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Thread: Alternative to Barbell Back Squat? page

  1. #1
    mark2741's Avatar
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    Alternative to Barbell Back Squat?

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    I've been battling a pinched nerve that was never really a problem once I went Primal and lost most of my excess fat. Back pain and neck pain were a thing of the past....I thought.

    Unfortunately, after 2.5 weeks of doing the Starting Strength program (basically: barbell squats, deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, and power cleans), I'm finding that the back squats are wreaking havoc on my neck. Problem is my lack of flexibility in both shoulders and hips/ankles for depth. While my squat depth isn't great it is almost to parallel so I can deal with that, but the shoulder inflexibility is killing me and not getting better.

    Incidentally, the pain usually comes the day AFTER doing the squats, not during (though that is where the shoulder/arm/hand pain due to the inflexibility is causing pain in those areas).

    As blasphemous as it may seem, I'm thinking I may need to ditch the barbell squats and go with leg presses on the machine, and adding another back movement(s) to compensate (dumbbell rows? pullups?), along with high rep air squats.

    THoughts? I'm not convinced this neck thing is going to go away until my flexibility increases, but my flexibility is SO bad in my shoulder that it will take minimum many months. Chicken and the egg : (

  2. #2
    fishin-frog's Avatar
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    Front squats may not cause the same pain. Bulgarian split squats almost certainly would not. Personally, I would avoid leg presses.

  3. #3
    Wanderlust's Avatar
    Wanderlust is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like something in your form is out of wack. You might have the bar too high and/or are trying to look up.

    Also regarding your depth your feet may not be placed correctly. Can you provide pics and/or video?
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  4. #4
    bostonwolf's Avatar
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    Maybe look at some PT and stretching to correct the shoulder issues?
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  5. #5
    Daemonized's Avatar
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    I had sciatica in my lower back and I used an inversion table to fix it and I'm on it daily for maintenance. I do barbell squats and dead lifts with no back back pain now. If I did feel lower back pain, I'd cut the weight on the squats for a while and invert more.

  6. #6
    Dirlot's Avatar
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    Deadlifts???
    Bodyweight Squats working up to pistols.
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  7. #7
    arthurb999's Avatar
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    Are you a football player trying to get as strong as humanily possible or an office worker trying to stay in shape?

    If you're an average guy trying to stay in shape, split squats, hack squat, etc... are fine.

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    Goblet Squats

  9. #9
    Bushrat's Avatar
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    Go with front squats. Its the most similar exercise, though you use the lower back less and thus cannot gain muscle as quickly.
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  10. #10
    Kochin's Avatar
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    What I do for my legs (which are strong, nearly fat-free and thicker than most mens'):
    -walk at least an hour a day
    -sprint sometimes
    -tap your feet and rock on your heels when standing (brill for calves and those muscles down the front of the lower leg, just wear headphones to look less conspicuous)
    -do steps (or just run up and down stairs at home)
    -do kettle-bell squats (Basically: kettle bell between your feet, feet at shoulder-width, squat down, take the bell with one hand, rise up, keeping the bell level with your belly-button, walk across the room, keeping it still level with the belly-button, slowly squat back down, place it on the floor, repeat with the other hand. You could also try it with a heavy box or log, squatting, picking it up with BOTH hands [resting on chest or belly is allowed] and carrying it about, putting it down and picking it back up with a squatting motion.)

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