I recently began squatting seriously and heavily, ATG the past couple of weeks. I've watched Sensei's Squat RX videos, have practiced with a broom stick at work (at a greenhouse at my university) on my break and been incorporating all sorts of squat stretches to loosen me up. I thought my form was getting much better and squatted a plate each side of the barbell at my gym; at first everything seemed fine. Weight was on my heels, hips pushing back, chest up, tight arch, ass to the grass. All of a sudden after my workout i feel a slight twinge in my back and in the next few hours i pretty much knew that i had a light sprain in my lower back.
I wont be going back to the squat rack until im recovered 100% which im guessing will be in a week or 2, but i am just so frustrated that i injured myself even after practicing so much with the broomstick, watching so many videos and reading so many articles. I squat high bar and i think i am having a really big problem with my back angle. How perpendicular should my body be to the floor in the hole? I know its necessary to balance my body by leaning forward slightly, but i begin my descent, by push my hips back first while simultaneously leaning forward slightly to balance my body first before bending at my knees and ankles. But when i lean forward to balance myself all the weight is still in my heels and i can feel my hamstrings and glutes activating in the hole. Should my torso be tilting forward for balance right from the get go like this? Or is this stage more deeper into the hole? And should the squat be performed in stages, such as pushing back with hips first while simultaneously tilting forward and then bending at the knees, or one smooth motion with the knees and ankles bending while the hips go back?
The strange thing is that my front squat form is really tight; its just the back squat thats really giving me a hard time
maybe you're trying to arch your back too much...try settling the bar lower across your back
B: 255x1 DL: 375x1 SQ: work in progress
Goals: B-275 D-400 S-275 Weight- 180
That is good advice above. Also, sometimes when one focuses so much on form they tend to psych themselves out. You probably need to stretch more frequently and just squat.
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if i move the bar lower onto my back wont that make me lean forward far more? I really want to just squat but im just being careful as not to harm myself. Does it really matter if i bend back at the waist with torso lean first then bend knees or if i do all this in one smooth motion? Thanks for advice!!
when i started squatting and deadlifting i couldnt walk for a month, man up and squat.
H: 5'7" W:185
Goals: 495 -315 -585
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All this stuff is nearly impossible to critique without a video. It sounds like your technique is OK based on your description, but a video it really is the only way to get the feedback you need. You are going to have to be smart and work back slowly and listen to your body so you don't reinjure yourself.
You are right in that you have to have some forward lean to keep the bar centered over your feet so you don't fall over. This is different than rounding your back, which you should strive to avoid. How much forward lean you have depends on your proportions (back length vs. femur length), where you have the bar (high bar=less lean), and whether or not you have any forward knee drift. My guess is that in trying to go "ass to grass" you are letting your low back round in the bottom position in an attempt to get more depth, but again it's impossible to tell without video.
If your weight is still on your heels, you're not leaning forward too much.
Thanks for all the info guys!!
One last question; does it really matter if i start leaning forward to balance while pushing the hips back the first thing i do when i descend and then bending the knees?
Im not trying to be a pansy or anything; i just have a previous lower back injury from deadlifts in my lower, left back which is where its aching right now. The first time i tried squatting heavy was a few days ago and i felt my legs get torn and like throwing up. It just felt so... good
Try front squats or goblet squats if back squats make you so apprehensive. Then as you build up core strength you can transition to back squats.
lmfaowhen i started squatting and deadlifting i couldnt walk for a month, man up and squat.
Deadlift 1x5 @ 408 Squat Max @ 370
CG Bench 1x7 @ 225 Power Clean Max @ 235
W Chinups 3x10 @ +50 Dips 1x5 @ +115
Height - 6'3 Weight - 194lbs Age - 21
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If you're squatting high bar and your spinal erectors (lower back) and torso are not strong, you're going to have flexion in the back. Try pulling your hands in on your grip to ensure a tigher upper back and have the bar lower on your back. Forward lean is not a bad thing, it's a product of your body leverages and how you squat. I have a significant amount of forward lean in my squat, but my lower back remains arched and my rear delts are pulled together. Forward knees are not the worst thing to happen, except when there is little motion in the hips. I suggest you read up on the biomechanics of the squat and keep working on your form. A little grunt work on form now will benefit you in the long run. It took me several years to find the best bar position.
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