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When I squat, am I supposed to hyper extend my low back?

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  • When I squat, am I supposed to hyper extend my low back?

    When I back squatted today, I've solved the problem of bending, or hip tucking/butt winking at the bottom! (woo) because I had tight ankles and wasn't driving my knees out enough. But now I've traded one problem for another I think. I think I hyper extend (lordosis) my low back to much. In my mind, I'm trying to stay fairlyish up right during the movement, but am I supposed to lean forward a bit more?? Basically, my low back curves in to much.

    Im not sure what Im supposed to do, some say arc, or curve the back, and other say keep it straight.

  • #2
    A slight lordotic curve is cool, but straining to look up to keep the curve is not. Flat or slightly lordotic, deffo not flexed

    Mark Rippetoe's says look at the ground ahead, torso leans forward somewhat, bar over mid foot I think.

    I don't think you should be super upright on back squat, front and zercher are obviously a different animal

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lockstock View Post
      When I back squatted today, I've solved the problem of bending, or hip tucking/butt winking at the bottom! (woo) because I had tight ankles and wasn't driving my knees out enough. But now I've traded one problem for another I think. I think I hyper extend (lordosis) my low back to much. In my mind, I'm trying to stay fairlyish up right during the movement, but am I supposed to lean forward a bit more?? Basically, my low back curves in to much.

      Im not sure what Im supposed to do, some say arc, or curve the back, and other say keep it straight.
      Very few dudes can extend their low backs too much. But we can't see your back from here. Video?
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #4
        I had low back issues when squatting until I watched this video:

        http://vimeo.com/channels/startingstrength/22011422

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
          Very few dudes can extend their low backs too much. But we can't see your back from here. Video?
          Yeah a video would make things easier! i just dont know how to put one up on here.
          Anyhows I can curve my back really well. When i get back pain or stiffness its usually cos im in slight lordosis. Heavy lifting has done a lot to correct this!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lockstock View Post
            Yeah a video would make things easier! i just dont know how to put one up on here.
            Anyhows I can curve my back really well. When i get back pain or stiffness its usually cos im in slight lordosis. Heavy lifting has done a lot to correct this!!
            Post the video to YouTube and just give us a link. Read the sticky in the SS Technique forum about how to take a useful video.

            I'm pretty sure slight lordosis is perfectly normal and shouldn't cause any pain.
            The Champagne of Beards

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            • #7
              I've heard Greg Everett talking on Robb Wolfs podcast about the benefits of slight lordosis, in general, and for lifting. He says that excessive is bad obviously due to excessive compression of the vertebrae, which is also an issue for cervical vertebrae with looking to the ceiling as a lot of folks do.

              It's a matter of extremes of course

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              • #8
                I teach my new clients to
                1.Break the hips(Pelvis)
                2.Eyes on the Horizon
                3.Breath in on the way down
                4.Push out through the knees as if they are digging in the ground with their feet
                5.Push up through the heals

                If they have any problems I get them to hold a post or rail for balance to allow them confidence to attain better form.
                Any help ?

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                • #9
                  Just on the subject of tight ankles, Kelly Starrett has a GREAT (and still free to view) video on mobilitywod that talks about some mobility for your ankles. Before I squat or snatch, I try to go through his ankle progressions, and it really helps me get the depth, but more importantly, the drive through my heels that I need.
                  ~All luck is earned in the end.~

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                  • #10
                    Squat form check - YouTube


                    Here you all go, A video of my form. It doesn't include my whole body, but it focuses on the back and knees pretty well.

                    The three different clips are of three different sets. The last set I realize my depth kind of sucked, but that is NOT a common occurrence.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lockstock View Post
                      Squat form check - YouTube


                      Here you all go, A video of my form. It doesn't include my whole body, but it focuses on the back and knees pretty well.

                      The three different clips are of three different sets. The last set I realize my depth kind of sucked, but that is NOT a common occurrence.
                      Couple things I see:

                      1. Depth. There was not a single rep that I saw to proper depth. You're anywhere from 6-12 inches too high. Break parallel with your hips.

                      2. Your back extension does seem a bit excessive. The idea is to keep your lower back in hard extension for spine safety, and also to allow for maximal use of the hamstrings. As you squat down, your lower back muscles fight your hamstrings for the control of your hips, your lower back must win, the hamstrings must stretch, and must thus contribute to hip extension on the way up. It seems that you can extend your back excessively. I would post this on the Starting Strength coaches forum to get some more experiences eyes to look at it.

                      3. Are you doing low-bar, or high-bar squats? It seems the bar is resting on your traps, not rear delts, if you're doing low-bar.

                      4. Look at a spot a few feet ahead of you, and drive with your hips (think ass up). You are driving with your chest.

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