Squats are notoriously problematic for people with back issues. After all, it doesn’t take much to use the wrong technique without realizing it and end up making an injury even worse.
However, as long as you follow the correct technique and make sure you’re not pushing yourself harder than you should, there’s no reason why you can’t implement squats into your workout routine safely.
In this article, we’re going over everything you need to know about fixing lower back pain from squats and outlining all the best techniques to consider while working out.
Benefits Of Squats
Squats are one of the most popular exercises for working out your lower body. It targets your quads, calves, and glute muscles very well and can build up muscular strength and definition in these areas.
They’re also very good for fat loss in these muscles. When you perform squat sets with low loads and greater frequency, it can work wonders for burning fat and making your legs and butt appear more toned.
Similarly, squats can be beneficial for your flexibility. The movements required for squats need a great range of movement through joints in your hips and knees. Performing squats regularly and effectively can build up great flexibility in these areas.
As well as the strength and flexibility benefits, squats are better than a lot of machine-based exercises for improving coordination and balance. Because you don’t have a seat or a machine to rest on, you need to use your whole body to balance properly and control the movement, working out your whole central nervous system.
What Kind Of Injuries Can Occur From Squats?
The main area that can be affected by injuries from squats is your lower back. This is the part of your body that will experience a great deal of load during the exercise.
This is mainly caused by the compression of your vertebrae and curvature of your spine accumulating to cause all kinds of long-term problems for your back.
Similarly, a lot of load during a squat is borne by the joints in your knees and hips. Your knees, in particular, undergo a great deal of stress when lowering your body in a controlled manner and pushing yourself back up.
The main issue with the hips is that they undergo a great range of movement through the same repeated exercise. Over time, this can build up and cause problems with movement after you’ve finished your workout.
How To Avoid Injuries With Squats
The best way to avoid injuries while performing squats is to maintain the correct technique.
The main thing you should always focus on is keeping your neck and back straight throughout the movement. Naturally, as you progress through the movement, your body will want you to hunch forward and curve your spine to maintain balance.
However, it’s very important to overcome this urge and keep your head tilted back slightly, stick your butt out and make sure your spine never arches forward like this.
Another key to avoiding injury is the same as with any other exercise in your workout routine: warming up properly.
The whole point of a warmup is to engage your muscles and get them into a state that will allow them to facilitate the movement of your exercise safely.
If you don’t warm up properly, your muscles will be unprepared for the exercise and you can end up with some long-lasting pain through your legs and back.
A good warmup exercise for people with back problems is to stretch your back before working out. You can do this with a foam roller or any kind of arched object. Simply place it on the floor and lay across it, stretching out your spine as you do so.
The only other key consideration you should have for avoiding squatting injuries is to know your limits.
Weighted squats are a great way to increase the intensity of your workout but they can also cause problems in the form of injury.
You should only ever perform weighted squats with as much weight as you can handle without experiencing any pain in your legs or back. If you find yourself struggling with a particular weight or experiencing any pain while squatting, it’s a good indicator that you should take a break or lighten your load.
What To Do If You Experience Back Pain From Squats
If you find yourself experiencing pain in your back while performing squats, the first thing you should always do is stop. It’s a common misconception in the gym that you should push through the pain barrier and keep going but this will ultimately do even more damage to your body.
Then, you should try to identify the cause of the pain. Is it happening because you’re using the wrong technique? A good way to identify this is to have a partner watch you squat and let you know of any mistakes you might be making with your form without realizing.
If the back pain is prolonged and won’t go away easily, consulting a doctor or physiotherapist isn’t a bad idea. They will be able to more accurately determine the cause of the pain and make recommendations for how best to avoid it.
Of course, performing other, lighter exercises can be a good way to relieve back pain while staying active. Yoga is a particularly beneficial exercise for pain like this because it involves a lot of slow, stretching movements that will keep your spine active and moving, without forcing it too much.
There are so many reasons why squats might cause you lower back pain because it’s a very tricky exercise to get perfect every time.
Remember that the best way to fix this type of pain is to stop your workout immediately and try to address the cause of the pain.
It will also help to strengthen your spine with the best reverse hyperextensions. These are the perfect exercise for strengthening your lower back and saying goodbye to pain while performing demanding compound exercises such as squats.
Always remember that pushing yourself too hard or trying to work through the pain is a good way to get yourself injured so don’t try to be a hero and always look out for what’s best for your body.