This article is intended for those who experience back pain either during or after performing the Squat as part of a weight training or bodybuilding regime, looking to get a toned body or muscular body, and is part of the series of articles in the Strength Training category. The recommendations are for those that perform this exercise to gain muscle and strength, not for people who experience pain as part of a normal squatting movement under no extra load.
Why You Get Back Pain From Squatting
The reality is that many trainees are simply of the wrong body type to squat. If we have long legs, slightly weak lower backs, are prone to sciatic nerve damage and a myriad other reasons, then we may experience lower or even upper back pain when performing the squat as part of a training cycle.
The answer, at first, is to recover completely. You can find our recommendations in the Trap Bar article. With the squat there are so many cases of injury that the author no longer recommends this at all as part of a bodybuilding or strength gaining routine. The Trap Bar is a much better tool and can deliver just as good results.
Alternatives To Squats
The Trap bar or Hex bar is a much better alternative as it takes the load off the spine. With the Squat we are simply placing too much of a load on our spinal column and it can lead to compression of the discs, trapped nerves and in some cases permanent lower back injury or recurring problems.
Even trying to perform with a perfect technique can lead to a slight rounding of the back which is absolutely the worst way to perform this exercise.
Advantages Of The Trap Bar
With the trap bar we are able to train in a much safer way. Unlike a regular barbell used to perform the deadlift with the trap bar we are sited centrally with the handle grips out to our sides. It allows us to perform the movement with no forward lean or backward lean. We get a very smooth up and down movement that keeps our bodies in perfect alignment.
This gets rid of the danger of back pain and other problems as we are not moving in an unnatural way.
Trainees will find that this exercise, performed correctly is just as good, if not superior to, the squat. A lower risk of injury and improved plane of movement means that it can be amazing if used to gain muscle. See the trap bar page for a routine that is guaranteed to pack on the pounds.
Before any strength training is resumed after injury or even mild back pain we need to ensure that we are totally pain free and in the right condition to continue training with weights. Ease back in to training after taking off whatever time is needed to totally recover. If you do not do so then you are sure to injure yourself again in a very short period of time.