Lower back pain or tension after a set of squats Lower back pain or tension after a set of squats

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Thread: Lower back pain or tension after a set of squats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Lower back pain or tension after a set of squats

    I started using the Starting Strenght approach for about 7 weeks and have added a decent amount of weight to my exercises. One thing I have noticed since the weights have gone up is that I feel a fairly significant tightness in my lower back. It is somewhat painful. The thing is it doesn't bother me while I am squating, it hits me right after I rack the weight and I feel the pressure come off my back. Right after I rack the weight it is like my lower back starts seizing up. It will be a little painful when I move around. Then it will start to dissipate. After I am done with my squats my lower back feels fine when I am doing presses and pullups. I left the gym today with no pain at all by the time the workout was over.

    I will include a little information about myself and the results I have gotten. I wondered if this is something this is fairly common. Of course I'm not qualified to diagnose anything but because the tightness goes away I thought it might be tension. I am 51 years old. Before I did the Starting Strenght program I had spent about 8 months doing aerobic exercise almost exclusively. I sometimes did some calestenics. I had done a ketogenic diet for a about 4 months and only weighed 162 lbs. Before that I was doing a kettlebell program called Simple and Sinister.
    Today, approximately 7 weeks later I weighed 192 lbs. The first couple of workouts I didn't push myself hard, I just practiced the movements with some weight on the bar. I do physical labor at work and I didn't want to go to work sore. I think I have added around 60-70 lbs to my squat since I started, or an average of about 10 lbs a week. I might not be done the program or I might not fit the demographic, but I am very happy with my results so far. I squatted with 260lbs for three sets of five today. I would like to squat 405 lbs and deadlift 450. It might not be setting any records but I would be happy with that considering where I started. I think the physical labor in my work will require me to keep my volume done. I already decided to only squat twice per week because my legs feel so exhausted by the time my work day is over. I will do my deadlift component on the the day I don't squat. Also, because I work out alone I added dumbbell chest presses instead of benches even though I can't get the small increases in weight. So, I'm not doing the program 100% but I am happy with the results. I'm glad I found out about Mark's program and put it to work.
    Thank you,
    Robert Noftz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,082

    Default

    What is your question?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default That's a good question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    What is your question?
    Hi Mark,
    That's a good question you asked. What was my question? It appears I should have proof read my comment a little better. I looks like I edited out my question.
    Ok, the question is. Have you had experience with the issue of tension or pain in the lower back after the weight is taken off? I'm new to this and it seemed a little odd that it wouldn't hurt while I'm doing the exercise. It seems to hurt after the pressure is taken off, and then goes away after a few minutes if I allow my back to relax.

    Thanks,
    Robert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    101

    Default

    I think I've experienced something like this recently, and I think it might be at least partly due to being sloppy and not staying tight when unracking the bar and stepping back into my squat stance. I might be overextending/overarching my back when I first get under the bar. And then in stepping back into squat position, there's inevitably a little side-to-side movement as I step that isn't there when actually squatting. Thinking "big air," taking a big breath, and staying just as tight when stepping back as I do during a set seems to help.

    For me the tight, almost painful feeling in my lower back can start even during my light warmup sets, which to me signifies a form/technique issue and not just that the weight is heavy and I need to get stronger.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,082

    Default

    Video would show a form error big enough to produce these symptoms.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I did record some video for my own use so I could see my depth. I don't know if the position is sufficient but I will put them up. The second set was the most painful after I put the bar on the rack. The third set was far less painful. When looking at it I do think I see some movement of the bar position backwards and forwards. On the third set I was getting ready for the pain when I put the bar on the rack but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as the second set.
    I do see a seminar or coaching session in my future. There was a session in Michigan a couple hours from where I live but it was sold out by the time I saw it on the website.
    Set 1
    YouTube
    Set 2
    YouTube
    Set 3
    YouTube

    Yes, it probably is something I'm doing. I'll have to fix it. It is getting a little old walking like a person with a bad back after every set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    39,082

    Default

    1. The camera angle makes it impossible to see your depth, and lots of other stuff.
    2. But I can see that your are doing the standard lift-the-chest-not-the-hips thing that causes back pain for many people. Much has been written and videoed about this on this website. Do your homework.
    3. And most people who have back pain when they lift benefit immediately from a belt. Why are you not wearing a belt?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6

    Default Belt and hip drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    1. The camera angle makes it impossible to see your depth, and lots of other stuff.
    2. But I can see that your are doing the standard lift-the-chest-not-the-hips thing that causes back pain for many people. Much has been written and videoed about this on this website. Do your homework.
    3. And most people who have back pain when they lift benefit immediately from a belt. Why are you not wearing a belt?
    In regards to the belt, I thought I would go without it if I didn't need it. I will get one right away. I will go back to emphasizing the hip drive like you teach. I slipped away from it after watching some videos from other trainers.

    Thank you,
    Robert

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