Lean forward during squat

  1. Lean forward during squat


    I changed from parallel squats to full ass to the grass deep squats about 6 months ago. I've built up the weight I'm using now to numbers close to my previous parallel squat weights but I find that I arch forward at the bottom of the squat movement, putting strain on my lower back - it feels like my lower back is rounding forward. When I go to stand up I have to force my back to an upright position first before I begin to push through with my legs to raise the weight. The movement just doesnt feel healthy. Can anyone advise me on how to prevent this - it only happens on heavy weights ?
    I feel as if my lower back should be strong enough - I regularly deadlift 400-500lbs without issue.


  2. I use 5lb plates under my heels which prevent me from leaning forward when squating hams to calves. It works even better on front squats where leaning forward means dumping the weight on the rack and that's not what we want.

  3. I have the same problem, and I have yet to find a way to correct it.

    I dont see how putting something under your heals will stop you from moving forward, wouldnt it have the opposite effect?

    i'll give it a try tomorrow and see, I hope it works.
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  4. Lifting the heels makes you lean back to balance out. I personally wouldn't 'ass to the ground' heavy squats.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by nodgodbod
    I changed from parallel squats to full ass to the grass deep squats about 6 months ago. I've built up the weight I'm using now to numbers close to my previous parallel squat weights but I find that I arch forward at the bottom of the squat movement, putting strain on my lower back - it feels like my lower back is rounding forward. When I go to stand up I have to force my back to an upright position first before I begin to push through with my legs to raise the weight. The movement just doesnt feel healthy. Can anyone advise me on how to prevent this - it only happens on heavy weights ?
    I feel as if my lower back should be strong enough - I regularly deadlift 400-500lbs without issue.
    it happens with higher weights. you're body will get stronger and adjust. keep hitting your posterior and abs HARD. just the name of the game, you cant have perfect form all the time. most pr's are horrible form.

    and keep goign ass to grass, only way to do raw squats

  6. Quote Originally Posted by machinehead
    I use 5lb plates under my heels which prevent me from leaning forward when squating hams to calves. It works even better on front squats where leaning forward means dumping the weight on the rack and that's not what we want.

    perfect way to hurt yourself right there. flat soled and if you must have a raised heel, buy some oly lifting shoes.

  7. The movement just doesnt feel healthy
    gfk, not everyone is a competitive PL'r. Suggesting someone keep doing a movement without knowing their personal history or health isn't too responsible, imho. If the guy isn't feeling right and all we have to go on is a paragraph of information, anyways.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by guyfromkop2
    it happens with higher weights. you're body will get stronger and adjust. keep hitting your posterior and abs HARD. just the name of the game, you cant have perfect form all the time. most pr's are horrible form.

    and keep goign ass to grass, only way to do raw squats
    word. add good mornings and some hypers to the mix, as it sounds like your lower back is giving out and needs some strengthening. ATG squats is the way to go, don't cheat yourself with less. JMO.

    edit: make sure your back is arched at the top before you even begin to squat. take a deep breath filling up your belly with air, keep your head up, and squat.

  9. Hypers, ab work, and what beelze suggested. The core has to be strong when doing these movements. Get oly lifting shoes and it will help the problem a lot. Also if you can use shoes that do not have alot of shock absoprption as this causes balance issues.

    Remember to push through your heels, and keep your back straight with your shoulders and chest up. Slow down your eccentric movement and make a smooth transition when comming back up. In Olympic weightlifting we acutally utilize a rebound technique out of the bottom. It takes time to adjust just be patient with the weights youo are using until your core/technique catches up.


  10. ryan, are oly shoes significantly different than chucks?

  11. Quote Originally Posted by nodgodbod
    I changed from parallel squats to full ass to the grass deep squats about 6 months ago. I've built up the weight I'm using now to numbers close to my previous parallel squat weights but I find that I arch forward at the bottom of the squat movement, putting strain on my lower back - it feels like my lower back is rounding forward. When I go to stand up I have to force my back to an upright position first before I begin to push through with my legs to raise the weight. The movement just doesnt feel healthy. Can anyone advise me on how to prevent this - it only happens on heavy weights ?
    I feel as if my lower back should be strong enough - I regularly deadlift 400-500lbs without issue.
    i would stop doing them. believe me i speak from experiance. i used to do leg press and i made sure i brought the press as low a i could go. BIG mistake. that was on june 26th. lets just say i was in bed for 2weeks after that because i couldnt walk because i messed up my lower back so bad and i was getting shooting pain down my leg. i just got back to working out about a month ago from today with light weight because im still not fully recovered. i should of prob had surgery.
    not worth it if i had to do it all over again. just do squats like you normally do.

  12. did i miss something?

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    ryan, are oly shoes significantly different than chucks?

    Yes, they have a wooden or hard composite sole, which allows for the best transition of energy from the floor. Also they have a raised heel since all of our movements are set forward from the start. They are really worth it except they cost $170 plus.


  14. Quote Originally Posted by maxfeez
    i would stop doing them. believe me i speak from experiance. i used to do leg press and i made sure i brought the press as low a i could go. BIG mistake. that was on june 26th. lets just say i was in bed for 2weeks after that because i couldnt walk because i messed up my lower back so bad and i was getting shooting pain down my leg. i just got back to working out about a month ago from today with light weight because im still not fully recovered. i should of prob had surgery.
    not worth it if i had to do it all over again. just do squats like you normally do.

    Sounds like a herniated or bulging disc in the lower back. Again the core has got to be strong, most ppl fail to realize how much it is involved with all lifts. I recently herniated a disc doing a heavy jerk overhead, I have since learned that I could deadlift all day with a ton of weight, but my lower back and abs were lacking, which led to the injury.


  15. You'd be surprised how many people have bulging discs and don't realize it.

  16. ya it sucks. not worth it for what can happen to you in the long run.
    my father slipped his disk. he was a ups delivery guy. he is now retired, but i see the pain he goes through now and it is something i dont want to happen to me. he lost his nerves in his leg and needs a brace on it to walk.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by ryansm
    Again the core has got to be strong, most ppl fail to realize how much it is involved with all lifts.
    exactly, most people dont train their core and dont realize how important it is.


    beelze-if you are a narrow stance squatter oly shoes are actually better.

    jayhawk-what happened with him is natural when more weight gets on your back. it happens with everyone when they go to a heavier weight that their body isnt used to

  18. Thanks guys, I appreciate the responses. As far as my history goes, I've never had any disc issues with my back so far (touch wood). Time to get to work on some good mornings - its been a while since I touched them. Abs should be good seeing as I do my situps with an 80lb dumbell on my chest and I'm afraid that I will break in half if I use anything heavier. I also need to find me a way of doing glute ham raises in my gym which has no glute ham stand.
    Quick question for Ryansm as the olympic lift guru - what feet position do you find best when doing asstograss squats? Wide stance with feet parallel or pointing outward?

  19. Stance depends on the individual as to what is more comfortable to them. However my preference is a more narrow stance than the typical pl'er one. I still keep my toes pointed out, but this allows for more stability imo for an ATG squat. Of course with the oly lifting shoes the narrow stance works best. You need to find the sweet spot so to speak, the stance that allows the best balance for you and is most comfortable. Try different positions with a lighter weight and see what works best for you. Another great exercise is overhead squats which really forces you to learn how to keep your back straight and to use all of your core muscles. I don't suggest anyone try these unless they are advanced in their training.


  20. Quote Originally Posted by ryansm
    Another great exercise is overhead squats which really forces you to learn how to keep your back straight and to use all of your core muscles. I don't suggest anyone try these unless they are advanced in their training.
    these are not easy

  21. ditto on the 'find your sweet spot' for squats. i can go heavier with a wide stance parallel, but i feel much more comfy with a narrow ATG squat.

  22. I've been doing lightweight overheads lately for that very reason,Ryan.

  23. There was an article over at mindandmuscle that talk about the squat and how it effects the lower back. I just remeber it saying that ATG squats were very bad for you, because when you go low your back rounds because the way you hamstrings work. It said that you should squat only about 60 degrees which is a little higher that parallel, it went on to say this is the best squat for growth and what most bodybuilders use.
    ATG squat were always wonderful with me but I started having back problems and that was the only thing I can blame it on. I tried squatting 60 degrees and it sucks I don't really feel that great.

    I will see if I can find that article.

  24. dont ever squat to 60 degrees, it's doing a squat half assed

  25. You'd be surprised at how you can grow on half assed aquats though man. You have to think outside of the competition. There's a guy at my gym with huge legs and can't squat huge numbers but very respectible ones. He squats just above parallel. He's not a competitor but he's very fit and big and in his 50's...He walks better than I do

    GFK, you're a Powerlifter who competes. Most of your average people are looking to look good and be decently strong and stay healthy. Believe me when I say i'm not knocking ya or your advice to those in your same field. But a 60% or close to 90% squat ain't doing any harm.

  26. Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub
    ryan, are oly shoes significantly different than chucks?
    Extremely
    Chucks are flat soled, whereas oly squat shoes are designed with a bit of a heel, but its actually manufactured as a solid piece, not added on later. I think the heel on mine is an inch or inch and a half. The sole is maybe one half inch under the rest of the foot.

    Jason

  27. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    You'd be surprised at how you can grow on half assed aquats though man. You have to think outside of the competition. There's a guy at my gym with huge legs and can't squat huge numbers but very respectible ones. He squats just above parallel. He's not a competitor but he's very fit and big and in his 50's...He walks better than I do

    GFK, you're a Powerlifter who competes. Most of your average people are looking to look good and be decently strong and stay healthy. Believe me when I say i'm not knocking ya or your advice to those in your same field. But a 60% or close to 90% squat ain't doing any harm.

    true it's not doing any harm, but once you break parallel so many more muscles are being used. above it's all quads, once you go below it's hamstrings and posterior. so why not use all the muscles you can when doing the excersize.

  28. Quote Originally Posted by guyfromkop2
    true it's not doing any harm, but once you break parallel so many more muscles are being used. above it's all quads, once you go below it's hamstrings and posterior. so why not use all the muscles you can when doing the excersize.
    I hear people ask the question all the time. I go parallel, but going below parallel seems pointless to me. You have to use less weight and going below parallel doesn't seem as functional at least in terms of athletes. Also going below parallel stresses my back, maybe it's a flexibility issue or bad form when i get that low. For me if your going to go past parallel doing light explosive sets makes more sense, but when going heavy, parallel makes sense.

    My definition of parallel is not just a 90 degress angle on your knees, you want your hips to be parallel with your knees.

  29. GFK is saying you put in extra muscles when going below which builds your entire low end. I agree with him 100% for those who need it. However, people like me will never get big numbers or compete because of injuries. I want strength but I also want size and shape and I have to go about it using different methods to reduce chances of increasing injuries.

    But his advice is good.

  30. Quote Originally Posted by gators52
    I hear people ask the question all the time. I go parallel, but going below parallel seems pointless to me. You have to use less weight and going below parallel doesn't seem as functional at least in terms of athletes. Also going below parallel stresses my back, maybe it's a flexibility issue or bad form when i get that low. For me if your going to go past parallel doing light explosive sets makes more sense, but when going heavy, parallel makes sense.

    My definition of parallel is not just a 90 degress angle on your knees, you want your hips to be parallel with your knees.
    hamstrings are extremely important for athletes. why wouldnt you want to strengthen them every way you can?

    and nobody can do as much below parallel as they can at or above parallel. it's just basic mechanics. but why wouldnt you want to strengthen your bottom end? you have to be prepared for any situation when being an athlete, you're only as strong as your weakest link.

    and gator i just saw a post with you wanting to walk onto your college football team. i know PLENTY of guys who have played in college anda couple that play or have played pro. every single one of them squat below parallel. something you might want to seriously think of

  31. We coach our athletes with ATG squats, and Oly movements. They are far superior at building explosive fast twitch muscle fiber. Any athlete would benefit from these movements


  32. Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawkk
    You'd be surprised at how you can grow on half assed aquats though man. You have to think outside of the competition. There's a guy at my gym with huge legs and can't squat huge numbers but very respectible ones. He squats just above parallel. He's not a competitor but he's very fit and big and in his 50's...He walks better than I do

    GFK, you're a Powerlifter who competes. Most of your average people are looking to look good and be decently strong and stay healthy. Believe me when I say i'm not knocking ya or your advice to those in your same field. But a 60% or close to 90% squat ain't doing any harm.
    I see your point J, but imo opinion ATG squats at a light weight to start out with and then increasing over time as you adjust are not only better for you in the long run, but will build more mass as well.

    ATG squats can be dangerous, however, if incorporated slowly to allow the body to adjust they will provide a stronger lower back, posterior, knees, ligaments, etc. . . Which will only provide for a better overall physique and aslo injury prevention since the entire range of motion has been strengthened.


  33. I still use ATG squats on occassion but at a very low %. My injuries are outside of lifting and in order to continue I had to move a few things around. I still focus on core but through other means that don't tax me so much at that angle. Maybe if I get 100% again, i'll pick those back up.

    Of course yo have to factor in that i've had multiple traumas to my lower back.

  34. ATG squats can be dangerous, however, if incorporated slowly to allow the body to adjust they will provide a stronger lower back, posterior, knees, ligaments, etc. . . Which will only provide for a better overall physique and aslo injury prevention since the entire range of motion has been strengthened.
    Of course it pays to have people, like you that know what they're doing to teach people the right way.

  35. Quote Originally Posted by guyfromkop2

    and gator i just saw a post with you wanting to walk onto your college football team. i know PLENTY of guys who have played in college anda couple that play or have played pro. every single one of them squat below parallel. something you might want to seriously think of

    I guess i just dont see where going ATG would help in something like football. I will normally do heavy squats parallel and then other days i'll do light weight high rep squats going ATG focusing on explosion. But to me doing high weight at ATG puts no stress on your legs in the top half of the movement. If I had access to chains for ATG squats I think that would be the best.

  36. Quote Originally Posted by gators52
    I guess i just dont see where going ATG would help in something like football. I will normally do heavy squats parallel and then other days i'll do light weight high rep squats going ATG focusing on explosion. But to me doing high weight at ATG puts no stress on your legs in the top half of the movement. If I had access to chains for ATG squats I think that would be the best.

    atg squats build strength, that's where it helps in football. you are a walk on, you will need every advantage you can get. why wouldnt you do atg squats if numerous college and pro players do them?

  37. Quote Originally Posted by guyfromkop2
    atg squats build strength, that's where it helps in football. you are a walk on, you will need every advantage you can get. why wouldnt you do atg squats if numerous college and pro players do them?
    Yea you will build strength at the bottom of the movement, but by time you get half way up the squat is a breeze. That is why you can do more weight when u go parallel. When in football is your ass ever going to be near the ground in a squat position? Never...b/c if you got that low you could easily fall on your butt.

    Also i would love to hear the names of these numerous players you talk about.

  38. Quote Originally Posted by gators52
    Yea you will build strength at the bottom of the movement, but by time you get half way up the squat is a breeze. That is why you can do more weight when u go parallel. When in football is your ass ever going to be near the ground in a squat position? Never...b/c if you got that low you could easily fall on your butt.

    Also i would love to hear the names of these numerous players you talk about.

    dont take the advice and keep being a walkon then

    oh and kevin jones used to workout at my gym. never saw him not go ass to grass
  

  
 

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