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Thread: Squat Question

  1. #1
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    Squat Question

    I guess I have a weak lower back, since I rep more on the bench press than I do on squats (max bench-275, max squat the last time I tried was about 265) My leg press is very strong though, I usually have over 8 plates per side on there

    Whenever I'm squatting, I tend to use my back more and more as the set progresses, with the last rep ending up being a 1/2 good morning, 1/2 squat.

    I know you're not supposed to do squats like that, but here's the problem: I always hear about you guys doing sets of 20 reps, or squatting till you feel like puking, etc. but I can NEVER get to that stage unless I'm involving my lower back a great deal. It's either I use my lower back during squats, or I stop my set short of the max # of squats I'm capalble of. It's sort of a Catch 22 situation

    So I'm wondering how to strenghten my lower back, and if I should throw in some lower back exercises along with my leg day (or is my lower back taxed enough already from squats that any more would just be detrimental?) or maybe add them in on back day

  2. #2
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    I'd first take a look at form. Maybe videotape it to get a better look at exactly what's happening. You might notice some pelvic rotation or maybe you're not in a position that keeps your torso as upright as you think. If that's the case then you can work on your form so that more of the load gets transferred to your hips rather than your lower back.

    I've never done many hyperextensions for the back, but I hear they work. Reg Park used to perform them before heavy squats to get the back warmed up and for psychological reasons.

    One more thing to try would be heal inserts (or olympic weightlifting shoes). They'll help your torso stay upright and you'll probably be able to go deeper.

    I literally spent 3-4 years trying to learn how to squat correctly before everything came together. I know how difficult it can be, and ultimately it came down to learning how to keep my torso upright so that my lower back could stay flexed/arched throughout the full ROM. Kono wrote about it in his book, he calls it the 'seat of power'.
    Last edited by bmanderson; 05-26-2004 at 01:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    thanks, any other suggestions?

  4. #4
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    Well, this might sound dumb....but how about lowering the weight back say 20% or more and going for more reps until you start to feel the sickness. the lower weight should also allow you to focus far more on your form.

    A good few people have just dropped the weight back to newb levels and rebuilt the form from the ground up. Nothing to be ashamed of. Its a good thing to seek improvements even if it means taking a few steps back. Its difficult to work on form when you are scared as hell about snapping your back in half.

    Augs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Augury
    Well, this might sound dumb....but how about lowering the weight back say 20% or more and going for more reps until you start to feel the sickness. the lower weight should also allow you to focus far more on your form.

    A good few people have just dropped the weight back to newb levels and rebuilt the form from the ground up. Nothing to be ashamed of. Its a good thing to seek improvements even if it means taking a few steps back. Its difficult to work on form when you are scared as hell about snapping your back in half.

    Augs
    Thanks for the advice, but it doesn't matter how low the weight is, the point is that my lower back gives out before my legs. I've already tried what you said, and it just means my lower back gives out on the 10th rep at 185 as opposed to the 6th rep at 200 (just as an example), either way, I can still do more squats, it's just my lower back starts to do more and more of the work as the set progresses.

    This is so frustrating, I need to find a solution

  6. #6
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanderson
    I've never done many hyperextensions for the back, but I hear they work. Reg Park used to perform them before heavy squats to get the back warmed up and for psychological reasons.

    Wow, that's pretty fcuked up right there. I would never do that but then again, I'm not Reg Park.
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  7. #7
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    Goodmornings. RDL, SLDL, DL's. Glute/Ham Raises. Reverse hypers. Your lower back will always give out first so there's not a whole lot you can do about it. It's a weaker muscle. There's really no need to do all those reps. With a heavy enough weight, 3-6 reps is fine. I do 4 sets of 3 reps. This is mostly due to wrist issues but I still have gotten results that I'm happy with.

    My only other suggestion is to pre-exhaust the quads. Leg extensions first, then do the squats. You'll temporarily weaken you quads so when you do squats, hopefully both the legs and the lower back will give out at the same time. You'll have to use a lighter weight though as you quads will be weaker.
    Burritos are the bomb for bulking!
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    Squat: PR 1@375, Goal 1@400
    Bench: PR 2@275, Goal 1@300

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