Actively arching upper back during the squat? Actively arching upper back during the squat?

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Thread: Actively arching upper back during the squat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    40

    Default Actively arching upper back during the squat?

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    Hi all,

    Should I be "actively" trying to arch my upper back during the squat? By "active" I mean a conscious attempt to stick the chest out/arch the upper back, similar to what is done in the deadlift and bench press (although in those lifts the queue would be "suck the chest up").

    The reason I ask is: I was doing some heavy squats today, and it didn't "feel" right to actively arch my upper back under that heavy weight when taking the bar out. I was able to do it, but I didn't feel like "holding" the arch was the correct choice. I know my upper back needs to be tight during the squat, but I believe tightness can be achieved without actively trying to arch. Am I correct here? Or is a "tight upper back" best achieved by trying to arch it?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    -skypig

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,298

    Default

    Hello...skypig.

    The upper back should be put into rigid extension and held in that position for each rep. We can cue this by telling the lifter to lift their chest and getting the thoracic erectors to contract and hold. Some people can simply hold it rigid with little effort and some people need to be reminded to reset it every rep. The problem that can occur is if lifting the chest to set the upper back starts to put the lumbar spine in over extension. That causes other issues that need to be dealt with.
    Post a video, using the sticky guidelines, and we can take a look.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Thanks Pete, will do - sounds like the main thing is "chest up" to keep the upper back tight...not necessarily "active arching" (which is more than just keeping the back set). I'll keep that in mind!

    -skypig

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