Aruba Sports Medicine

Avoiding low back injuries with squatting

Let’s now discuss three tips to help you get rid of lower back discomfort from squats. In most cases, the pain that results from squatting is caused by technical errors. Sometimes, the pain in the lower back can actually be from the hips.

Squats can be a problem for low back pain. While the squat may work the lower spine muscles, it is possible to cause chronic pain and injury by overusing the squat.

The following are key considerations to avoid this happening.


You must first know the basics of a safe and powerful squat.

Sit back and do a squat. The movement is from your hips and knees.

If your hips roll down under you, and your back curves, it puts your lower back at higher risk for injury. Your back should not be rounded more than your hips. This is dangerous.

As a result, when your hips turn forward and your bottom protrudes, you are compressing the spine segments. You also use the muscles in the lower back to prevent your spine’s rounding. While it’s important to keep the spine straight, overusing only the muscles at the low back could cause muscle soreness and possible injury. If you do the squat with your lower back feeling tight and tired after the exercise, this will be a sign of a rounding effect.

You want to keep the back neutral all through movement. Mirrors can be used to check your low back position.

Squat to your Depth

You might have heard it said that you must squat to or above parallel (when your thighs meet the ground), but no two hips are identical. This could mean that your hips are built to squat either parallel or below the ground. Or that your hips can be designed to squat higher than parallel so that you don’t run out of room.

If you squat further than your normal range of motion, it is possible to compensate by moving through other joints (most likely the back). This will cause a lot of movement through the lower back which will eventually lead to pain and injury.

Do not squat deeper than you can control. Maintain a neutral back position. If you push beyond this point and go deeper than you can control, you put yourself at greater risk for injury.

Try Different Squat Variations

The classic back squat variation is one of the most difficult to master. Because the bar is perched on your stomach, it places greater stress on the lower back than any other variation. Diversify your options to avoid low back soreness.

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