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  1. #1
    Banned BigAssDeltoids's Avatar
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    Unhappy Are Squats Safe?

    I just finished reading this article... the writer had been doing squats for like 20 years, all with perfect form...but then his back started to hurt, and he had to have surgery to replace his disks... he found out that over the years, doing heavy squats had worn down his back and eventually ruptured the disks in his lower back... And its not bs- i could feel it myself...doing squats places tremendous pressure on your lower back- plus it f*cks your knees, and puts a lot of stress on your skeletal system- so is it safe to be doing squats all the time? I dont know about you guys but i'd rather be healthy for the rest of my life than be huge for a couple years, then have permanent injuries.... im just curious then- does anyone know any exercises that are safer, but still work the legs out just as intensely?
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  2. #2
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    leg press is a great exercise in my opinion and one that i favor greatly over squats, i still do squats about every 2 months or so, just to see how im doing,, but i can actually feel the stress on my knees and my back after doing a good squat workout, also, leg press is a good motivation booster because you can do so much weight on it
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    Banned BigAssDeltoids's Avatar
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    Originally posted by burbansnlacs
    leg press is a great exercise in my opinion and one that i favor greatly over squats, i still do squats about every 2 months or so, just to see how im doing,, but i can actually feel the stress on my knees and my back after doing a good squat workout, also, leg press is a good motivation booster because you can do so much weight on it
    yeah me too bro...in fact, the last time i did squats i had that feeling that if i pushed just a little harder, i could have hurt my knee...i do leg presses and leg extensions every single leg workout, but then i need a third one...thats the problem- there is no third exercise that can match the effectiveness of squats...
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    good, high intensity leg presses and leg extensions should give you a really good quad workout by theirselves,, usually my leg workout i do leg presses first,, then leg extensions,,, then i do leg curls for my hams,,, and finish out with supersets of seated calf raises and calf raises on the leg press machine
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  5. #5
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    Arrow

    A few thoughts...

    1. It would be hard to say that squats were the only cause of the injured discs. Many other factors can have caused this to happen, and to solely blame squatting is drawing a long bow.

    2. Most people have a poor technique for squatting in that they allow their lumbar spine to roll into flexion at the bottom of the movement due to tight gluteals and/or hamstrings. This is the position that strain and damage may occur.

    3. People have suffered from acute disc injuries on leg press and leg extension machines!

    4. Learn about "core stability" and the support that you can give your back by correct training of your abdominal muscles. You can provide better natural support than you get from a weight belt.

    5. Weight belts effectively lock the lower 2 lumbar joints. However, this means that the load is transferred to the remaining 3 joints, so the load is higher on each of them. Also, a weight belt knocks out the body's mechanism for sensing load and setting muscle tension accordingly.

    6. In squats, going deeper only affects the gluteals which go through a fuller range. Both the hamstrings and the quads stay in mid-range throughout the sqat due to the effects of hip and knee movement...one joint is lengthening the muscle whilst the other is shortening it.

    7. Going past 90 degrees knee flexion puts more load on the patello-femoral joint, as there is now a compressive force applied as the quads is pulling at a right angle to the joint.

    CONCLUSION: Strengthen your abs, stretch your gluteals, don't go past 90 degrees knee flexion and have someone spotting you check for when your lumbar spine starts to flex..that is when you should go no lower!
    The science is out there!
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  6. #6
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    hmmm

    Bump what Fresch said.

    Arnold, Dave Draper, and Tom Platz have all been doing squats for....20+ years and they havent ruptured their backs!
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  8. #8
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    Excerpt from the article:

    "Many times during my testosterone flooded late teens and early twenties I repeatedly strained and hurt my back doing heavy rows, deadlifts, and squats. But I was a "tough guy". I thought it would heal like any other injury and I’d be right again soon. I ignored the dull ache in the disks in my lower back and all the muscular spasms because it was "leg day" or "back day" and you gotta stick to your training schedule. Right?"

    I think that says it all!. It dispels the no pain no gain myth! This person repeatedly trained to injurious and painful levels. No wonder he evenyually had back problems!!
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  9. #9
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    Yes but we all do that!! Theres no way you can do descent squats without feeling the pain...i mean how the hell can someone be squatting 300+ and not feel it in your back?
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  10. #10
    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BigAssDeltoids
    Yes but we all do that!! Theres no way you can do descent squats without feeling the pain...i mean how the hell can someone be squatting 300+ and not feel it in your back?
    It can be done!!!

    1. Increase weight slowly

    2. Don't allow lumbar flexion at the bottom of the squat. This is a common technique fault that many people make and are not aware about!

    3. Don't train into pain....if your back is the weak link, you must be guided by it!! It is stupid to train and cause any type of pain except muscular pain!!

    4. Strengthen your back support and strength by coorect training of your abdominal muscles...the core stabilisers (Transverse abdominus). This is not like working on your six-pack! If you develop these muscles, you can squat without back pain!
    The science is out there!
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  11. #11
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    well i dunno...it just seems to me that squats naturally put a lot of stress on your body...read the article- he said he trained with perfect form...
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    squats are the king of all excercises, and are the best for quads and help improve over all mass.. they're a must
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  13. #13
    Banned BigAssDeltoids's Avatar
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    i know that...and apparently, they are also king for long term back injuries...conincidence? no i dont think so
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  14. #14
    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    Originally posted by BigAssDeltoids
    well i dunno...it just seems to me that squats naturally put a lot of stress on your body...read the article- he said he trained with perfect form...
    I bet you he didn't train with correct form all the time! The fact that he said he had back pain in his early years bears witness to that!

    There are other things that will put more load on your back. It's the lumbar flexion position at the bottom of the squat, if allowed, that causes the problems. I would say that this guy dropped into that position. It is rarely mentioned in squat technique.

    Good abs that can keep the back neutral of just a sligh loss of lordosis will keep things within an acceptable load limit for the spine.

    Similarly, a flexed spine position when doing leg extension and leg press can lead to disc injuries, but there is not problem if the spinal position is maintained in neutral!

    It is not the weight on the shoulders that causes the problem, but the flexed spine at the bottom of the squat. If you avoid this, they are a very safe exercise!
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  15. #15
    Banned BigAssDeltoids's Avatar
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    ok put that in english for me- when you say dont allow lumbar flexion, does that mean keep your back straight at all times?
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    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    OK...the bottom of your spine curves inwards a little in the lumbar area, just above the pelvis where your belt goes. This curvature is your lumbar lordosis.

    As you bend forwards, this curve flattens, and then starts to curve in the other direction. This is lumbar flexion. Once the spine goes past the straight position and starts to flex, the load on the spine ges up.

    So, with squats, you need to keep the lordosis in the spine as long as possible (keeping your back straight) and note when the lordosis starts to flatten out. This is the point where you stop. If you go further, the spine will flex and that is where the problems are!
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  17. #17
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    ok cool... so do you have any advice on how to prevent knee injuries on a squat?
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    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    2 bits of advice for knees..

    1. Don't go lower than 90 degrees knee flexion, that is, past forming a right angle. This places too much compressive force on the patell-femoral joint (kneecap)

    2. Don't angle your feet outwards! Have your feet pointing forwards in the same direction as your knees. I don't mind if the knees move forwards, some people use a different squat style where the knees don't move forwards at all. Either way, keep the feet pointing in the same direction as the knees, otherwise your legs are in poor alignment which can affect the position of your kneecap during the earlier parts of the squat movement!
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  19. #19
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    Question

    Are hack squats safer than regular squats? Since hack squats put more stress on the quads i'd think that there would be less lower back stress. I have noticed that they too hurt my knees.
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  20. #20
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    well personally i think hack squats put less stress on my lower back since your pressing against a seat..but i guess its a matter of opinion.
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  21. #21
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    B.A.D,
    Mabye Bodybuilding just isnt for you. You start up a thread everyday about "is doing this healthy? I dont want to be huge and have injuries or die early." Stop worrying and just lift, and if your afraid to lift, get the hell out of the gym so REAL bodybuilders can go ahead and lift.
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  22. #22
    Banned BigAssDeltoids's Avatar
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    Todd first off im pretty sure that im about as dedicated as a 16 year old bb'er is gonna get... i ride my bike to the gym, in rain, snow, and below zero weather in a damn T-shirt...i have to wake up in the middle of the night to get food, cuttin my sleep in half sometimes...i can assure you that i wouldnt be doing all this if i wasnt willing to accept certain risks that come with bodybuilding... the thing is I like to read articles...i read that article about a guy that USED PERFECT FORM AND F*CKED HIS BACK UP.. what was i supposed to do? say "gee, i dont care about the pain, i just want to continue squatting so i can match ego's with other kids?"... i asked the damn question so that someone could give me an educated opinion...
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  23. #23
    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    Dam you are one angry dude!!!!

    I have given you an educated opinion, so that should be the end of that!!


    Stop taking other people's bait!! If you were a fish you would have been hooked by the first fisherman to go past you!!
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  24. #24
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    lol...i was just responding to Todd fresch
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    Member new2thegame's Avatar
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    i've just started lifting, and had to drop squats my last workout from growing pains, i get them off and on but other then that, i think their fine
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    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    No, I was referring to other posts as well!

    You get very, very angry and spread more flames than the westerly winds behind our bushfires out here!

    And then get flamed back!
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    lol@fresch...

    hey new2, are you implying that the squats are responsible for your pain?
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    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    Originally posted by new2thegame
    i've just started lifting, and had to drop squats my last workout from growing pains, i get them off and on but other then that, i think their fine
    Growing pains are a name for something that somebody is too slack to diagnose.

    Squats don't cause growing pains, unless you are real stupid, and they can cause a type of pain!!

    Maybe Osgood-Schlatters disease??
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    Your Mother Loves Me Todd's Avatar
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    You are not going to get good leg development without Squats. PERIOD, no ifs ands or buts about it.
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    agreed
    Reply With Quote

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