The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Two months into Rippetoe's, lower back pain from squats?

    I started Rippetoe's Starting Strength a little longer than two months ago. Lately I've been noticing some lower back pain, just to the left of my tail bone. I don't get any pain when I'm in the gym, but it's usually when I'm sitting in my chair at work or at home that I notice it. I actually feel great after I'm done doing my squats.

    I've tried very hard to concentrate on good form, as well as doing warm up sets, especially with squats. I don't feel any strain until my working sets of 5 reps, and then I feel like I'm using my lower back a bit at the very end of my lift.

    I'm just wondering if doing squats with such heavy reps at three times a week is too much? It's funny, though, the other night I told myself that I would take a break from squats to rest. I still ended up in the rack though, albeit with less weight than normal.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member garjagan's Avatar
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    Start here with sensei's squat vids :

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq8CWv8UPAI

    Watch the first few.

    Think about mobility drills and getting the squat muscles primed and ready to lift. I suffered the same kind of issues as you a few months back, there really is no quick fix. The squat is such a complicated movement that there could be a whole host of factors contributing to your problems. It is the daddy of compound movements, respect it or it will hurt you!

    Using your back at the end of the lift could be (what sensei calls) GM'ing out of the hole. Aim for getting your hamstrings, groin and back as flexible and strong as possible.

    When coming up keep your shoulders back, your chest out proud, your lumber region arched, your head facing forward, your neck pushing back against the bar and when you're about to push up from the squat position - think about how your head should move first. Drive your head up and dont let it lag or your hips will rise faster than your upper body and you'll be GMing using your back for the last part.

    (But of course the back is used quite a bit with a proper powerlifting, low bar placement squat so I guess it depends on your stance and what you're trying to do)

  4. #3
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Yup squats are hard as hell. I love them too though, so I can't seem to stay out of the rack if I get hurt.

    Hows the Rippetoe routine coming along so far anyway? What types of results are you getting?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by garjagan View Post
    Start here with sensei's squat vids :

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq8CWv8UPAI

    Watch the first few.

    Think about mobility drills and getting the squat muscles primed and ready to lift.

    Using your back at the end of the lift could be (what sensei calls) GM'ing out of the hole. Aim for getting your hamstrings, groin and back as flexible and strong as possible.
    Thanks for the info; your post was very informative. I came across the Squat Rx videos a while ago, but forgot about them. I'll sit down and go through them tonight, and also take some time to look at my form based on what you suggested.

    I really like squatting but want to avoid long-term injuries!

    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    Yup squats are hard as hell. I love them too though, so I can't seem to stay out of the rack if I get hurt.

    Hows the Rippetoe routine coming along so far anyway? What types of results are you getting?
    I started out with little to no muscle mass, so my lifts are still embarrassingly low. My bench press, squats, and dead lift are all up at least 50 lbs, though. I'm what they call "ripe with potential". My diet hasn't been the greatest lately, but I've been eating protein like no tomorrow.

  6. #5
    Senior Member OGROK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael H View Post
    I started Rippetoe's Starting Strength a little longer than two months ago. Lately I've been noticing some lower back pain, just to the left of my tail bone. I don't get any pain when I'm in the gym, but it's usually when I'm sitting in my chair at work or at home that I notice it. I actually feel great after I'm done doing my squats.

    I've tried very hard to concentrate on good form, as well as doing warm up sets, especially with squats. I don't feel any strain until my working sets of 5 reps, and then I feel like I'm using my lower back a bit at the very end of my lift.

    I'm just wondering if doing squats with such heavy reps at three times a week is too much? It's funny, though, the other night I told myself that I would take a break from squats to rest. I still ended up in the rack though, albeit with less weight than normal.
    Are you doing squats the way Rippetoe tells you to do? He says to use a lowbar powerlifting stance. If you are putting the bar on your neck that increases the amount of torque on your spine, which can lead you to GM. When I first started doing Rippetoe's I was using a high-bar stance, and it led to me GMing the weight. When I switched to low-bar, my squat went up by like 50-75 lbs over the next month or two.
    Last edited by OGROK; 11-29-2007 at 07:43 PM.

  7. #6
    1000 or bust motoko013's Avatar
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    make sure you're not rounding your lower back as you reach the bottom of the squat, that could be causing the back problems. watch the first squat RX video somewhere on here or youtube by sensei because it's all about that. make sure when you are lowering during the squat that you try to spread the chest and sort of sit back

    Reach down between your legs and find a pair of balls. That's what it takes to lift big weights. Genetics is the weak man's excuse for why he sucks at life. Don't be that guy - RhodeHouse

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    Are you doing squats the way Rippetoe tells you to do? He says to use a lowbar powerlifting stance. If you are putting the bar on your neck that increases the amount of torque on your spine, which can lead you to GM. When I first started doing Rippetoe's I was using a high-bar stance, and it led to me GMing the weight. When I switched to low-bar, my squat went up by like 50-75 lbs over the next month or two.
    Wow, I think you hit the nail on the head with that one! After watching Squat Rx #2 I saw that I was doing exactly what he was describing. I just tried re-enacting my squat form now and saw that I was indeed pushing with my hips and setting myself up to do a Good Morning. I learned a lot just from watching that short video.

    Similarly, I have been doing the high bar, narrow stance squat. I lift tomorrow and will be trying out the low bar stance for sure.

    Thanks! This was a big help.

  9. #8
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    When I first started squatting I had some pain in my middle/lower back, but that was mainly from a combination of keeping my straight and having the weight on my back. I never experienced any back pain afterwards other than some muscle soreness (the good kind) and feeling like my knees were about to buckle.

    But I guess that's what squats do.

  10. #9
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    Just as a followup to this thread, I took the advice given here and also talked to one of the trainers at the gym. He offered me similar pointers, and now I am much more aware of a) how I am coming out of the hole and b) keeping my head up much farther than I was before.

    The pain is gone, I'm back on track, and every workout I'm squatting the most I ever have in my life.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Good to hear! Keep on Squatting!
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

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