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hyperextending on squats/deads

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:15 pm
by robertscott
is it possible to hyperextend your back when squatting or performing deads? And if so, how do you know you're doing it? And how do you fix it?

I'm asking because I've come to the conclusion that if it's possible to do something wrong when squatting/deadlifting, I'm probably doing it.

Re: hyperextending on squats/deads

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:24 pm
by stuward
That's funny. I just read a blog by Charles Weingroff on the subject. I can't find the original but it's the same thing here. ... -have.html" onclick=";return false;

Edit: Here it is. ... -the-neck/" onclick=";return false;

Re: hyperextending on squats/deads

Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:50 pm
by robertscott
our psychic bond gets stronger every day.

That was an interesting article, although now I think I may be lifting with hyperlordosis. I remember the first ever physio I saw about my back about ten years ago telling me my back was hurting because the excessive curve (standing like a pregnant lady she called it) was meaning the bones were all crunching together and hurting. Sounds like hyperlordosis to me.

The more I learn about back pain the less I understand.

Re: hyperextending on squats/deads

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:28 am
by carlito
I happened to fix this on my squat a few weeks ago, I was overextending a little, and when I stopped doing it I achieved a below parrallel squat for the first time. I think I use to sort of cue myself to keep my back flat, and as I hadn't got enough thoracic extension, I was extending at the lumbar instead, now I just try to keep it neutral.

Re: hyperextending on squats/deads

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:58 am
by KPj
It's a lot more common at the top of deadlifts due to a weakness in the glutes or even upper back. Or just technique i.e not knowing how the lift should finish.

Make sure you stand tall... Drive the glutes forward and pop the chest out (with a "packed" neck ). The top of a deadlift should be perfect posture.

I don't think you arch "too much" at the bottom. Some have the flexiblity to over extend when down at the bar but most don't. Even so, I believe arching as hard as possible is going to fight the need to round. I find it's mostly women who will arch too much at the bottom. My g/f is like that, actually. A good but maybe reckless solution is to add more weight to the bar! However when they arch too much they're normally set up too far over the bar - shoulders too far forward and some times hips too high. When you cue to fall back a little, essentially bringing the hips down a little and the shoulders back, it normally sort it out. I would be very surprised if it was a problem with you though, just because your male, really. I don't think i've seen this problem in one male (bare in mind i'm just a part time trainer, though, it's probably just a matter of time).

On Squats, I think you have the same deal, really. You have performance benefits to be gained from arching as hard as possible. Remember in a squat and DL, gravity plus the bar are basically trying to force you to flex so, purposely extending as hard as possible will counter this. In saying that most won't be able to hyperextend with a heavy bar on their back. One thing to watch for is not driving the hips through with the glutes at the top of the squat. You won't see many PL's do this but they don't care about things like that.

I've had one female client who was a gymnast and just had a natural excessive arch to her spine. Probably the most excessive i've seen in terms of a natural standing posture. She also had back pain (to be honest most seasoned gymnasts or ex gymnasts seem to have back pain). These kind of people are exceptions and not the norm, though.

Random point - it's difficult to have a hyper extended back (or flexed) if you really brace properly. A good brace - tense the abs, fill belly full of air, making it as big as possible - seems to put people into a good neutral position (slight arch) and make them solid.


Re: hyperextending on squats/deads

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:26 am
by robertscott
right so mercifully it looks like hyperextending is at least one thing I don't need to worry about, that is, as long as I learn to brace properly.

I am pretty sure that I've never braced during squats or deads, that's probably what's messed me up.

It all keeps coming back to core weakness. God damn my wussy core.