Excessive Lower Back Arch
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A little arch is normal and fits the normal curvature of your spine. However, arching your back beyond the normal limits can irritate the structures in your spine and cause pain over time, especially under heavy load.
To fix an excessive lower back arch, start with the cat/camel exercise. I like to start with the cat/camel to train ones ability to feel where their spine is in space. This can be diminished when one is in pain or stuck in one postural position for a prolonged time. Ensure that you are not pushing past the point of any pain and work your way up to a full range.
Once you restore your bodys ability to sense spinal position, lock it in with a core stability exercise. Focus on lightly maintaining contact with your lower back against the floor and perform the above exercise. It is imperative to prevent your lower back from coming off the floor when your hands and feet separate.
How To Squat Properly: Action Plan
So to sum the video up, heres the exact action plan youll want to take for your squats. I would highly recommend that you actually take the time to film yourself from the side. Or get someone to film for you just to see if youre making any of these mistakes.
But by being aware of these key points as youre squatting and implementing the necessary fixes for them, youll be able to both alleviate any lower back pain you may be experiencing when squatting and better protect your lower back from injury in the long run.
And if youre looking for a science-based plan that optimizes your exercises and all the various aspects of your program for you in an easy to follow manner such that you can quickly build strength and size as effectively and as safely as possible with science:
Take The Right Supplements
Supplements dont heal injuries. Training properly, eating a healthy diet, and giving yourself enough rest, does.
Most of the supplements that are commonly marketed for joint pain, like glucosamine chondroitin, have also been largely debunked.
That said, there are safe, natural substances that science indicates may help prevent and reduce lower back pain.
Lets quickly review the supplements that are most likely to help.
Fish oil is known for being anti-inflammatory, and in cases where lower-back pain is caused by inflammation, taking fish oil may help.
The two main ingredients in fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid , improve the production of anti-inflammatory compounds in the body.
If you eat several servings of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and cod every week, you may not benefit from supplementation with fish oil. If you dont, however, its a good idea to include it in your daily supplement regimen.
And if youre looking for a high-quality fish oil, then you want to check out Triton.
Its a high-potency, 100% triglyceride fish oil with added vitamin E to prevent oxidation and rancidity, and natural lemon oil, which prevents noxious fish oil burps.
Furthermore, its made from sustainably fished deep-water anchovies and sardines and is molecularly distilled to remove synthetic and natural toxins and contaminants.
- Undenatured type ll collagen
- Boswellia serrata
- Grape seed extract
Undenatured Type ll Collagen
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Be Sure Youre Using The Correct Form For Your Squats And Deadlifts
Always aim to master your technique for squats and deadlifts
Lets review the technique involved in the conventional squat and deadlift, and its relation to back soreness that you may experience afterward.
Place the bar on your upper back, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Some coaches advocate for not keeping your toes straight but rather approximately 30 degrees outwards.
It was found that having your feet turned slightly outwards lowered the loading forces of the spine when lifting weight during a squat, which could potentially save someone from having a sore back.
Flex your stomach and glute muscles
By flexing your stomach and glute muscles youll make your back more rigid, allowing you to support the weight from the squat much easier. This will also help you avoid leaning forward during the squat which can lead to uneven forces through the back, causing potential soreness.
Move your hips back, while maintaining a neutral lower back, and squat down using a controlled tempo
Squat until the tops of your legs are parallel to the floor or lower
Slowly return to the starting position while keeping your back upright and your hips under the bar.
You want to avoid having a rounded back by keeping your chest up , as a rounded back during a squat can lead to a sore back. Also, avoid rotating at your hips while squatting to maintain a neutral lower back.
Stand with your hips and knees locked at the top
Bring the bar back down to the start position
Try This: Trade Squats For A Modified Sit
If you bend forward or find yourself looking down at the floor when you squat, try a powered-up version of the sit-to-stand exercise instead. Its the same movement pattern as a traditional sit-to-stand, except you start by sitting in a chair with your arms hanging at your sides.
When you press through your heels to stand up, swing your arms in front of you to help power the motion as you do. This little oomph from the arms can help you resist the urge to hinge forward, Endres says.
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Solution: How To Maximize Your Glute Muscles
- Bring your knees out. Your stance should be at least at shoulder width. Outwardly rotate your hips as you squat.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor so as to create a hollow area that would allow you to bring your knees out more effectively.
- End the lockout part of your squats by bringing your hips forward while contracting your gluteus muscle.
Is It Normal To Have Back Pain After Squats
Absolutely not normal. Lets be clear though, pain and muscle soreness are a different thing. We expect you to be sore, but we dont wan true low back pain associated with your squats. Sure, we can argue that every now and then we will tweak a muscle or something will feel weird, but it should not be a recurring thing that is only brought on by squatting.
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Lower Back Pain From Squats: Why This Happens And How To Avoid It
Squatting. One of those exercises we love to hate but which has so many benefits. If youve ever experienced back pain during or after squatting, then this is the blog post for you. Bodysets Head of Physiotherapy, Julia Petersbelk details the benefits of squats and how to avoid back pain
Around the world, athletes in all sports squat regularly. But why? Research has shown that squatting has a direct impact on your bodys power your ability to overcome resistance with speed. So, excellent squatting strength results in greater power and an increase in sprint speed. Even if youre not a pro athlete, including squats in your training plan is incredibly valuable. Benefits include:
- Increased flexibility. Performing big movements under load improves your strength, range of movement in your joints and muscle length.
- Greater core strength. A well-executed squat requires all the major muscles in the body to work together. Your deep stabilising muscles keep your body steady and balanced throughout the exercise and, over time, your core strength will improve.
- Injury prevention. Squats work all the leg muscles together, providing great synchronisation for the body. A well-coordinated body is a more stable body one that is less likely to become injured when running, jumping and performing daily tasks like picking up children or lifting boxes.
How to prevent back pain when you squat
Talk To A Professional
If you regularly experience lower back pain when squatting, you may want to talk to a health professional, such as a personal trainer or physiotherapist. In addition to adjusting your approach, a trainer can help you add squats to your workout very well.
If you have limited energy, you may need to start with a simple exercise program. Having an expert in your corner can help you improve faster than doing it yourself
Always talk to your trainer or professional about previous injuries, as this may affect the recommendations and advice they give you. At times, they may even need to be adjusted to meet the needs of your individual body.
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Try To Manage The Pain
Muscle pain and stiffness may be a normal process while your body is recovering from the rash. Consider stretching and exercising to relieve your aching muscles. Unless the pain is severe and debilitating, continue with a gentle movement.
Try using heat or ice to ease the pain if you are in pain. Some people prefer the heat while others swear the snow. Try both if you do not know which one is helping you with the pain. Make sure you do not keep heat or ice on your back for more than 20 minutes at a time.
You may also consider taking painkillers off the counter to relieve pain. However, if the above remedies do not help, you need to consult a doctor.
You Already Have A Back Injury But Dont Pay Heed To It
When we develop a lower back injury, we should immediately stop doing any form of workout that could be detrimental to the healing, including squats. You can still do squats to keep your spine stable, and in case, you feel pain-free while doing them. Lower back discomfort may occur if your injury impairs spinal stabilization. In this scenario, its best to avoid squats until youve healed thoroughly.
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Take A Few Days To Rest And Avoid Activities That Cause Your Back To Get Sore
Its hard to tell people that are used to being active to take a break but its totally necessary sometimes.
Im not saying you should lay in bed and not go about your regular day. On the contrary, I would want you to lay off the squatting and/or deadlifting for a few days to give your body a break.
One relatively unknown issue people experience by laying in bed or completely resting is something called kinesiophobia. Its basically fear of moving because you want to avoid pain. The last thing I would want is for you to experience this its better to continue your regular routine as much as possible, and with as little discomfort as possible while youre resting.
Some things you can do during the rest period to help are:
If an object is too heavy, ask for help
If youre lifting an object, bend at your knees, not at your waist
Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift or lower heavy objects
Try to lift heavy objects using your leg muscles
Sitting And Lower Back Pain
Poke around online for a few minutes, and youll see that sitting is considered one of the worst things you can do for your lower back.
If youre like most people, including me, you spend a good chunk of your day sitting, and youve probably felt some tightness or outright pain in your lower back at some point.
So, this idea jives with many peoples personal experiences.
Of course sitting causes lower back pain. Especially if you shift around in your chair, changing posture, leaning sideways and forward, trying to find a comfortable position.
Well, science says thats flat out wrong.
One of the best pieces of evidence for this was in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health by Danish researchers back in 2000. They looked at 35 different studies on people who were either sedentary or sat most of the day, and found that only one, low-quality study showed an association between low-back pain and sitting.
As the authors concluded:
The extensive recent epidemiological literature does not support the popular opinion that sitting-while-at-work is associated with LBP .
A more recent study did find a slight association between lower back pain and sitting in awkward postures and being exposed to vibration , but the results were pretty weak and thats going to be an issue for most.
So, all in all, sitting isnt associated with lower back pain.
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How Do I Stop Squats Hurting My Back
Read simple instructions that I use for avoiding back pain with squat training. Here is my routine in order:
- Use a foam roller for the back and legs
- Warm-up gluteal and abdominal muscle group
- Add mobility exercises for hips and ankle
- Place bar just above the shoulder blades
- Breath in hold breath as going down breath out as you go up
- Maintain torso straight during the squat
- Find the proper squat depth before butt wink
- Rotate squat variations weekly
- Follow the intensity and volume, and increase only one per week. Intensity: max 5% increase in weights weekly. With 100kg squat in week one, increase the weight to 105kg for the following week.
- Use a lifting belt if needed.
- Use heal lift if needed
Massage treatments, acupuncture or fascial stretching therapy is also a good way to reset the muscle tension and avoid overtraining injuries.
If you already have back pain caused by squatting, I highly suggest you consult your physical therapist. It is the easiest way to exclude any serious injuries and start with needed treatments.
Does Low Back Pain Ever Go Away
Yes, if the complications that are creating low back pain are fixed then your low back pain will improve. The tricky part is figuring out what the issues are that are causing your problem. I wish I could tell you the magic recipe for fixing back pain, but to be honest, every person is so different and the treatment plans for lower back pain can vary greatly from person to person. What I can tell you is that you NEED to seek out help from a healthcare specialist if youre dealing with issues such as low back pain after squatting or low back pain after deadlifting because this is some that CAN be fixed.
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Working On Your Flexibility
If ankle mobility seems to be a problem, incorporate ankle mobility stretches and mobility work into your routine. If hamstring flexibility is holding you back, again, focus on stretching these muscles.
A 2016 study showed that a combination of core strengthening exercises and lumbar flexibility exercises may be best when recovering from a low back injury.
How To Squat Properly With Quick Fixes
In addition to this, some quick fixes are to:
- Use a wider stance – A wide squat stance enables you to squat deeper with less ankle mobility. Since the knees dont have to travel forward as much.
- Invest in lifting shoes – Squat shoes provide a heel lift which helps with your ankle mobility. And here’s a link to the ones I use and recommend.
Regardless, until you improve that excessive butt wink in your squat, it would be best to either:
- Limit your depth during heavy squats to parallel
- However deep you can go without that excessive rounding
To avoid any potential issues arising over time.
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Weak Quadriceps Negatively Influence Proper Squat Form
And if you struggle with this, then this likely has to do with both your motor coordination. And a weakness in your quadriceps. Because if your quadriceps are weak at the bottom position, your body will compensate by relying more on your relatively stronger glutes and lower back to now carry the load which is why we see the hips shoot back.
And in fact, multiple research papers like this one from the Spine journal are in support of this. And found that when subjects pre-fatigued their quadriceps so that theyd be relatively weaker before performing a squat, they tended to now lift with the stooping squat pattern discussed earlier. This is so they could decrease the demand placed on their quadriceps.
Your Technique Is All Wrong
You must maintain proper form to achieve a successful squat. This is important not just to get the most out of the workout, but also to stay pain-free. From start to end, the manner in which you position your body during the squat is crucial.
Lower back discomfort might occur during or after squatting, if your technique fails or other body parts are used incorrectly. Collapsing foot arches and knees, as well as backward tilting hips, are examples of these breakdowns. When the proper procedure is not followed, the barbell back squat is the most likely to induce lower back pain, due to the weight on your spine, says fitness expert Meenakshi Mohanty.
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