What am I doing that pulls same muscle in lower back every few months What am I doing that pulls same muscle in lower back every few months

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Thread: What am I doing that pulls same muscle in lower back every few months

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    7

    Default What am I doing that pulls same muscle in lower back every few months

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    Hello Mark,

    I purchased and have read several times both Starting Strength and the Barbell Prescription, and have viewed every YouTube video of yours that I can find.

    I've been lifting 2x a week and doing short duration Crossfit workouts 2x a week (I know your feelings about this) for 15 years.

    But the very same injury sets me back every 6 - 9 months.

    What am I doing wrong that at least once every 6 - 9 months for the past 10 years (yes this is probably 15 - 20 times in total) I pull the very same muscle in my lower back while doing a heavy set of deadlifts or squats?

    At the lowest point of the movement (bottom of the squat, start of the deadlift) I will feel a pop in the left lumbar spine followed by immediate pain. It causes me to drop the bar. I limp home. Then I spend the next 2 -4 weeks hobbling in pain. Leaning forward triggers serious pain at the point in the lower left back where my spine connects to the pelvis. Doesn't seem like a disc injury because the pain is localized, no weakness or numbness. Seems like a muscle sprain or tear. Same spot, every time.

    My coach (who is one of the original Crossfit coaches who understands strength and proper technique) suggests that in the low bar back squat I am leaning perhaps TOO far forward because I lack ankle flexibility. But really my form has been checked over the years by probably 10 different coaches (including ones who attended Starting Strength seminars) and they all think it looks okay.

    Have you seen injuries like this before and what were the adjustments the athletes needed to make? Should I be somehow strengthening the back itself in preparation for the Back Squat and Deadlift? (I think that the Back Squat and Deadlift ARE what strength the back, so I just want to get back to doing them reliably)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    46,356

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottLush View Post
    My coach (who is one of the original Crossfit coaches who understands strength and proper technique) suggests that in the low bar back squat I am leaning perhaps TOO far forward because I lack ankle flexibility.
    How much ankle flexibility does he think it takes to perform a proper squat? Post a video.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    2,291

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottLush View Post
    Hello Mark,

    I purchased and have read several times both Starting Strength and the Barbell Prescription, and have viewed every YouTube video of yours that I can find.

    I've been lifting 2x a week and doing short duration Crossfit workouts 2x a week (I know your feelings about this) for 15 years.

    But the very same injury sets me back every 6 - 9 months.

    What am I doing wrong that at least once every 6 - 9 months for the past 10 years (yes this is probably 15 - 20 times in total) I pull the very same muscle in my lower back while doing a heavy set of deadlifts or squats?

    At the lowest point of the movement (bottom of the squat, start of the deadlift) I will feel a pop in the left lumbar spine followed by immediate pain. It causes me to drop the bar. I limp home. Then I spend the next 2 -4 weeks hobbling in pain. Leaning forward triggers serious pain at the point in the lower left back where my spine connects to the pelvis. Doesn't seem like a disc injury because the pain is localized, no weakness or numbness. Seems like a muscle sprain or tear. Same spot, every time.[B]What about this presentation doesn't seem like a disc injury? That's the first thing I think when I see this. I think I even presented a lecture on this where I described this situation in detail. Then again, I am not one of the original Crossfit coaches, nor am I intelligent enough, clinically, to have ever been able to diagnose someone with ankle flexibility limitations that prevent them from squatting. /B]

    My coach (who is one of the original Crossfit coaches who understands strength and proper technique) suggests that in the low bar back squat I am leaning perhaps TOO far forward because I lack ankle flexibility. But really my form has been checked over the years by probably 10 different coaches (including ones who attended Starting Strength seminars) and they all think it looks okay.

    Have you seen injuries like this before and what were the adjustments the athletes needed to make? Should I be somehow strengthening the back itself in preparation for the Back Squat and Deadlift? (I think that the Back Squat and Deadlift ARE what strength the back, so I just want to get back to doing them reliably)
    Maybe you have as much misfortune picking a coach as you do with your back?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    94

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    Try doing rack pulls for 2-3 months. Itís sounds absurd but that will seriously strengthen your lower back when done with proper technique. Watch rips videos on how to do it. Maybe a scheme 100 lbs lower than your max deadlift. So the reps would be: 10reps(33%), 5reps(55%), 3reps(77%), 3reps(90%), 3sets*1rep(100%). The 100% would be the one at 100 lbs lower than your max dead. Take your time with these. Itís pulling the trigger on a gun, slow and smooth is fast. And back off the cross fit. Do prowler instead. Absolutely no oly lifts for reps. None!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    792

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottLush View Post
    Hello Mark,

    I purchased and have read several times both Starting Strength and the Barbell Prescription, and have viewed every YouTube video of yours that I can find.

    I've been lifting 2x a week and doing short duration Crossfit workouts 2x a week (I know your feelings about this) for 15 years.

    But the very same injury sets me back every 6 - 9 months.

    What am I doing wrong that at least once every 6 - 9 months for the past 10 years (yes this is probably 15 - 20 times in total) I pull the very same muscle in my lower back while doing a heavy set of deadlifts or squats?

    At the lowest point of the movement (bottom of the squat, start of the deadlift) I will feel a pop in the left lumbar spine followed by immediate pain. It causes me to drop the bar. I limp home. Then I spend the next 2 -4 weeks hobbling in pain. Leaning forward triggers serious pain at the point in the lower left back where my spine connects to the pelvis. Doesn't seem like a disc injury because the pain is localized, no weakness or numbness. Seems like a muscle sprain or tear. Same spot, every time.

    My coach (who is one of the original Crossfit coaches who understands strength and proper technique) suggests that in the low bar back squat I am leaning perhaps TOO far forward because I lack ankle flexibility. But really my form has been checked over the years by probably 10 different coaches (including ones who attended Starting Strength seminars) and they all think it looks okay.

    Have you seen injuries like this before and what were the adjustments the athletes needed to make? Should I be somehow strengthening the back itself in preparation for the Back Squat and Deadlift? (I think that the Back Squat and Deadlift ARE what strength the back, so I just want to get back to doing them reliably)
    The ankle thing is bullshit. I had a feeling Rip was going to address that first. Sounds like your coach doesnít really know much about the low bar back squat.

    I suggest you take a break from the crossfit and re-LP (assuming you did the NLP already) and maybe consult with a credentialed SSC, rather than someone who just attended a seminar.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Ozarks
    Posts
    947

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    For what it's worth, I have crappy joints, and if my hips and lower back are out it will pull a muscle if I continue squatting. Luckily, I've found a simple stretch I can do between warmup sets and worksets that will allow my lower back and sacrum to pop back into place gently. Warmup sets are sufficient to loosen everything up enough. I can then lift pain free with no injury.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    164

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    starting strength coach development program
    I used to have the same problem (recurring back spasms). While analyzing my shitty technique, I notice that my upper back was rounding as soon as the bar would leave the floor and that would then cascade down to the lumbar area. The fix turned out to be block pulls for 1-5 reps and heavy bent over rows (using body movement ala Cailer Woolam and Ed Cowan) for 3-5 reps. Haven’t had a spasm in 3 years. Your back is weak. Strength will fix it.

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