Low bar squat has completely killed my bench Low bar squat has completely killed my bench

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Thread: Low bar squat has completely killed my bench

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    Default Low bar squat has completely killed my bench

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    I taught I wasn't able to do a low bar squat because I don't have the flexibility to put the bar in the correct place but I found out that after 45min of stretching doing the Paul Horn stretch, stretching my minor pec, my lats and doing shoulder dislocations I am able to do a low bar squat with some pain (some, not no pain) in my left arm (I'm less flexible on my left arm for no reason at all since I don't have any injury). My grip is pretty wide to put the bar in the position; my little fingers are a hair away from the uprights, if I put them any closer I get a lot of pain. I have been doing that for seven squat session and I get less pain with each workout, that's why I think it is not a form issue. The problem is that it hurts like hell in the bench press and I'm not able to bench. At the begging it hurt both arms now is just left one, particularly behind the humerus about at the place of the insertion of the tricep.

    Since I used to have pain in both arms and now just in a portion of my left arm when I bench, I wonder if this is normal and will go away eventually. Do you have any ideas?

    31 years old
    1.87m (6.1ft)
    84Kg (185lbs)
    Squat: 108Kg (238lbs)
    Bench: 91Kg (200lbs)
    Press: 60Kg (132lbs)
    Deadlift: 165Kg (364lbs)

    By the way all of my other lifts have also gone down since I started low bar squatting but the bench is the worst.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    New York, NY
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    525

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    Since you have seen progress, it may very well go away eventually. But it will likely take some time. In the meantime try doing your upper body lifts before your squat.
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  3. #3
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    Oct 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden-William Courtland View Post
    Since you have seen progress, it may very well go away eventually. But it will likely take some time. In the meantime try doing your upper body lifts before your squat.
    Thank you. I'm already doing them a day latter after I do squats. I don't have time to do the programme as written (I can't stay in the gym more than an hour) so I have divided it in several days, I imagine that if I did them the same day it would be even worse.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2020
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    Well, as an update, it hasn't gone away. I kept squatting and increasing the weights (I'm now at 118Kg, 260lbs in the squat). Now I don't have any pain in my right arm either when I squat or bench, but my left starts to hurt around the shoulder and elbow when I squat or bench. I can tolerate it when I squat but it has impacted my bench, I have had to deload it 10Kg, 22lbs, and it still hurts.

    At this point I don't know what to do. My form in the squat seems to have no issues. I don't have excessive flexion or extension on the writs, thumbs over the bar, first pad of the index finger on the bar, bar just below the scapula, I'm not lifting the elbows excessively, etc. All the checklist.

    I thought that maybe an asymmetric grip could help, since is only my left arm that hurts. To go wider on the left, but since I'm already touching the uprights I cannot go wider. Any ideas?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    I might get shit on for recommending this, but maybe switch to high bar? Or safety bar.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2014
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    New York, NY
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    If you are certain there are no form issues (did you have a technique forum check?) and you are as wide as you can be, and have tried a thumb around grip, then doing high bar or safety squats for a while to break the pain cycle is a reasonable approach.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
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    Any update on your progress? I am having the same type of pain trying to low bar squat. Same issue with preventing benching (left arm). I'm hoping for a cure.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    88

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    I had this exact issue. Watch and read all the grip materials. I didn't miss a squat day, but there were days where squats took forever. If I took the bar out of the rack with any pain, I re-racked and tried again. I also deloaded my bench and went up in 2# increments. Eventually all the pain went away in both exercises.
    For reference, the pain started at like a 295 squat, fixed the grip and got rid of it by like 345. Bench went from 225 to 185 and was fine by the time I was back to 225.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    I went through the same thing. The pain was right at my triceps attachment to my shoulder, kind of toward the rear of my armpit, and just above my elbow. I ignored the pain for 2 months, just kept doing aggressive stretching and increasing the weight, and my elbow tendonitis got progressively worse, and eventually I tore my triceps. I guess it was the weakest link, and one particularly ugly failed squat where I hit the uprights of the rack was the nail in the coffin. But man, you can't do ANYTHING with an angry triceps.

    While I was waiting for the triceps to heal, I got an awesome massage therapist who poked every muscle and told me where I was tight. It was a huge ah-hah moment for me when he said my shoulder mobility was actually fine, it was my chest and abs that were tight and preventing me from getting into thoracic extension. You could watch me try to set my back before a squat, and my low back would hyperextend and my upper back would stay curled over. Obviously, you might have a different set of tight things.

    I started doing shoulder CARs (controlled articular rotations) and taking a lacrosse ball against a wall to my pecs and lats every morning. I also did cobras (to stretch my abs), lat stretches, and "rolling crucifix" (Athlean X demonstrates them) stretches every day at lunch. I got some (very painful) massages focused on my chest and armpits. He even dug his fingers between and my ribs and after I was done cursing him out, like magic I could take deep breaths again.
    Finally, I added 20 minutes of easy pace rowing a few times a week, particularly the day after a lift, which seems to keep everything loose.

    For pre-workout stretching, I stopped doing shoulder dislocates at Stef's recommendation, and started a kinder and more progressive routine. I start with pec stretches (not a doorway stretch, there's better ones on youtube that dont push your arm forward in it'd socket), then shoulder CARs, move to less agressive "dislocates" with my back up against the wall so I can't go too far back, and cap it all off with a few gentle Paul Horns.
    I also swapped my first few warmup sets to front squats which seems to help a lot with loosening it all up, I don't know why.

    I started back with high bar squats for a month while I worked out all those kinks, and then switched to low bar squats by slowly integrating them into warmups and then into work sets, and it's going great. I have been wrapping my thumb around the bar like you would for high bar squat to get my elbows down (at Chase's suggestion), and that's helping too.
    I no longer get any pain at all from squatting, but overhead pressing is still a little painful for my triceps and crunchy in my shoulders. My massage guy always knows when I've been pushing them too hard because my upper pecs get wicked tight.

    I know this list seems ridiculously long and I was originally frustrated the Paul Horn stretch didn't work magic for me like it seems to for so many, but I've had messed up shoulders for a very long time, and I'm seeing huge benefits in my everyday life from all this work. My posture is better and I don't get sore from sitting at the computer or sleeping on my side anymore.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
    Posts
    29

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    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks for that info Elle.

    I saw a Active Release therapist today. I felt a bit looser after the session. He indicated my pecs were tight (along with some other stuff). My homework is the ball against the wall on pecs and upper back/neck. Sounds like what you were doing. I go back for a second appointment next week.
    I'll also look into the stretching you mentioned. Hopefully I can get to the low bar position soon (especially without bad pain).

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