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  1. #1
    Registered User Alexlarex's Avatar
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    Low back pain in squats and deadlifts

    My form is right in both exercises, i squat to a box because of mobility issues and deadlift with no low back rounding, I also do RDL’s and lots of single leg work.
    I’ve been increasing weights for a few months but I got to 140 kg. in both exercises and hit a plateau because of low back pain and even had to lower 20 kg. in squats and 10 in deadlifts.
    What exercises/programming tips would you recommend me for lower back pain in squats and deadlift?
    Last edited by Alexlarex; 12-27-2020 at 11:05 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    You should list your actual program if you want programming tips, and post form videos so others can confirm for themselves if your form is "right" before they make other recommendations.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Alexlarex's Avatar
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    I’m currently doing 3 leg training days a week.
    Squats
    Deadlifts
    RDL’s
    Bulgarian Split Squat
    Single Leg RDL
    Weighted Cossack Squat
    (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
    I do everything for 3 sets of 4, 5, 6 but only lift near failure in bilateral exercises (first three), on single leg exercises I really focus on stability.
    I’m only training upper body on Saturday.

    Something I need to add I think is... I had actually removed bilateral RDL’s for a couple of weeks since I was also doing the single leg version. Which then I realized is not as effective as the bilateral version. Now I do both again.
    Is it possible that my low back pain started because my glutes and hamstrings became weaker when removed RDL? Are conventional deadlifts not enough for posterior strenght?
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  4. #4
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    IMO you're overthinking it, seems like overkill and unnecessarily repetitive esp if you just happen to play soccer multiple times/week as well. You're likely doing too much combined with poor form, but think you've gotten similar feedback in the past.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Alexlarex's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    IMO you're overthinking it, seems like overkill and unnecessarily repetitive esp if you just happen to play soccer multiple times/week as well. You're likely doing too much combined with poor form, but think you've gotten similar feedback in the past.
    Every exercise I do I do it by trying and seeing how it helps my game in terms of mobility/stability/ strenght.
    I do play soccer multiple times a week and I don’t mind playing in a fatigued state, because I’m prioritizing building a foundation of strenght at the moment.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Alexlarex View Post
    Every exercise I do I do it by trying and seeing how it helps my game in terms of mobility/stability/ strenght.
    I do play soccer multiple times a week and I don’t mind playing in a fatigued state, because I’m prioritizing building a foundation of strenght at the moment.
    Got it - well if the lower back pain and overall fatigue is elevating your game, then I'd say keep at it.
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    Registered User Alexlarex's Avatar
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    Only thing I want to accomplish now is to get my Squats and Deadlifts at least to 150 kg/ 160 kg.
    Before back pain started I was at 140. I’ve actually been stalled at that weight for a few months now. I had hit that plateau a few months ago and just started to focus on upper body strenght for a while. Then I’ve tried extra core work, extra upper back strenghtening, even focused on leg hypertrophy too. But nothing helped me get past that point and I don’t know what to do now.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Alexlarex View Post
    Only thing I want to accomplish now is to get my Squats and Deadlifts at least to 150 kg/ 160 kg.
    Before back pain started I was at 140. I’ve actually been stalled at that weight for a few months now. I had hit that plateau a few months ago and just started to focus on upper body strenght for a while. Then I’ve tried extra core work, extra upper back strenghtening, even focused on leg hypertrophy too. But nothing helped me get past that point and I don’t know what to do now.
    Your posts usually seem like you're having a conversation with yourself - so as long as you know your goals and are programming to meet them, you're all set.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Alexlarex View Post
    Every exercise I do I do it by trying and seeing how it helps my game in terms of mobility/stability/ strenght.
    I do play soccer multiple times a week and I don’t mind playing in a fatigued state, because I’m prioritizing building a foundation of strenght at the moment.
    Lifting weights isn’t gonna help you play soccer.

    Strength is specific.
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    Registered User Brandon2576's Avatar
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    Often lower back pain for me is the result of doing too much work.
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  11. #11
    Registered User leidenesLK's Avatar
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    I’d get back pain too doing something like that. Squats + deadlifts + RDLs and all your other movements in the same session, with high intensity, high rpe, 3 times a week, as an intermediate. You’re asking for trouble, OP.

    As mentioned above, you won’t get stronger for soccer doing this and the accumulated fatigue makes it counterproductive at best and dangerous at worst, as evidenced by the existence of this post. Why don’t you just do a normal U/L, with 2 upper days and 2 leg days alternating heavy squat + light deadlift one session and heavy deadlift + light squat the next? Much more sustainable than heavy squat + heavy deadlift + all your other stuff at high intensity + high rpe, 3 times a week...
    Last edited by leidenesLK; 12-28-2020 at 01:50 AM.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    I’d get back pain too doing something like that. Squats + deadlifts + RDLs and all your other movements in the same session, with high intensity, high rpe, 3 times a week, as an intermediate. You’re asking for trouble, OP.

    As mentioned above, you won’t get stronger for soccer doing this and the accumulated fatigue makes it counterproductive at best and dangerous at worst, as evidenced by the existence of this post. Why don’t you just do a normal U/L, with 2 upper days and 2 leg days alternating heavy squat + light deadlift one session and heavy deadlift + light squat the next? Much more sustainable than heavy squat + heavy deadlift + all your other stuff at high intensity + high rpe, 3 times a week...
    Seconded ^

    Alternatively, you could do a heavy/light/medium approach
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  13. #13
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    What kind of pain? Muscle pump, nerve, spine? I'd be willing to bet you're just getting pump/cramping from totally overworking. Probably time to take a week off.
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    Originally Posted by leidenesLK View Post
    I’d get back pain too doing something like that. Squats + deadlifts + RDLs and all your other movements in the same session, with high intensity, high rpe, 3 times a week, as an intermediate. You’re asking for trouble, OP.
    This is what I was gonna say. Hell, I'd get lower back pain if I did just heavy squats and deadlifts twice a week. The lower back is working hard on both of those even with good form, and probably isn't getting a chance to recover before blasting it again.

    Change it up - do heavy deads and then some lighter front squats. Then next time heavy squats and lighter RDL. But heavy DL, heavy squat, heavy RDL, repeat every other day? Holy disaster batman!
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    Originally Posted by Alexlarex View Post
    I’m currently doing 3 leg training days a week.
    Looks like too much volume, especially if you're experiencing discomfort. Also I would balance out upper and lower since you're currently doing 3:1, important to grow proportionally.
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    This is what I was gonna say. Hell, I'd get lower back pain if I did just heavy squats and deadlifts twice a week. The lower back is working hard on both of those even with good form, and probably isn't getting a chance to recover before blasting it again.

    Change it up - do heavy deads and then some lighter front squats. Then next time heavy squats and lighter RDL. But heavy DL, heavy squat, heavy RDL, repeat every other day? Holy disaster batman!
    I do exactly that, my friend. Heavy deadlift + light front/SSB squat one leg day and heavy back squat + light RDL/goodmorning the next.
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    Registered User dgoyena216's Avatar
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    You're doing all that 3 days a week. Are you alternating the load and taking into account RPE across the week?

    Sounds like you are, but seems like you're just doing too much throughout the week.

    Also how is your bracing on the main lifts like deads and squats? Are you getting really tight and setting everything up correctly each rep. Being lazy with the bracing is a sure fire way to get pain as the weight gets higher. Focusing on control and coordination of your spine will be helpful. This takes work, and isn't exactly something that just happens.
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    Have you tried doing less? Going heavy 3x a week is gonna wreck you as you're finding out.

    Maybe do one heavy session a week, say fridays so you have all weekend to recover. Keep the other 2 days lighter around 8 to 10 reps.
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    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    I have the exact same issue lately. It's on and off, but I've noticed that pain shows up after either intense deadlift or squat days.
    I have never used a belt, but my lifts are getting higher, so I might need to do that. Could this be related?

    FYI I'm running F5 U/L and until recently the beginner F5 (where i first noticed some pain).
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    Originally Posted by astrocoyote View Post
    I have the exact same issue lately. It's on and off, but I've noticed that pain shows up after either intense deadlift or squat days.
    I have never used a belt, but my lifts are getting higher, so I might need to do that. Could this be related?

    FYI I'm running F5 U/L and until recently the beginner F5 (where i first noticed some pain).
    A belt will help, but you also need to learn how to brace everything and get really tight. Maybe back off a bit and spend a couple weeks purely on technique for those 2 lifts.
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    Originally Posted by dgoyena216 View Post
    A belt will help, but you also need to learn how to brace everything and get really tight. Maybe back off a bit and spend a couple weeks purely on technique for those 2 lifts.
    Thanks! My gym has available belts so I'll start using one.
    Indeed I noticed that when I previously deloaded these lifts the pain subsided. Also, I am now doing RDL in F5 U/L so let's see if that feels better than regular DL due to the lighter weight.
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    Originally Posted by astrocoyote View Post
    Thanks! My gym has available belts so I'll start using one.
    Indeed I noticed that when I previously deloaded these lifts the pain subsided. Also, I am now doing RDL in F5 U/L so let's see if that feels better than regular DL due to the lighter weight.
    Try out a 4" (Wide all the way around) by 10mm thick belt to start out.

    Also prioritize direct ab work that is mostly working stability. Can be static or dynamic, but try focus on no movement of the spine.

    Planks, offset deadlifts with kettlebell, offset carries, dead bug, etc.

    I also really like using a smaller exercise ball for planks where you rotate the ball one way (stir the pot) 10-15 times than back the other way, or straight out like an ab wheel roll out but more limited, without compromising rigidity of spine.

    Having visible 6 pack abs does not equate to stability.
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  23. #23
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dgoyena216 View Post
    Try out a 4" (Wide all the way around) by 10mm thick belt to start out.

    Also prioritize direct ab work that is mostly working stability. Can be static or dynamic, but try focus on no movement of the spine.

    Planks, offset deadlifts with kettlebell, offset carries, dead bug, etc.

    I also really like using a smaller exercise ball for planks where you rotate the ball one way (stir the pot) 10-15 times than back the other way, or straight out like an ab wheel roll out but more limited, without compromising rigidity of spine.

    Having visible 6 pack abs does not equate to stability.
    Sounds good, I am sure what types of belts they have, but I'll keep that in mind.
    Seems like it's time to add some core exercises to my current routine, which currently involves only kneeling cable crunches and weighted crunches (2x week).

    Appreciate the information!
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