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  1. #1
    Under Construction unity's Avatar
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    Squat - Back Arch

    is it possible to have an overexaggerated arch in your back while squatting?

    i will try to explain as best as possible. i will probably post a vid eventually but it may take a while, and if i can get an answer now that would be awesome.

    i noticed the other day that when squatting i tend to stick my butt back by bringing my hips back. this creates more of an arch in my back. it doesnt hurt or anything. if i focus on bringing my hips forward, my back is more straight with only a slight arch, but it feels uncomfortable. but that may just be because i am accustomed to squatting the other way.

    does anyone know what i am talking about?
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  2. #2
    Under Construction unity's Avatar
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    this is kinda what i look like... just not that much weight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kqsqMQZdcw
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  3. #3
    GO HEAVY OR GO HOME!!! MIKES3's Avatar
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    How does your lower back feel the next day? If you arching yourself to much you will feel like you did weighted reverse crunches.
    Chicago Crew
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    Anti-ATG JBElite's Avatar
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    A very pronounced back arch depends on a lot of factors. Everyone has different builds and levels of flexibility...the style of squat you are doing is also a big factor.

    If you are squatting wider, with a hip break (which I think you are describing) then for some people there might be more forward lean.

    Bar positioning also plays a role. A lower bar position on the rear delts will push you forward a bit, where a higher bar position is more condusive to an upright, narrow "olympic" style squat.

    A big arch is not bad necessarily, its probably just important that you understand why your form is the way it is.
    Last edited by JBElite; 04-14-2008 at 08:59 AM.
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  5. #5
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JBElite View Post
    A very pronounced back arch depends on a lot of factors. Everyone has different builds and levels of flexibility...the style of squat you are doing is also a big factor.

    If you are squatting wider, with a hip break (which I think you are describing) then for some people there might be more forward lean.

    Bar positioning also plays a role. A lower bar position on the rear delts will push you forward a bit, where a higher bar position is more condusive to an upright, narrow "olympic" style squat.

    A big arch is not bad necessarily, its probably just important that you understand why your form is the way it is.
    ^ He pretty much covered everything.
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  6. #6
    Registered User ny58's Avatar
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    if ur back arches while doing a squat it is common but should be fixed. . it means that ur hip flexors and ur Lats need to be stretched more because these muscles are over-active. . (prob from sitting at a desk all day). . u also need to strengthen ur under-active Glutes, Hammies, and core muscles. . .so next time give urself a really good 5 minute stretch before. . stretch ur hip flexors and ur lats. . then try it with less weight. .a good strengthening exercise would be stability ball squats against a wall. . help ur form out a great deal .. (not necessary but can help)
    Last edited by ny58; 04-14-2008 at 09:03 AM.
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  7. #7
    Registered User ny58's Avatar
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    here's an example of a good hip flexor stretch.
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  8. #8
    Under Construction unity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JBElite View Post
    A very pronounced back arch depends on a lot of factors. Everyone has different builds and levels of flexibility...the style of squat you are doing is also a big factor.

    If you are squatting wider, with a hip break (which I think you are describing) then for some people there might be more forward lean.

    Bar positioning also plays a role. A lower bar position on the rear delts will push you forward a bit, where a higher bar position is more condusive to an upright, narrow "olympic" style squat.

    A big arch is not bad necessarily, its probably just important that you understand why your form is the way it is.
    no back pain during or anytime after.

    but yah, thats whats buggin me is that i want to squat olympic style. i have a narrow stance and the bar is high. just seems like my back isnt technically correct.

    i will lower the weight, and stretch my hips as ny58 and see how that goes.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    if ur back arches while doing a squat it is common but should be fixed. . it means that ur hip flexors and ur Lats need to be stretched more because these muscles are over-active. . (prob from sitting at a desk all day). . u also need to strengthen ur under-active Glutes, Hammies, and core muscles. . .so next time give urself a really good 5 minute stretch before. . stretch ur hip flexors and ur lats. . then try it with less weight. .a good strengthening exercise would be stability ball squats against a wall. . help ur form out a great deal .. (not necessary but can help)
    nailed it on the head here.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    if ur back arches while doing a squat it is common but should be fixed.
    Your back is supposed to be arched while squatting.

    To the OP, yes it is possible to hyperextend your low back, which should be avoided. A vid is needed.
    http://youtube.com/user/Kiknskreem
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  11. #11
    Registered User ny58's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    Your back is supposed to be arched while squatting.
    no its not. . its supposed to be straight. . on a 45 degree angle, but not arched. .
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  12. #12
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    It's not like you are doing hyperextensions and trying to squeeze your back as far back as it can go, but you want to maintain the curve in your lower back, and not come forward out of it.

    I haven't noticed any soreness from doing that.

    Basically, I just try to stick my ass out far, and I know my back is fine.
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    no its not. . its supposed to be straight. . on a 45 degree angle, but not arched. .
    Your spine is naturally arched and keeping it that way is essential for squatting safely.... and its not supposed to be a 45 degree angle.

    The amount of forward lean is dependent upon the individuals anthropometry and bar position.

    http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html

    Watch the first video explaing how to do an air squat.
    http://youtube.com/user/Kiknskreem
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  14. #14
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    I would agree with arching your back since it seems to pull my lower back muscles tighter, although I never thought about over arching so I too will be checking my form next squat session. thanks for all the good info.
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    Registered User ny58's Avatar
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    some of those people have really poor form. . the first 2 in the video have their feet completely turned out. . and what's with that music? lol. . im not a big crossfit believer. . . . i can see maybe keeping a slight natural arch, but i think this poster was talking about a more pronounced arch. . .he said over exaggerated
    Last edited by ny58; 04-14-2008 at 10:48 AM.
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    Mr. Gecko Kiknskreem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    some of those people have really poor form. . the first 2 in the video have their feet completely turned out. . and what's with that music? lol. . im not a big crossfit believer....
    The video is showing people learning the squat and showing examples, good and bad, of what to do. ON PURPOSE. Your feet should not point straight ahead when squatting, by the way.

    I won't bother responding to the rest of the irrelevant crap you mentioned.

    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    but i think this poster is talking about a more pronounced arch. . .
    Yea, there is difference between an arch, and hyperextensio, as has already been mentioned.

    Run along back to the supplement section now. Maybe you can give your squatting 'advice' there..
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    The video is showing people learning the squat and showing examples, good and bad, of what to do. ON PURPOSE. Your feet should not point straight ahead when squatting, by the way.

    I won't bother responding to the rest of the irrelevant crap you mentioned.



    Yea, there is difference between an arch, and hyperextensio, as has already been mentioned.

    Run along back to the supplement section now. Maybe you can give your squatting 'advice' there..
    lol. . u mad?. . i was just stating my opinion. . .u keep watching ur dance videos little guy. . .lol. .
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  18. #18
    Mr. Gecko Kiknskreem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    lol. . u mad?. . i was just stating my opinion. . .u keep watching ur dance videos little guy. . .lol. .
    I know you are stating your opinion.

    I am trying to explain to you why it is incorrect, and prevent other people who don't know better from listening to the wong things that you are saying.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    I know you are stating your opinion.

    I am trying to explain to you why it is incorrect, and prevent other people who don't know better from listening to the wong things that you are saying.
    in ur opinion. . .we'll just agree to disagree. . in a squat u should aim to keep ur back as naturally straight as possible. . and proper form is feet straight and knees straight. . maybe not for power lifting competitions, but for biomechanics purposes as far stability and utlizing all proper muscles techniques and synergies. . im sure u know what ur doing u seem to be really into squatting, but not everyone is a power lifter. .
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    in ur opinion. . .
    No, proper biomechanics is not a field of opinion, it is one of fact.

    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    . . in a squat u should aim to keep ur back as naturally straight as possible. . and proper form is feet straight and knees straight. . maybe not for power lifting competitions, but for biomechanics purposes as far stability and utlizing all proper muscles techniques. . im sure u know what ur doing u seem to be really into squatting, but not everyone is a power lifter. .
    Everything you said there is incorrect. I really recommend you check out Rippetoe's book "Starting Strength" for some good descriptions and breakdowns of the core lifts.
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    Your back is supposed to be arched while squatting.
    Correct.
    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    no its not. . its supposed to be straight. . on a 45 degree angle, but not arched. .
    Incorrect.


    A proper squat is done with a tightly arched back, hips back and chest high.
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    not being a dick, , just continuing the discusion. . , but just read Riptoes 4 sections on squatting and not once does it mention keeping ur back arched. . it actually eludes that it should not be rounded and rather more square. . he doesnt really go into lower back positioning. . it also says that feet should be slighlty pointed out on certain styles and should be pointed as straight as possible on other styles. . such as olympic style. . so if u could show me in ripptoes starting strength where it states that. . and ripptoe is not the end all say all on biomechanics. .
    Last edited by ny58; 04-14-2008 at 11:37 AM.
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    Then ask Mark Rippetoe. I'm pretty sure he advocates squatting with a tight arch in the back.

    Please don't take my word for it. I learned to squat from guys who have squatted 910, 942, and 1000 lbs. All advocate a tight arch in the back. I couldn't see putting 500 lbs on my back with a straight or rounded back.
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    Originally Posted by Drew23 View Post
    Then ask Mark Rippetoe. I'm pretty sure he advocates squatting with a tight arch in the back.

    Please don't take my word for it. I learned to squat from guys who have squatted 910, 942, and 1000 lbs. All advocate a tight arch in the back. I couldn't see putting 500 lbs on my back with a straight or rounded back.
    yeah i am not a pro squatter or body builder by any means. . this what i've learned through my personal training studying and in my biomechanics and exercise graduate classes. . and the reason i use the word opinion is because the science of body building is constantly changing so even though today it seems like a fact it could be proven different any day. . also as we see in this thread different professionals teach different things. . and also different peoples body's are bulit different and capable of different things like kikanskeem said. .repped u 2 guys for the discussion. .
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    yeah i am not a pro squatter or body builder by any means. . this what i've learned through my personal training studying and in my biomechanics and exercise graduate classes. . and the reason i use the word opinion is because the science of body building is constantly changing so even though today it seems like a fact it could be proven different any day. . also as we see in this thread different professionals teach different things. . and also different peoples body's are bulit different and capable of different things like kikanskeem said. .repped u 2 guys for the discussion. .
    I'll rep you back tomorrow.

    Seek out someone who can teach you to squat with an arched back (or experiment with it for yourself) and you'll see that you feel tighter, more in control, and stronger.
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    Originally Posted by Drew23 View Post
    I'll rep you back tomorrow.

    Seek out someone who can teach you to squat with an arched back (or experiment with it for yourself) and you'll see that you feel tighter, more in control, and stronger.
    yeah ill def give it a shot with a lighter load my next workout. .
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    Originally Posted by Kiknskreem View Post
    Your spine is naturally arched and keeping it that way is essential for squatting safely.... and its not supposed to be a 45 degree angle.

    The amount of forward lean is dependent upon the individuals anthropometry and bar position.

    http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html

    Watch the first video explaing how to do an air squat.
    Agreed ^^^

    Originally Posted by Drew23 View Post
    Correct.

    Incorrect.


    A proper squat is done with a tightly arched back, hips back and chest high.
    Also agreed ^^^

    An arch is fine, but the degree of arch shouldn't change during the movement, if I'm not mistaken.
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    Originally Posted by NoReMaC View Post
    An arch is fine, but the degree of arch shouldn't change during the movement, if I'm not mistaken.
    We teach everyone to arch as much as possible and to keep it tight, that way there is less chance of changing the bar position and missing a lift.
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    SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES (and abs) WHILE SQUATTING

    That way, your back won't be over-arched.
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    Originally Posted by ny58 View Post
    not being a dick, , just continuing the discusion. . , but just read Riptoes 4 sections on squatting and not once does it mention keeping ur back arched. . it actually eludes that it should not be rounded and rather more square. . he doesnt really go into lower back positioning. . it also says that feet should be slighlty pointed out on certain styles and should be pointed as straight as possible on other styles. . such as olympic style. . so if u could show me in ripptoes starting strength where it states that. . and ripptoe is not the end all say all on biomechanics. .
    so i guess kiknskeem couldnt find it either?
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