back pain from squatting

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    R_Alan1's Avatar
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    back pain from squatting


    I started doing legs pretty hardcore like 2 months ago and now I've been having some back pain which I can almost positively attribute to barbell squats. I am 6'2" about 200 lbs 14% bf fyi. I do my squats on the smith machine bc I do not have a spotter that I trust. I wonder if the pain is bc my posture may be restricted on the smith machine. The pain only comes after heavier sets( I'm worried about my knees so I max at 275lbs for 8 reps on my last set). Any advice or a different outlook on this is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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    I personally don't like the smith machine for squats, especially if you use those "manta ray" things that rest the bar on the top of your traps.

    I would definitely say to give yourself some time to rest and heal before doing any other squatting, otherwise you may risk further injury. If the pain persists, see a doctor. hey thats why (I hope) you have health insurance!

    Squatting is a great exercise, and I think it takes a while to get your form down using free weights. But start slow, and work your way up. If you are afraid of not having a spotter, then use the power rack to squat. put the pins at the top to hold the barbell, and place the safety bars further down--right below where the barbell reaches at the bottom of your squat.

    Some other advice: squat using flat soled shoes (converse or squatting shoes). also the best way to gauge how good or poor your form is is to take a video of you squatting and analyze it later. do a search on knees and squatting, AFAIK they get stronger from doing ATG squats.

    Good luck, and feel better!
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    From having a bad lower back in the past. do your deadlifts, do your squats...try hyper-extentions. also stiff leg deads
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    Quote Originally Posted by smeton_yea View Post
    From having a bad lower back in the past. do your deadlifts, do your squats...try hyper-extentions. also stiff leg deads
    Well said! Don't neglect your back or abdominals. Your squats will suffer and you will leave yourself prone to injury. Try to get off the smith machine, I know it's hard to squat with no training partner but I think you'd be better off giving up the Smith even if it means you have to squat lighter for a bit. Good luck and heal up!
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    To add what everyone else said, doing squats on a smith machine or something similar does not mimic the natural movement your body follows when squating. What i'm getting at is that the smith machine may be forcing you to go in a certain direction that may not agree with your natural range of movement, which can put stress on certain areas like your lower back. Also don't neglect your core as it is vital in stabilization while squatting.
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    Just squat with no spotter, you obviously won't be able to push yourself as much, but I get pretty damn close when I train with no spot.
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    every once in a while i get killer lower back pumps, last time being from using waxy maize.. try doing 1 legged squats with the smith machine, its hard and you need decent endurance but it kills the quads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinc View Post
    every once in a while i get killer lower back pumps, last time being from using waxy maize.. try doing 1 legged squats with the smith machine, its hard and you need decent endurance but it kills the quads.
    These have always been a challange for me. Not that important to me but I can see where they work;one legged power.
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    try box squatting with a moderate weight until your form becomes textbook. also, improve your deadlift; if your prs are moving up in the dead, i guarantee your squat poundages will go up as well.

    as others have hinted...using the smith machine imho is a no no. it helps take your stabilizers out of the lift, which may be why you injured yourself.

    build an iron-clad posterior chain, and life in the gym will be a little easier.
  

  
 

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