I often wonder if wanting to learn how to squat properly is the biggest and most sought after skill everyone in fitness wants.
And with all the confusion out there on how to squat, it is daunting to try to find a source that gives you the answers and the reasoning behind them.
Low Back Pain and How The Squat Can Continue To Destroy It
Low back pain is a huge problem amongst those in fitness, sport and even individuals who do no exercise at all. The pain in your low back is caused by several factors, with one of them being rounding your back or having it leave its natural (neutral) position when lifting heavy weights.
I have determined the main causes of this rounding that will continue to damage, age and possibly severely injure your back. They are listed below:
1) We were taught to touch our toes in school and did so by rounding our back which is now the way many still move
2) For many, they do not have a strong core (this includes everything in the torso and the hips as well), resulting in a moving spine when lifting (Yikes!)
3) Plenty of people are misinformed on learning how to squat properly and mimic those who either have had, do have or will have a major back injury
4) Lack of flexibility, resulting in the body not able to hold good form
There are many more reasons a bad back occurs, however these primary 4 have helped many continue to damage and destroy a body part that once injured, cripples the mind as well.
Is It Okay To Have Some Back Movement When You Squat?
The truth is, learning how to squat requires an understanding of how the spine works and how to brace/support it while under load.
Having said that, if you’re in fitness and looking to have a long and enjoyable career, then yes, you should always have a neutral spine in your low back.
If you’re in such sports as Strongman or Olympic Lifting, then you will fight very hard to hold a neutral spine, however the vertebrae may move a degree or so, and although the back is braced, the back may have moved to lift such a heavy weight.
While this is happening, all of the bracing and support mechanisms are fully intact to continue to stabilize the spine.
How Can I Ensure My Back Stays Neutral When I Perform A Proper Squat?
In order to keep your spine neutral when you do a squat you would have to first qualify how low you can currently go before your back moves.
Your back will move in one of two ways.
A) A “wink” will occur at the hips causing them to “pull away” from the spine. This is one of the most common problems in those who squat
Check out this video on the wink for more detail on how it happens.
B) You allow the low back, or upper back
to move to help you do the squat. This one can be easily fixed with practice.
Here is a video to help you learn how to perform a squat correctly.
Your back is your most precious body part and if it becomes injured it will affect all aspects of your life including your mind.
If you’re on this site then you care about your body and are open to learning how to train like the worlds best. And for that I admire you.
Feel free to pass this along to a friend who may be suffering from low back pain so they can begin to learn how to stop hurting themselves.