Squats bad for back? - ABCbodybuilding

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Old 01-14-2005, 02:08 AM
AllenKal AllenKal is offline
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Default Squats bad for back?

Ive been having constant lower back pain for about six months now which has killed my leg workouts. Its not overly painful, but theres at least slight pain anytime I bend over, sit, or even sneeze. I finally broke down and went to the doctor, and even though I felt like the doctor barely checked out my back, he said it looked fine. He said there could be a disk in there, but that the pain should go away with time. I am a little skeptical since its been so long, but who knows, hes the doctor. Anyway he said to stop doing squats and that they are the only exercise he does not do himself because he sees tons of people who need back surgery as a direct result. I still did squats and surprisingly it didn't hurt too much or even really affect my weight. Just a little pain when I first go down. I have sinced stopped to see if it got better. My question is basically, does anyone else think squats are bad for your back? And also, does anyone know a good way to get rid of back pain that wouldnt require more time off from the gym? Its been a month without doing squats, or leg press, or anything that puts added stress on my back and it still hurst so I really want to get back into it. Everyone in my family seems to have a bad back so maybe its just something I need to deal with.
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Old 01-14-2005, 02:29 AM
NJIron NJIron is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

Squats aren't bad for your back, but that doesn't mean you can't hurt your back doing them. I know a lot of the guys on this site don't agree with this, but I use a belt whenever I do squats, I think it helps keep my back in the proper position through the full range of the squat.

As for getting rid of the back pain, you gotta heal, bro. What kind of doctor did you see? Was he an orthopedist? If you've had constant back pain for 6 months now, that's who you should be seeing. He should be able to give you a proper diagnosis and maybe even prescribe some physical therapy for you.

Good luck with it bro, back injuries suck.
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Old 01-14-2005, 05:00 AM
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:46 AM
GOP04 GOP04 is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

You might need to see a chiropractor for your back.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:57 AM
JTiger JTiger is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

See a doctor before a chiropractor. Just keep your back straight during squats and you won't injure it.
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:09 AM
Coz Coz is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

See a new doctor specifically a sports medicine doctor. Did they even x-ray your back to see if there was even a slight herniation in a disc? If you have had pain for that long I would definetely get a second opinion.

As far as squats being bad for your back...no...any exercise can hurt you if not done properly.

Wearing a belt all the time will not help strengthen your lower back as you progress with squats. Your lower back will end up being your weak link since it is depending on a belt for assistance.
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Old 01-14-2005, 12:03 PM
BKujo BKujo is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

I had a lot of back problems in high school after I started lifting. Our strength coach had us wearing belts constantly. When I got into college I learned from some people who actually knew what they were talking about that my lower back was extremely weak from years of belts. I gave my belt away and haven't worn one even once in 5 years and my back has been pain free for a long time.

As far as the doctor goes, always get a second opinion, and go see a reputable chiropractor, too.
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Old 01-14-2005, 12:04 PM
sta63bmx sta63bmx is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

Read the back rehab post in my sig. That may help get you back on track pain-wise. Does the pain go away when you get warm and stretched up? How much ab work are you doing? What is your normal posture like?

When someone says "squats are bad for your back" or "squats are bad for your knees", it makes Jesus cry. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

Done with proper form, painless squats are possible for anybody. Well, painless in the sense that they are only causing appropriate muscle soreness. People who have suffered bad back injuries or knee problems may be an exception. Extremely tall (7' or close) or long-limbed people may also have some issues with the exercise.

The last question I would ask is this: what work do you do for your core? A rock-solid core is critical for doing pretty much ANY big compound movement. Deadlifts, squats, and olympic lifts are impossible without a solid core. Deadlifts and squats are mutually beneficial, since they both train a lot of the same muscles. If your deadlift is going up, your squat is probably doing the same thing. The strong lower back you get from deadlifts will make squatting much easier.

The reason ab work is critical is because a strong set of abs is necessary to take the load off your back. The belt is actually there to help increase intra-abdominal pressure by helping to hold your stomach in tight. If your abs are weak, ALL the support is done by the lower back, which can be painful.

There are also squat form posts in my sig. Give us as much information as possible about your core strength, posture, and squat form, and we may be able to help you.

I apologize for ranting, but every time I hear someone say "squats are bad for your back!" it drives me friggin nuts. Especially a freakin doctor! I want to go "Really? They are? How much do YOU squat or deadlift? How strong is YOUR back?"

Squatting and deadlifting and doing heavy ab work are the keys to building the kind of brutally strong core that makes you more explosive in sports, gives you better posture, promotes proper load-sharing and muscle activation when you perform other everday activities, and it will also make you MUCH more injury resistant. Your body was designed to squat up and down a certain way, and if you can maintain proper posture and make sure there are no muscle imbalances, squatting is an incredibly natural movement. How many worker's comp claims are caused every single year by lower back pain? How much does that cost employers? How many claims do you think Fed Ex would have if all their employees could deadlift 135x10? 225x10? 225x20? 315x10? 405x1? The stronger they got and the more solid their cores got, I bet you would see the number of injuries drop off drastically.

A strong, balanced core is the key to success in all movements, in my opinion.

Squatting From Head To Toe

Squat 900 Pounds!

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Old 01-14-2005, 01:15 PM
Mr BJ Mr BJ is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

Nice post !!!

Thanks for the links, JP...can't wait for leg day to refine my squatting technique !!!!
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Old 01-14-2005, 02:02 PM
sta63bmx sta63bmx is offline
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Default Re: Squats bad for back?

Have fun. I really think everybody's most comfortable form is a little different, since we're all put together differently, but knowing how the variables affect recruitment and what it's gonna feel like, that can really help you make the squat into the versatile exercise it should be, rather than a one-trick pony. [img]/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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