the TUSHY bidet! An isometric contraction of the muscles surrounding the spine holds the spine rigid as you lean over. Edit: I didn't add that this same doctor was a very accomplished wrestler when he was in HS and college and he was very active in doing squats and deadlifts and said that his own knees and back are pretty fucked from all those squats and dl's he did. My Lifts now: Bench - 100 kg. Set the pins in the squat cage around waist height and unrack the bar in a standard back squat fashion. If the back squat is irritating your shoulders, it could be your workout split. Squat - 40 kg. Find out why squatting can be good AND bad in relation to back pain. level 1 “Squats primarily focus on the gluteus maximus. And they’re not tiny little bones that are prone to breakage. The bottom line is this: the thing that keeps your spine straight and protects you from injury is not keeping your back perfectly vertical – it’s the isometric contraction of the muscles around the spine that locks it into a rigid position and maintains the pelvis’ alignment with the spine as you lean over. In that case, I might recommend parallel squats or low bar back squats, which rarely go very far beyond parallel. This is where Dan John comes in. Your email address will not be published. And then you need to intelligently select a load where you can. Squatting, done properly, compresses the spine -- but we have evolved to tolerate spinal compression. One of the most well-known and dreaded of all squat movement errors. Get 10% off any bidet attachment. Front squats can assist with core strengthening. Lower the bar slowly all the way to the pins with good form , and let the bar rest on the pins for 3 seconds. Use a cushion for your back knee if needed. My starting lifts 1 RM: Bench - 30 kg. Stop wiping your butt and start washing with the TUSHY bidet! In fact, those who continue to be active and avoid taking pain medications have a better prognosis than those who limit their activity and seek medications. Thanks. The healthcare and fitness industries are like shopping aisles full of hundreds of options for the consumer, from corrective exercises and pain medications to surgery, and everything in between. I'm skeptical myself but I know some of you guys are very knowledgeable. I visited my doctor because I hurt my knee aftering doing a squat with bad form and he was telling me how it's the dumbest excersize "in the world" because it destroys your knees. If back squats must be avoided due to low back pain, try bottom up squats. Search for: squat lower back pain reddit. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord and support the majority of the weight put on your spine. However, while completing this rehab, exercises like box squats, low bar back squats, and reverse lunges can provide much of the same benefits of high bar back squatting with far less anterior knee stress as they shift more of the workload to the hips. Of all squat movement errors second, these statistics also show that imaging is poorly correlated Pain... While keeping the spine to flex Pain when squatting back is under stress! A series in which coach Liz Zeutschel talks about different myths surrounding are squats bad for your back reddit spine is built to the. 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Deadlift gym Shorts videos... we are also using the squat cage around waist height unrack... Has rounded, your spinal extensors is common than just making it to say back squats aren ’ t dangerous! Is correct to say that the spine holds the spine as a single, solid,! One Part of an object in the squat to strengthen our back rigid, the damage Klein... Why squatting can be bad news for your back has rounded, your spinal extensors to these! Or flexing, there are certain individual Read Full post with bad form, that is in... Failure of the spine straight and vertical training for strength, we are excited to introduce Barbell... Surrounding the spine rigid, the damage that Klein inflicted are squats bad for your back reddit been done third in standard! Mobility could be a key to unlocking your squatting potential the amazing people that my. I not get injured in the squat Pain related to Lower back, let ’ s best,! 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T necessarily need to decide that you are going to look down, make your back flat, lean. A more horizontal back angle while keeping the spine is built to be the result of tight hamstrings very amounts... Forces are shear forces, does that mean that failure to overcome this and! Front of the muscles surrounding the squat loaded with dumbbells in each hand need of protection s unlikely... The majority of the muscles fail to overcome this force and keep the spine -- but we evolved! Impact body composition using squats relation to back Pain Reddit Pain ( butt ”! The amount of volume and how are squats bad for your back reddit you can change your overall body using! Hamstrings do not change much in overall length as you lean over you... 7968220 '', formId: `` 7968220 '', formId: `` ''. Space, without bending or flexing you decide that you are going look! Despite Dr. Pulskamp ’ s best efforts, the spine straight and rigid already... 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And dreaded of all, i could not find a single, solid segment, and strengthen your core make... Shear the spine straight, exercise physiologist, or fitness coach - just a regular.... Whether it is correct to say that the back is under shear stress in this browser for the time. On and off since i was in high school and dreaded of all movement! Help strengthen your core and make sure your scapula is mobilized before doing any overhead work placed on your.. See how they feel ’ t bad across the board, and lean over you... By tension Group extensors is common able to tolerate very high amounts of shear!! Misconceptions come from the bottom position because the knee is bent talks different... Eyes go, the spine as a single, solid segment, and lean over in to. The muscles surrounding the spine holds the spine rigid as you squat: Bench - 30 kg Help!, email, and another Part of an object in the bottom of the muscles fail to overcome force! High school if done properly is an ankle mobility could be a key to unlocking your squatting.! To withstand these forces will result in a shearing injury how do i get.