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  1. #1
    Registered User WinkWink726's Avatar
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    Smith Squats with an L5 injury?

    Hello,
    I was curious if anyone can answer a q for me?


    I suffer from an L5 back injury and I really want to use the Smith for squats (and have been), but my squats aren't as deep as are ideal.

    I feel it in my thighs and butt, so I'm still getting a valuable workout, right?

    I'm completely new to this, so if this is a stupid question, please forgive!!
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  2. #2
    Registered User amiaow's Avatar
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    Using the Smith for squats isn't recommended in any case- the range of motion is far from natural and it does nothing to work your core, which is what's going to help you stabilise your lower back.

    I too have lumbar issues (bulging discs in L2-3, 3-4 and 4-5, now in recovery mode) and I squat in the squat rack and pay very careful attention to my form (ie don't let the lower back curl around at the bottom of the squat). However, I do squat to parallel or slightly below (not being able to squat to parallel is a flexibility issue). I'd start light (just the bar), or alternately use one of the dumbbell variations for squats such as goblet squats. Take care of your back and it will take care of you!
    Training journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=151424793
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  3. #3
    Registered User Diddlypops's Avatar
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    I have back issues (L4-5) too, and found the smith aggravated my injury. I use the hack squat with my feet low on the plate and find I can go ATG without rounding my back. When I'm more confident I will be moving on to the squat rack so I'm working my core better but as it is I'm only using 15 kg on the hack squat and failing. I feel like a total pansy but I get all the way down - and if I fail I can assist myself back up with my arms.
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  4. #4
    Registered User WinkWink726's Avatar
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    Hey! Thanks for the replies Diddlypops and amiaow!

    Don't laugh, but I'm so new to this!!!
    i want to take your suggestions but what are Hack squats and Goblet squats?
    ^cancel that! I looked 'em both up, def gives me soemthing to think about!
    I liked the look of those hack squats.
    The ones that Im doing are a muuuuuuch lighter version of the combo of the two (See below)

    I've also been doing a variation of plie squats with a dumbbell held vertically between my legs (and going low enough so that the bottom weight of it touches the floor). I do these with each heel on a plate so that I really work my inner thighs and butt.

    Being new here, I really appreciate your help!
    Last edited by WinkWink726; 02-06-2013 at 11:41 PM. Reason: I looked up these squats, no need to explain :)
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  5. #5
    Focused kimm4's Avatar
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    Front squats, zercher or goblet squats are a good option. The weight is in the front, so you're not putting any unwanted pressure on your back.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Registered User tina722's Avatar
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    I've been in the same position. I agree with using DBs, zerchers, front. You can also do single leg work, so the weight doesn't have to be as heavy and still get a good workout.

    For what it's worth, I stopped all BB squats for 6 months. It took me ~8 months to build up to previous numbers and now I squat better/heavier than pre-injury.
    Training log: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136580641&p=1055775421&viewfull=1#post1055775421
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