Leg days = Back pain

  • natsimjac1988

    Posts: 109

    Apr 05, 2013 2:20 AM GMT
    Hey everyone. So lately when I am at the gym and it is a leg day, I have been getting pretty bad back pain that shows up sometimes immediately afterwards and often lasts for days after that. At first, I thought it was just the squats with barbells that I was doing that was causing the pain, but tonight I did some normal lunges while holding dumbells and I now have some pretty bad back pain again! It isnt something that could be mistaken for simple soreness either, this is pretty rough pain in the lower back area. Obviously I don't want to stop doing leg workouts... does anyone else have this problem? I am almost 6'2, so I know being tall tends to lend itself to back problems, but I am only 25 and I really dont want to cause problems now that will only escalate in the future. Any advice will be helpful. Thanks guys!
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    Apr 05, 2013 3:38 AM GMT
    Get a physio to check you out, make sure nothing more serious is going on. Then if given the all clear, get a professional to make sure your form is correct.
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    Apr 05, 2013 3:58 AM GMT
    Without watching your movement, and if I had to guess, I'd guess it's low back pain caused by tight psoas musculature. It's super common. Flares up in some people when they stand in over extension.

    check out mobilitywod.com and search for psoas.
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    Apr 05, 2013 4:13 AM GMT
    Check out some vids on youtube "correct form for squats".... For awhile I was rounding out my back when doing squats and it caused problems, not sure if that's your issue but if it is, that will help.... back stretches before starting your leg regimen will help too

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    Apr 05, 2013 4:22 AM GMT
    It could be your psoas like another poster said, and it could also be your hamstrings. If they tighten up, they'll pull down the ischium and then the rest of your body has to compensate. If you're not doing any core stabilization exercises like planks, then you should be doing those, so the transverse abdominis will fire like it's supposed to and your spinal erectors don't have to work as hard to support you.

    I'd get checked out though to make sure you haven't slipped a disc or something along those lines.
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    Apr 05, 2013 9:06 AM GMT
    The four leg exercises that I can safely perform are the leg curl, leg extension, adductor and abductor. I have sciatica and the leg press, in particular, is a problem.

    It is a lower back pain followed by shooting pains mainly down the right leg.

    I recommend the standing postures of hatha yoga if you have the same trouble, and avoid leg press and lunges; perform utkatasana and virabhadrasana I & II instead, increasing the time that you hold these postures up to three mins and one minute respectively.
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    Apr 06, 2013 8:48 AM GMT
    natsimjac1988 saidHey everyone. So lately when I am at the gym and it is a leg day, I have been getting pretty bad back pain that shows up sometimes immediately afterwards and often lasts for days after that. At first, I thought it was just the squats with barbells that I was doing that was causing the pain, but tonight I did some normal lunges while holding dumbells and I now have some pretty bad back pain again! It isnt something that could be mistaken for simple soreness either, this is pretty rough pain in the lower back area. Obviously I don't want to stop doing leg workouts... does anyone else have this problem? I am almost 6'2, so I know being tall tends to lend itself to back problems, but I am only 25 and I really dont want to cause problems now that will only escalate in the future. Any advice will be helpful. Thanks guys!


    It could be tight psoas; it could be weak TrA (transvers abdominals); it could be a lumbar facet joint problem; it could be a sacroiliac problem; etc.

    If you have radiating pain down your leg, then I'd be concerned about nerve compression originating from somewhere in your lumbar spine.

    If the pain persists, check it out with a physical therapist. It's cheaper and lesser of a hassle than having a messed up back for the rest of your life.

    I remember having a type of stiffness/tight pain in my back after I did squats, deadlifts and variations, or any type of lower body workout that required a lot of core stabilization (lunges being one). "Core" doesn't mean your rectus abdominis (what makes up the six pack); it better refers to the deeper muscle, the TrA, which acts like a belt that secures and stabilizes your lower vertebra. Planks, supine planks, stability ball roll outs, side planks, bridges with fee elevate, push up plank with pulleys, push up/row combo are some examples of exercises to strengthen the core.

    Hope that helps a bit! Oh, and if you could, answer these questions for me, please.

    What kind of pain? Describe it. What exactly is "rough pain"?
    Does your pain change when you bend over to touch your toes?
    Does your pain change when you bend backwards, hands on your hips?
    Does your pain change when you bend sideways to either side?
    And when you have pain, is there any pain going down your butt/thigh/leg?
  • Beastmode

    Posts: 213

    Apr 06, 2013 9:04 AM GMT
    When my hamstrings and adductors tighten up I start to get back pain too. Need to do a lot of stretching and massage for it to start easing up.
  • how2meat

    Posts: 1

    Apr 06, 2013 9:31 AM GMT
    Check with your gym instructor if the postures and breathing styles are correct.
    If yes better to see a doctor.
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    Apr 06, 2013 10:25 AM GMT
    and stretch!!!
    especially your hip flexors
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    Apr 06, 2013 1:10 PM GMT
    I had the exact same problem and I hated it because I wasn't gaining on my squat. Back was always too sore. I would wait a few weeks and it would come back quickly. My problem was form.

    So I bought a powerlifting belt. 2-prong. Leather. Straight. It's been great to have something to push my stomach against and no more pain. And my squats have gone up.

    Most gyms have belts you could probably try out before you buy. While the pain is still lingering, call it quits or cut your weight in half for a bit until you recover.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 07, 2013 12:45 PM GMT
    Usually back pain after a leg workout comes from a muscle imbalance .... induced by tightness

    While it could be the Psoas it could also be the hamstrings or the entire hip flexor group

    I know from whence I speak ..... I battle with this all the time
    But get it checked out and see where its coming from
    You'll wanna avoid the pain and the Chiro bills that I had to endure
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:22 PM GMT
    Without seeing you actually squat, my guess is that you might be leaning forward during the movement. This is a common mistake with beginners. Do you find your heels coming off the floor during your squats?
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    May 11, 2013 10:35 PM GMT
    Your form. What do your leg days consist of?
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    May 12, 2013 1:03 AM GMT
    This thread is over one month old. I guess he decided he didn't need our advice after all.
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    May 12, 2013 2:43 AM GMT
    natsimjac1988 saidLeg days = Back pain
    = future herniated disks.

    ...which means you're doing it wrong.