Lower back pain during squat and deadlift (2nd post) Lower back pain during squat and deadlift (2nd post)

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Thread: Lower back pain during squat and deadlift (2nd post)

  1. #1
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    Default Lower back pain during squat and deadlift (2nd post)

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    Hello Coaches,

    On my profile you can find a post I made a while back about some lower back issues, I'm not going to describe the whole ordeal in detail again since you can check the post on my profile. To sum it up, I have intense low back pain on squats and deadlifts whenever I'm doing my heavy sets. Afterwards, the pain lingers on for a few days and gets worse with every session. After a few weeks training the pain becomes intense enough that I can't do my presses after squatting and have to skip the rest of the workout. If I stop working out, the pain eventually goes away, and comes back after a few heavy squats/deadlifts.

    Since my last post, I have been stretching my hip flexors and piriformis, and also foam rolling and massaging with a lacrosse ball on my glutes, quads and IT band. I have been doing it for 4 weeks and do not think that it is actually helping, so I decided to post again in case someone can help me find a solution. I'm planning on buying a belt soon, although I don't think it will help much. I *think* my form isn't the issue, you can check out any of my vids doing squats/deadlifts on my channel at Elture - YouTube (stick to the most recent ones). I live in Portugal, so I doubt I could meet up with a Starting Strength Coach. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    The very first thing you do with back pain is train in a belt.

  3. #3
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    Elture-

    Since you're so thin, it's easy to over extend your back. It's especially easy if you don't have a belt to squeeze your abs against. And the issue is exacerbated if you rush through your lifts.

    Do the following:
    -Get a belt immediately. Think of the cue "eat your belt with your abs" before you start each rep.

    -If your belt doesn't arrive before your next workout, setup for each rep and pretend your about to get kicked in the stomach. Brace like you would to absorb that level of impact, then do the rep.

    -Treat each rep as an individual event that requires 100% of your energy and attention, don't string together multiple reps to rush through the set.

    -Watch the video on how to deadlift. Get your hips higher and don't start a rep if your knees pass mid-elbow in the setup position

    If you want to get the most out of this program you'll need to buy a pair of weightlifting shoes and start gaining about a kg per week.

    An Online Coach is worth the investment if you can't make it up to Belgium to see Steve Ross.

  4. #4
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    I ordered my belt today after both of your responses.

    Yes Ray, I always brace (or try to) by focusing 100% on my "abs" and disregarding my lower back. If I try on purpose to put my lower back in extension, it becomes grossly hyperextended and has me ending the lift with a nasty injury.

    When you say "string together multiple reps", I'm assuming you saw my most recent squat video where I did screw up on that, but it was my light squat day, which either way gives me 0 back pain (only hurts on my heavy days during and after the top set). Nevertheless, you're right in that I should focus 100% on each rep even if it is a light squat day or a 20kg warmup. I'll fix that. I will also make sure to correct my deadlift form.

    The only part of your message that has me a bit puzzled is the "gain 1kg a week". I'm not, by any means, worried about becoming fat or losing abs, but isn't 1kg a week too harsh of a goal? When I was eating 5200 calories at 90kg a few weeks ago my weight was completely stalled. I was planning on jumping up to 6000, but 1kg a week at 87kg and 180cm sounds too fast. I'm glad I look thin to you though, that means I can still put on a lot of body weight.

    Sadly travelling to Belgium would not be possible, especially with how you have to dish out half a grand in tests here in the EU because *of course* you need 4 in a week to be able to travel. After I get my belt and if there is no improvement in my situation, I will 100% look into getting an Online Coach.

  5. #5
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elture View Post
    Yes Ray, I always brace (or try to) by focusing 100% on my "abs" and disregarding my lower back. If I try on purpose to put my lower back in extension, it becomes grossly hyperextended and has me ending the lift with a nasty injury.
    Make sure you're doing it like this: Fixing Your Squat Set Up - Stop Overextending Your Low Back - YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by Elture View Post
    When you say "string together multiple reps", I'm assuming you saw my most recent squat video where I did screw up on that, but it was my light squat day, which either way gives me 0 back pain (only hurts on my heavy days during and after the top set). Nevertheless, you're right in that I should focus 100% on each rep even if it is a light squat day or a 20kg warmup. I'll fix that. I will also make sure to correct my deadlift form.
    Yes. Each rep needs to be perfect. Light sets are practice for heavy sets. Every rep reinforces a movement pattern, like practicing a golf swing. Take all of your reps seriously, regardless of weight on the bar. If a sloppy movement pattern is drilled on light day, you can expect problems when the weight is heavy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elture View Post
    The only part of your message that has me a bit puzzled is the "gain 1kg a week". I'm not, by any means, worried about becoming fat or losing abs, but isn't 1kg a week too harsh of a goal? When I was eating 5200 calories at 90kg a few weeks ago my weight was completely stalled. I was planning on jumping up to 6000, but 1kg a week at 87kg and 180cm sounds too fast. I'm glad I look thin to you though, that means I can still put on a lot of body weight.
    At 5'11" and 192 pounds, you are underweight for a strength trainee. If you're still on your novice linear progression and are losing bodyweight as the weight on the bar goes up (it sounds like you've lost 3kg recently), you're exposing yourself to additional risk, especially with a history of back pain. You need thick spinal erector and abdominal muscles to adequately support your spine under load. The best way to develop these muscles is by linearly progressing your bodyweight alongside the weight on the bar.

    1kg per week may sound extreme, but it's necessary for an underweight novice that's in the latter half of his linear progression. Especially if your back hurts.

  6. #6
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    My belt arrived and I did a session already with it. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to help with the pain. I feel a lot more braced but even though the weight looked relatively easy, I stopped when I started feeling too much pain, which was on the 3rd squat rep and the 1st deadlift rep. Any help is greatly appreciated.
    160kg 3 reps squat @ 87kg bw - YouTube
    160kg 1 rep deadlift @ 87kg bw - YouTube

  7. #7
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    Did you just not believe Ray when he told you your back was in severe overextension?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Did you just not believe Ray when he told you your back was in severe overextension?
    Yeah, I did realize that when he pointed it out, but I didn't focus enough so I fucked it up . I'll also start recording my deadlifts from the side so that my back curvature is visible and I'm going to fix the low back positioning next session. Thanks for the help so far

  9. #9
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
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    Elture, for the sake of helping others with this problem, let's get this fixed publicly. Post a video so that everyone can see the before and after.

    Do the following:
    1) Setup the camera and record "bracing your abs like you're going to get kicked in the stomach" - take this literally and brace hard. Do this without the bar, just demonstrate that you can do it.

    2) Do the same thing with the bar on your back. Don't squat. Review the video and make sure you're bracing just as hard.

    3) Once you've confirmed you can do this with the bar on your back, do one rep with the empty bar and record it. When you descend, repeat the cue "nipples at the floor" in your head and point your chest down immediately as you send your hips back. You must stop sending your hips back while trying to keep your chest up or you're going to keep tweaking your back.

    4) Drill this repeatedly and record/review every rep. Don't accept anything less than perfect.

    5) Upload a video of a moderate set of squats with a rigid torso with nipples pointed at the floor as soon as you start the descent. Your spine is a steel rod, do not let it bend.

    Piece the above clips into a short video and share it here.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Okay, I will do that this week. Should I use the belt on every recording, or just on the moderate set of squats?

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